Apr 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

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Practical Nursing Certificate

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Length: 44 credits

Purpose: This program prepares selected students to qualify as practitioners of practical nursing in a variety of health service facilities.

Employment Objectives: Employment opportunities for the practical nurse, once licensed, include skilled and residential nursing care facilities, physician offices and clinics, industry, schools, home health care agencies, and others as applicable.

Potential Certification: After successful completion of the practical nursing program, graduates will be eligible to apply for licensure as a practical nurse through the state licensing board. A student who resides outside of Virginia and plans to apply for licensure as a practical nurse subsequent to completion of this education program must comply with the licensure requirements mandated by the student’s state of residence. The P&HCC PN program is designed to meet the requirements leading to professional licensure where passing the NCLEX-PN is one of those requirements; other requirements may differ from those in Virginia. Additional information regarding out of state licensure can be found on their professional licensure website or the NCSBN webpage for professional licensure requirements: Board of Nursing Licensure Requirements | NCSBN

Program Learning Outcomes: Graduates of the program will:

  • Use the nursing process to identify internal and external environmental factors that influence need satisfaction.
  • Function as an entry level provider of care who is able to collect data, plan, intervene, and evaluate nursing care of patients in collaboration with the Registered Nurse.
  • Assist individuals and their significant others to meet their physical, psychological, spiritual, cultural, and developmental needs.
  • Work collaboratively with the client and the health care team to identify the client’s location on the health continuum.
  • Participate as a member of the health care team by managing care for an individual client or group of clients across the lifespan for diverse populations.

End of Program Outcomes:

  • Eighty percent (80%) of all program graduates will pass the NCLEX-PN licensing exam as first-time test takers within 12 months of program graduation.
  • One hundred percent (100%) of graduating students will receive a satisfactory grade at the conclusion of the clinical experience. 
  • Curricular content proficiency will be evident when
    • 80% of graduates score 65% or greater on the end program Kaplan Trainer-1 exam and
    • cohort average scores on end semester benchmark assessments exceed the established national norm. 

Special Accreditation/Approval Status: The Patrick & Henry Community College Practical Nursing Certificate program has full approval as granted by the Virginia Board of Nursing.

Virginia Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center

9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300,

Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463,

(804) 367-4515.



The practical nursing program is not nationally accredited. 

NCLEX-PN First Time Licensure Pass Rates: 

  P&HCC State National 
2023 100% 89.94% 86.67%
2022 100% 81.60% 79.93%
2021 75% 74.77% 79.60%
2020 56.25% 79.83% 83.08%
2019 71.43% 84.28% 85.63%

Special Admission Requirements: The applicant must meet the following requirements for admission into the required program and clinical courses (PNE 161  , PNE 162 , PNE 145  , PNE 164  , PNE 158  , and NUR 135 ) . Interested students should contact the nursing/health science office for academic advising.

  1. Be accepted as a student to the college.
  2. Graduate from high school or a GED.
  3. Complete developmental courses before submitting a practical nursing program application.
  4. Validate computer competency equivalent to (ITE 101 ). 
  5. Evidence of high school algebra I and II with a grade of  ‘C’ or higher. If five years have passed since high school completion and no history of college level math requirement equivalent to MTH 154   or higher with a grad of C or higher, student must successfully pass MDE 10 prior to applying. If a student successfully completed MTE 1-5 in the last five years, MDE 10 is not required. Deficiencies in math must be completed before application to the practical nursing program.
  6. Complete one high school unit of college prep level biology or chemistry with no grade below a ‘C.’ College courses that may be used for high school substitute include: BIO 101  , BIO 102  , or CHM 110  .  
  7. Maintain cumulative college or high school grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
  8. After meeting the above criteria, submit an application for the Practical Nursing Program during the specified advertised application period, along with required paperwork, i.e. high school transcripts, college transcripts, etc. during the application period.
  9. Students must attend a Nursing Program Information Session prior to application submission. The attendance date may be no more than six (6) months prior to the application period. 
  10. Achieve a passing score on the Admission Test.
  11. Students will be scheduled for the admission test after their application file has been reviewed and approved. Applicants must have satisfactory scores in reading, mathematics, science, English and language usage.

Admission procedure: Applications to the nursing program are processed during specified advertised application periods. At the end of the advertised application period, completed applications with required supporting documents, will be reviewed and considered. Admission testing will be offered to students meeting all admission requirements. Priority admission will be awarded to students who earn a cumulative score of 60% or higher on the entrance ATI exam or equivalent and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. If scores are equal the higher GPA will be the determinant, if GPA is equal the higher ATI TEAS score will be the determinant, if both are equal, the pre-application Science grade will be the determinant. 

