Nursing: Practical Nursing Program Certificate
Practical Nursing Program
This program is subject to the Credit to Clock Hour conversion as defined by Title IV and may not be fully funded with Title IV funds (Pell Grant, SEOG and Direct Student Loans)
PN students must maintain 37.5 contact hours/week to be considered full-time for financial aid purposes.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) represent the second largest health care providing group in America, after RNs. LPNs provide direct patient care under the supervision of an RN, physician or dentist. They perform a variety of nursing functions requiring communication skills, critical thinking, decision making, and sound judgment. LPNs work in hospitals, long term care facilities, home health care, schools, physician / dentist offices and other settings. Practical nurses have a vital role in the delivery of quality and effective health care. The curriculum revolves around technical excellence using the nursing process as a means by which students relate theory to practice. It incorporates the knowledge, values, and skills required for safe, effective patient care. Ethical and legal accountability are stressed. The practice of nursing is for individuals who are service oriented, intellectually mature with a strong sense of self direction and motivation and who are able to work and interact with people of all ages and from various backgrounds. Students entering the PN program must complete the PN program. Students may not transfer into the ADN program; however, students may apply for admission to the ADN program as a new student. Practical Nursing Program Costs (approximate) Note: Students are required to provide his/her own transportation to assigned clinical facility
Practical Nursing Program Costs (approximate)
CPR Class........................................................................................... $160.00
Drug Testing/Background Check, Annually.......................................... $75.00
E-Books and Learning Resources (approximate)............................... $950.00
Graduation Ceremony Fee................................................................... $50.00
Graduation Diploma Fee..................................................................... $25.00
Licensure Fee..................................................................................... .$85.00
Malpractice Insurance, Annually ........................................................ $10.00
NCLEX Fee ......................................................................................... $200.00
Nurse Lab Supplies............................................................................ $400.00
Standardized testing resources................................... $125.00 per semester
Temporary License (optional).............................................................. $50.00
Tuition.............................................................see current semester schedule
Uniforms/program patch.................................................................. $250.00
Practical Nurse Curriculum Plan
The practical nursing program curriculum plan is three semesters in length with a total of 45 credit hours; 20 hours in general education and 25 hours in nursing. All courses must be taken and successfully completed in order, though any or all of the general education requirements may be fulfilled prior to enrollment in the PN program. Enrolled students attend NUR classes in the Health Sciences Center on the Decatur campus. In addition, clinical education takes place at area health care facilities each semester. The required number of hours varies with each nursing course. These experiences are primarily scheduled weekdays between the hours of 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Health facility assignments are based on the learning needs of the student, not geographical proximity to their home. Graduates receive a certificate and are eligible to apply to write the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN®) and apply to a state board of nursing for licensure as a practical nurse.
Nursing programs have the full approval of the Alabama Board of Nursing and are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Accreditation information regarding the nursing program may be obtained from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. Telephone: 404-975-5000. www.acenursing.org
The practice of nursing is for individuals who are service-oriented, intellectually mature with a strong sense of self-direction and motivation, and who are able to work and interact with people of all ages and from various backgrounds. Registered Nurses (RN) assess the current health status of clients, plan care, administer treatments and medications, and provide education and emotional support for clients and their families. They perform a variety of nursing functions requiring communication skills, critical thinking, decision making, and sound judgment. RNs work in hospitals, long term care facilities, home health care, physician offices, outpatient clinics and other settings, and play a vital role in the quality and effectiveness of health care. RNs can specialize in a variety of areas of patient care, and with additional education, RNs have the opportunity to function in advance practice roles such as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or nurse educator. The CCC ADN program is designed to educate individuals in providing nursing care to patients of all ages in a variety of health care settings. Nursing is a collaborative and/or independent process in which the nurse interacts with individuals applying documented, scientific knowledge through the use of the nursing process. Nursing courses provide sequential nursing knowledge, experience, and skills for the safe practice of nursing. Ethical and legal accountability are stressed.
Upon graduation from a nursing program an individual will be eligible to apply to write the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) or for Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) and apply to any state board of nursing for licensure as a practical or registered nurse. However, completion of an academic program in nursing in no way assures an individual of licensure. Legal requirements for licensure may be found in the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) Administrative Code (www.abn.state. al.us) and include being of good moral character. Applicants who have been found guilty of any offenses listed in the Code may be denied licensure by the ABN and any other state board of nursing. The ABN, as well as other state boards of nursing, has the power to deny eligibility for licensure to any candidate who is guilty of fraud or deceit in attempting to procure a licensure; has been convicted of a felony; is guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude or gross immorality that would tend to bring reproach upon the nursing profession; is unfit or incompetent due to the use of alcohol, or is addicted to the use of habit forming drugs to such an extent as to render him or her unsafe or unreliable as a licensee; has been convicted of any violation of a federal or state law relating to controlled substances; is mentally incompetent; is guilty of unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or injure the public in matters pertaining to health or has willfully or repeatedly violated any of the provisions of this article as defined by board rules and regulations.
