Mar 05, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog

Practical Nursing Certificate

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Plan Code 157, CIP Code 51.3901

*Eligible for G3 Funding

Award: Certificate

Program Head: Catherine Hiler

Length: Three semester of study

Purpose: The Practical Nursing Certificate is a 44-credit hour certificate program designed to prepare individuals to function as entry level practical nurses. This program is offered in the Rockbridge area, but students who reside in any location may apply for admission. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination leading to licensure as a practical nurse (NCLEX-PN exam). Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), under the direction of physicians or registered nurses, care for people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled. LPNs care for patients in many ways. Often, they provide basic bedside care. Many LPNs measure and record patients’ vital signs such as height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration. They also prepare and give medications, injections, and treatments. To help keep patients comfortable, they assist with personal hygiene, moving in bed, standing, and walking. They might also feed patients who need help eating. Experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides.

Program Approval

The Virginia Board of Nursing has granted conditional approval to MGCC to operate the Practical Nursing program. The terms of those conditions are given in the order, Report and Recommendation of the Education Special Conference Committee.  

Virginia Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center
9960 Maryland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233-1463 

Admission Information: In addition to the general admission requirements of the College, students whose placement test scores indicate the need to increase their level of proficiency in reading, writing and/or mathematics will be required to take appropriate developmental courses. Enrolling in developmental courses may increase the length of time necessary for completing the chosen course or program of study, but will enhance the student’s preparation for college-level coursework and increase the chances for successful attainment of academic, occupational and personal goals.

Program Objectives: Upon completion of the program, the graduate is prepared to:

  • Function as a beginning practitioner under the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner, registered nurse, and/or other approved health professionals.
  • Utilize the nursing process with guidance in delivering safe, therapeutic individualized nursing care to the patient and/or family throughout the life span.
  • Maintain effective professional relationships with the patient, family, and other members of the health care team.
  • Participate in patient/family education to promote, maintain, and restore individual, family and community health.
  •  Assist the patient and/or family in utilizing community resources to promote and maintain an optimal state of health.
  • Assume responsibility for his/her own continued personal, professional, and educational growth as a practical nurse and private citizen.
  • Function within the legal and ethical limits of the practical nurse role.
  • Successfully complete the NCLEX-PN examination.

Occupational Objectives: Licensed Practical Nurses may find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, day care centers, Civil Service, primary care offices, rehabilitation facilities, industry, the military, schools, home health and private duty nursing.

Program Admission Guidelines: In addition to general requirements, applicants must possess anddemonstrate the traits and functional abilities that are essential for licensure and job performance of the practical nurse. Information on admission criteria, including pre-admission testing requirements, is provided in an Information Packet available online or by calling 540-863-2838.

Additional Admission Requirements:

  • Complete MGCC admission application and have official transcripts sent from high school or other colleges you have attended.
  • Complete a Practical Nursing Program (PNP) application
  • Demonstrate Math proficiency of readiness to enroll in MTH 154.
  • Take the Pre-entrance examination (non-refundable fee) which is administered at the main campus in Clifton Forge.

Applicants who receive a satisfactory score will be contacted for a personal interview with the Nursing Program Head.

After interviews are completed, the application materials will be reviewed, and CONTINGENT admission will be granted to qualified applicants

Final Admission Requirements for those granted contingent admission:

  • Applicant must arrange for and pass the Health Assessment Screenings. If follow up medical treatment is needed, it is the applicant’s responsibility and expense to contact their primary care physician.
  • Applicants are expected to provide proof of current immunizations.
  • Applicant must have a urine drug screening test (applicant expense). Failure to submit and/or pass the health screening and/or drug test will result in denial of admission to the Practical Nursing Program.
  • Applicant must undergo a Criminal Background Check (applicant expense) which is a requirement of the Virginia State Board of Nursing in order for students to practice clinical nursing in a hospital or nursing home. Applicants, who have a criminal background check that would result in their not being eligible to be employed as a health care worker, will be denied admission into the Practical Nursing Program.

Tuition and fees must be paid by the deadlines set by MGCC.

Completion of this program does NOT guarantee automatic admission to the MGCC Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program.

Program Description: The Practical Nursing Certificate is a full-time program. The classroom and clinical schedule are seven-ten (7-10) hours daily and include extensive practical learning experiences associated with hospital procedures and routines. Clinical experiences in geriatrics, medical, surgical, obstetrics, pediatrics, and mental health are coordinated in various clinical agencies. The program is 12 months long (3 semesters) and begins with the summer semester.

Graduation Requirements: Students must complete the required courses in the curriculum and achieve a minimum grade of 80% in each nursing course, and a 2.0 in non-nursing courses to receive this academic award.

Related Programs: LPN to RN Transition Pathway to earn AAS in Nursing (RN).113Nursing classes must be taken in the semester they are listed. General education courses must be taken in the semester listed or before.

Summer Semester

Minimum Credit Hours for Degree: 44

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