NOTE: The number of qualified applicants offered admission to the practical nursing program is contingent upon space available in the classroom, nursing laboratories, the programs access to sufficient clinical spaces in contracted clinical facilities in order to meet program learning outcomes, and qualified nursing faculty to teach students in classrooms, laboratories and clinical settings.

Applicants who are not accepted will be eligible to reapply at the next application period, at which time applicants meeting admission requirements will be allowed to repeat the admission test, and the most recent scores will be used for admission consideration.

Physical Requirement: The minimal functional requirements for all entering nursing students include:

  • sufficient eye-hand coordination and manual and finger dexterity to provide direct patient care and to manipulate and operate equipment in the delivery of patient care;
  • sufficient ability to fully observe patients/patient conditions and provide patient care, read medical records, and observe and manipulate equipment, including in dimly lit environments;
  • sufficient hearing to communicate with patients and healthcare team members, including ability to detect and interpret sounds when operating equipment and gathering data;
  • satisfactory communication skills, to include competence in reading, writing and speaking in English, in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings;
  • ability to perform patient care activities that require full range of motion including handling, lifting, or moving patients and/or equipment;
  • ability to lift and carry items weighing up to 50 pounds;
  • ability to successfully perform all required duties and responsibilities in classroom, laboratory and clinical settings in stressful situations or conditions; and
  • ability to participate in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings during irregular hours (day/evening/night shifts, weekends, more than 8 hours at a time).

Upon acceptance students must complete a medical physical examination. Students must provide proof of all required immunizations as mandated by clinical agencies. 

As a component of program admission, students are required to undergo mandatory drug screening and a criminal background check. Students must have a negative drug screen in order to begin clinical courses. Any charges or costs associated with the criminal background check and drug screen will be the responsibility of the student. Clinical agencies may deny a student participation in direct patient care based on results of drug screen and/or criminal background. Inability to complete clinical experiences will result in program dismissal. Certain clinical rotations may require the completion of a Central Registry check and fingerprinting, those will be required as needed to comply with clinical rotations, results must be negative. 

Please note that the Virginia State Board of Nursing may refuse to admit a candidate to any licensure examination and refuse to issue a license or certificate to any applicant who has been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. Students must produce a satisfactory criminal background check to the standards of all clinical agencies used by the college for experiential learning upon enrolling in the Practical Nursing program.

Financial Requirements: In addition to the usual college tuition and fees, this program requires additional expenses.

Approximate costs include:

Uniforms $200
Physical examination $150-$300
Books $1000-$1400
Graduation Pin  $25 (minimum) 
AHA BLS CPR certification $162
Criminal background checks $48 minimum (may be repeated)
Drug screens $38 minimum (may be repeated)
Central Registry and Fingerprinting $60 minimum 
Application for licensure fees  and criminal background $410
Transportation to clinical agencies, seminars, etc. as required  

Transfer Options: Students interested in program transfer must meet all admission requirements of the program for which transfer is being requested. Transfer is granted on a space available basis. Transfer applicants must currently be accepted and enrolled in a board approved practical nursing program or equivalent whose graduates are candidates for licensure and may only transfer into a board approved program. Additional requirements that will be used for transfer consideration will include performance in didactic, clinical laboratory, and clinical courses, and standardized test performance. Students may be required to demonstrate competency in previous course work through demonstration and testing. 

Curriculum Requirements: To remain in the program, a student must have a “C” or above in all PNE and NUR courses. Additionally, student must have a grade of “C” or above in all semesters of English, health, natural science and psychology courses. In addition to formal lectures and laboratory experiences, clinical experiences within driving distance of the college will be scheduled at day, evening and/or weekend times, depending on availability of facilities. Criminal background checks and drug screens may be repeated after program acceptance to comply with clinical agency requirements. Clinical/field/preceptor experiences require access to contracted clinical agencies.

General Education Requirements

Total Credits:10

Total Credits: 34

Minimum Required for Certificate: 44 Credits

Advising Sheet

Advising Sheet Suggested Schedules: Courses in advising sheets are displayed under the semester in which the courses are regularly offered. It is possible that a course shown on the schedule for a particular semester may not be offered due to low enrollment or other factors.

Developmental Prerequisites 

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