Nursing: Practical Nursing Program Certificate

Program Code

Program Director: Lynn S. Hogan, DNP, RN    256-306-2794

Additional information on the nursing program website:


Individuals who practice nursing are service-oriented, intellectually mature, have a strong sense of self-direction and motivation, and are able to work and interact with people of all ages and from various backgrounds. Practical nurses (PN) provide direct patient care under the supervision of an RN, physician or dentist. 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. Nursing functions require communication skills, critical thinking, decision making, and sound judgment. Nurses 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 may specialize in a variety of areas of patient care, and with additional education, have the opportunity to function in advance practice roles such as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or nurse educator.


The practical nursing certificate and associate degree nursing programs at Calhoun Community College, offered on the Decatur and the Huntsville campuses, located in Tanner and Huntsville, Alabama are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326 (404) 975-5000. The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the licensed practical nursing certificate and associate degree nursing program is continuing accreditation. 


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 does not assure an individual of licensure. Legal requirements for licensure may be found in the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) Administrative Code (www.abn.state. and include being of good moral character. Applicants who have been found guilty of offenses listed in the Code may be denied licensure by the ABN or other state board of nursing.  Offenses may include but are not limited to: fraud or deceit in attempting to procure a licensure;  a felony conviction,  conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or gross immorality; being unfit or incompetent due to the use of alcohol, or addiction to habit forming drugs; conviction of a violation of federal or state law relating to controlled substances; mental incompetence.  

A practical nursing (PN) certificate is earned by successful completion of 3 semesters and students are eligible to write the NCLEX-PN.  The coursework is sequential, requiring a grade of 75% or > in each NUR course and a “C” or higher in general education courses.  General education courses may be taken prior to beginning the program or as sequenced in the plan.


A traditional day time class of nursing students is enrolled twice a year and begins in either the fall or spring semester.  The program is available at both the Decatur and Huntsville campuses. Applicants must minimally:

  1. Meet all admission requirements of CCC.
  2. Have transcripts of all coursework at other colleges sent to the CCC Office of Admissions and Records for evaluation at least one month before the application deadline
  3. Submit an ACT composite score National or Residual or a HESI A2 composite score from a test taken at CCC
  4. Demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the required academic core courses and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the current or native institution. Applicants without prior college courses must demonstrate a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in high school; GED will be used if applicable.
  5. If not completed, be eligible to take ENG 101, BIO 201, and MTH 100.
  6. Submit an online nursing application by the published deadline.

Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.  Class size is limited and there is a selective application process.  An application and the selection criteria can be found on the nursing program webpage.



Students enrolled in nursing programs are required to successfully complete both academic and clinical requirements.  The purpose of the Nursing Eligibility Criteria, found on the Nursing webpage, is to delineate the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills deemed minimally necessary for admission, progression, and graduation, and for the provision of safe and effective client care.  Safety is paramount in all health programs. The College endorses the Americans’ with Disabilities Act.  If a student cannot meet the Eligibility Criteria it is their responsibility to request appropriate reasonable accommodations through the Student Disability Services Office.


  • Retain reliable transportation to and from the campus and assigned clinical education facilities.
  • Comply with a dress code that includes an assigned uniform
  • Undergo a health examination, TB screening, and validate immunity to infectious diseases
  • Submit proof of current certification in basic life support at the healthcare provider level
  • Purchase low-cost malpractice insurance through the CCC health sciences division
  • Submit to a background check by a designated vendor
  • Undergo drug and alcohol testing by a designated vendor

In the interest of the patients they will serve, every health science student is obligated to complete the above requirements.  Policies for the background check and drug testing are provided upon enrollment. Results may prohibit a student from participating in clinical education and necessitate withdrawal or course failure.


In addition to tuition, health students will have expenses related to the listed requirements, books, and associated supplies.  Approximated costs are discussed in information sessions and program orientation.


Additional nursing programs information including policies on application, readmission, and transfer students are available on the NUR webpage or by contacting the program director. The curriculum plan and policies of the nursing programs are subject to change.  Written notice will be given to students enrolled in the program prior to implementation.

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