ALABAMA BOARD OF NURSING
REGULATORY QUESTIONS FOR EXAM APPLICANTS
1. Have you ever been arrested for, been charged with, been convicted of, entered a plea of guilty to, entered a plea of nolo contendere or no contest for, received deferred prosecution or adjudication for, had judgment withheld for, received pretrial diversion for, or pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity or mental defect to any crime other than a minor traffic violation in any state, territory or country? Any crime related to driving while impaired or while under the influence of any substance is not a “minor traffic violation”.
2. In the past five years, have you abused alcohol, drugs (whether legal or illegal, prescribed or unauthorized), and/or other chemical substances or received treatment or been recommended for treatment for dependency to alcohol, drugs (whether legal or illegal, prescribed or unauthorized) and/or other chemical substances?
3. Have you ever been arrested or convicted for driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol?
4. In the past five years, have you had, or do you now have, a physical or mental health problem that may impair your ability to provide safe nursing care?
5. Has the licensing authority of any state, territory, or country denied, revoked, suspended, reprimanded, fined, accepted your surrender of, restricted, limited, placed on probation, or in any other way disciplined your nursing and/or any other occupational license, registration, certification, or approval?
6. Is the Board of Nursing or other licensing authority of any state, territory, or country, including but not limited to the Alabama Board of Nursing, currently investigating you?
7. Is disciplinary action pending against you with the Board of Nursing or other licensing authority of any state, territory or country, including but not limited to the Alabama Board of Nursing?
8. Have you ever been placed on a state and/or federal abuse registry?
9. Has any branch of the armed services ever administratively discharged you with any characterization of service besides “Honorable” and/or court-martialed you?
An applicant who answers ‘’YES’’ to a question is not automatically denied licensure but must provide the ABN with a detailed, written explanation and the appropriate court/treatment records must accompany the application for examination and licensure. If the documents are not received along with the application, the applicants can expect to be delayed in taking the examination. By a full explanation, the Board expects more than a statement naming the crime for which the applicant was convicted. The explanation should contain a full recitation of whom and why the crime occurred and the applicant’s history since the crime. If the applicant has indicated a history of mental illness or chemical dependency, a full explanation including treatment records, urine screens, doctor’s statements, etc. must be received with the application. Applicants also should be aware that they must disclose arrests that did not result in convictions and attach those court records. Misdemeanors also must be disclosed. These include checks written on accounts with insufficient funds and DUI. Minor traffic violations are excluded. If the Board of Nursing later learns of arrests or convictions not originally disclosed, such will be considered to be fraud and deceit in procuring a license and disciplinary action will be forthcoming. The Alabama Board of Nursing will determine whether or not the applicant may write the examination for licensure and be licensed as a registered nurse. Any questions regarding this matter should be directed to the ABN.
Student Standards of Conduct
The nursing student shall comply with the legal, ethical, moral, and legislative standards, which determine acceptable behavior of a nurse and shall avoid those behaviors which may be cause for denial of licensure to practice as a nurse, in accordance with Alabama law regulating practice of Registered and Practical Nursing and the ABN Administrative Code. When there is probable cause, the nursing department faculty reserves the right to require a prospective student, a student currently enrolled in a program, or a returning student to submit to psychological testing/counseling, drug screening, and/or a physical examination by a licensed physician at the student’s expense and to submit a report of the outcome to the nursing faculty. The department will provide a specific form for this purpose, when applicable. All reports may be reviewed by the department faculty to determine if a student may be admitted, readmitted, or retained in the nursing program.
Drug Testing and Background Checks
As stipulated by the health division contracts for clinical education, each student accepted in any nursing program will undergo drug testing and a criminal background check as a precondition to enrollment. Students will also be subject to random drug or alcohol testing for “cause”. All testing fees are the responsibility of the student. Related policy is provided to the student upon enrollment in a program. Students who test positive for drugs or alcohol and/or are denied clinical access by a clinical affiliate based on the criminal background check will be disallowed from clinical learning experiences, resulting in a failure of the course.
Eligibility Criteria for Nursing Programs
The purpose of the Eligibility Criteria is to outline the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills deemed minimally necessary for admission, progression, and graduation and for the provision of safe and effective patient care. The Alabama Community College System endorses the Americans with Disabilities Act. If a student cannot demonstrate the skills and abilities delineated in the Eligibility Criteria, it is the responsibility of the student to request an appropriate accommodation through the Office of Student Disability Services/ADA. In accordance with College policy, when requested, reasonable accommodations may be provided for individuals with disabilities. The Eligibility Criteria can be found on the nursing website and in program applications.
NURSING PROGRAM POLICIES
Policies/Curriculum for the Nursing Department Programs are subject to change at any time. Written notice will be given to all students enrolled in nursing courses prior to implementation of change.
Admission Requirements for LPN Program:
1. Unconditional admission to the college, which includes submission of transcripts from all previous colleges attended.
2. Receipt of completed application for admission to nursing program before the published deadline
3. A minimum of 18 ACT composite score National or Residual
4. A minimum of 2.5 GPA for nursing required academic core courses and a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA at current, native institution or cumulative 2.0 GPA in institution from which student is transferring
5. A minimum of 2.5 GPA cumulative high school GPA for students without prior college courses (GED will be used if applicable)
6. Meet the Eligibility Criteria for nursing
7. Eligible for ENG 101, BIO 201 and MTH 100. There is no expiration date on general education courses (ENG, BIO, MTH)
Selection Criteria for Nursing Program:
• ACT score. Minimum 18 composite. Possible 36 points with no time limit on when the test was taken.
• Points from nursing required academic core courses (i.e. ENG 101, MTH 100 or higher, BIO 201 and BIO 202)
• Points for grades are as follows: A=3 points, B=2 points and C=0 point
• Additional 10 points awarded as determined by the individual college policy and procedure. Refer to website for Points Worksheet.
Admission to a nursing program is competitive and the number of students accepted is limited. Prospective students will find more information on the website including specific nursing program applications, admission requirements, and the applicant selection process.
1. After meeting all minimum admission requirements, applicants are rank-ordered using a point system. Point calculation is subject to change as dictated by college/program policy and/or as dictated by the Alabama Community College System Policy.
2. Applicants to a nursing program will be notified in writing via Calhoun email regarding admission decisions.
3. Students selected for enrollment must respond to confirm their acceptance.
4. If not selected for admission, a new application must be submitted the following cycle.
Prior to registration in nursing courses, students selected for admission to a nursing program will be required to provide:
1. Current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course completion of the BLS or Healthcare Provider Level – must be American Heart Association, American Safety and Health Institute, or American Red Cross
2. Current CCC Student Health Form and Eligibility Criteria Form that have been completed in their entirety by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner, verifying a state of physical and mental health such that the student is able to complete all program requirements without presenting undue risk/harm to the student or other persons. (Forms available on Calhoun Nursing webpage)
3. Up-to-date immunizations including:
- Two-step TB Mantoux skin test, T-spot test (or chest x-ray of positive TB results) OR three consecutive annual negative skin tests. Annual update is required;
- 2 MMR Vaccinations or titer verifying immunity;
- 2 Varicella (chicken pox) Vaccinations or titer verifying immunity;
- Tetanus/Diphtheria Vaccination within the last 10 years;
- Hepatitis B immunization series of 3, or titer verifying immunity or a signed waiver. It is recommended that all nursing students be immunized against Hepatitis B.
- Influenza vaccination
4. Verification of current health/hospitalization/accident insurance or signed waiver of liability; and purchase of Professional Liability (Malpractice) Insurance through the college
5. “Clear” background check and drug screen results completed by the College’s selected agency at the student’s expense. Annual update is required.
6. Abide by the policies of the College and Nursing Department Student Policy Manual.
7. Valid photo ID (current driver’s license, military ID or passport)
A grade of “C” or above is required in all general education and nursing courses required in a nursing program curriculum plan taken and/or transferred to Calhoun. To graduate from a nursing program a student must successfully complete the prescribed program of study with a 2.00 overall Grade Point Average (GPA). The grading policy for nursing programs is more stringent than the general college grading. A passing score for all nursing courses (NUR) is a grade of “C” which is 75-79%. It is the belief of faculty that having a strict grading policy helps to better ensure knowledge and competency. Holding nursing students to more rigorous standards is necessary due to the nature of the profession relative to patient safety.
In order to progress in the nursing program, the student must:
1. Achieve a grade of “C” or better in all required general education and nursing courses.
2. Be acceptable to clinical agencies for clinical experiences.
3. Maintain ability to meet Eligibility Criteria for nursing with or without reasonable accommodations.
4. Maintain program health requirements.
5. A total of two (2) unsuccessful attempts in two separate semesters (W, D or F) in the nursing program will result in dismissal from the program.
6. A student may be reinstated to the nursing program only one time. The reinstatement is not guaranteed due to limitations in clinical spaces. All nursing program admission standards must be met.
7. A student must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the current institution for reinstatement.
8. If a student has a documented extenuating circumstance that should be considered related to a withdrawal or failure, then this student may request a hearing before the Admission Committee or other appropriate college committee for a decision on repeating a course or readmission to the program.
9. ADN students whose second unsuccessful attempt occurs in NUR 211 or NUR 221 may apply for the Bridge program. These students must meet all admission requirements for the Bridge Program, including a 2.5 GPA for nursing required academic core courses and minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA at current, native institution or cumulative 2.0 in institution from which student is transferring, and a valid Alabama Practical Nursing License.
10. Complete general education courses successfully in the semester noted in the plan of study, though any or all of the general education requirements may be fulfilled earlier.
11. Students unsuccessful in a first semester course must reapply as a new student (NUR 112).
Reinstatement - Students who have a withdrawal or failure in a nursing course and are eligible to return to that course will be considered for reinstatement to the program.
Readmission - Students not eligible for program reinstatement may apply for program admission as a new student and must meet all application criteria. If accepted as a new student, the student must take or retake all nursing program courses.
Process for Reinstatement
1. Students should first schedule an appointment with appropriate Level Liaison to discuss eligibility for reinstatement.
2. Students must apply for reinstatement to the nursing program and submit the application and Letter of Intent by published deadlines.
3. Students must apply for readmission to the college if not currently enrolled. College readmission must be accomplished by published deadlines.
4. Update immunizations, CPR, drug testing and background screening according to program policy.
5. Demonstrate competency in previous course(s) as required by the College’s nursing program.
6. Apply to the nursing program for reinstatement within one year from the term of withdrawal or failure in the nursing program.
7. Adhere to nursing curriculum or program policies and procedures in effect at the time of reinstatement.
8. Notification of reinstatement decision is made in writing via Calhoun email.
The transfer policy applies to students desiring to transfer between Alabama Community College System institutions. It does not apply to students wishing to transfer from other institutions.
Criteria for Transfer:
1. Meet minimum admission standards for the nursing program,
2. Must have been enrolled in nursing courses within the last 12 months
3. Must possess a grade of C or better in all nursing program required courses taken at another institution and possess a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA at time of transfer.
4. Dean/Director of previous nursing program must provide a letter of eligibility for progression in previous nursing program. Must comply with all program policy requirements at accepting institution.
5. Complete at least 25% of the nursing program required courses for degree/certificate at the accepting institution.
6. Must meet acceptability criteria for placement at clinical agencies for clinical experience.
7. Acceptance of transfer students into nursing programs is limited by the number of faculty and clinical facilities available. Meeting minimal standards does not guarantee acceptance.
8. Notification of acceptance is made in writing via Calhoun email.
Transient Student Policy
The transient policy applies only to students desiring to transfer between Alabama Community College System institutions. It does not apply to students wishing to transfer from other institutions.
Criteria for Transient Status:
1. Must meet minimum admission standards for the nursing program.
2. Must possess a grade of C or better in all nursing program required courses taken at another institution and possess a minimum of 2.0 cumulative GPA.
3. Dean/Director of previous nursing program must provide a letter of eligibility for progression in previous nursing program.
4. A student enrolled at another institution must secure permission from that institution by submitting an application for admission to the College and a Transient Student Form completed by an official (Nursing Program Dean/Director) of the primary institution.
5. Transient students must complete a Transcript Request Form at the end of the term before a transcript will be issued to the primary institution.
- 6. Must comply with all program policy requirements at accepting institution.
7. Must meet acceptability criteria for placement at clinical agencies for clinical experience.
8. Acceptance of transient student into a nursing program is limited by the number of faculty and clinical facilities available. Meeting minimal standards does not guarantee acceptance.
Students completing NUR 112, 113, 114, and 115 and required academic courses may apply for the award of a Practical Nursing certificate. Students are responsible for meeting all the progression and graduation requirements. To graduate, a student must successfully complete the prescribed program of study with a 2.0 overall Grade Point Average (GPA).
Students completing NUR 112, 113, 114, and 115 at an institution that only offers the PN program and who wish to transfer to another institution to complete the ADN degree, must meet the requirement for 25% course completion at college of graduation. Students who cannot meet the 25% course requirement must apply for the RN Bridge and take the transition course to meet the 25% course requirement. Students who successfully complete the PN program may continue into the RN program to earn their Associate Degree in Nursing by completing NUR 211 and NUR 221. (See A.A.S. Nursing Curriculum Degree Plan for continuation of courses)
* BIO 103 and PSY 200 are waived as pre-requisites for students entering PN or RN programs.
* PSY 200 is preferred for the Humanities elective