May 21, 2019  
2018-19 Virginia Western Academic Catalog 
2018-19 Virginia Western Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Practical Nursing Certificate

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Purpose: This curriculum is designed to prepare students for a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The program will provide instruction to prepare qualified students to meet the health care needs of the community within the scope of practice of practical nursing, as defined by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Graduates of this program earn a Certificate in Practical Nursing and will be academically eligible to take the NCLEX-PN examination.

Mission Statement: The Virginia Western Community College Practical Nursing Program’s mission is to prepare students to provide competency based, empathetic, safe, and effective health care in a culturally diverse society and in a wide variety of health care settings.

Program Objectives: Employment opportunities include nursing homes, hospices, public health and community nursing, medical offices and clinics, and acute and long-term care facilities.

Program Outcomes: 

  • Utilize the Nursing Process to meet clients’ needs and promote collaborative care.
  • Perform nursing interventions (client assessment, skills performance, dosage calculation, medication administration, and client teaching) based on assessed need.
  • Explain factors that impact client care (environment, culture, family, and biopsychosocial) across the lifespan.
  • Incorporate professional communication skills (verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic) to promote optimum outcomes.
  • Attain academic eligibility to sit for the NCLEX-PN.

5 Year NCLEX-PN Pass Rates:

2013 - 92.86%
2014 - 86.36%
2015 - 93.75% 
2016 - 100%
2017 - 100%

Student Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  1. Engage in practices that provide safe and holistic nursing care throughout the lifespan grounded in science and the nursing process. (Safety)
  2. Apply nursing judgment to ensure the delivery of patient-centered care and promotion of health for patients within a family and community environment. (Patient-Centered Care)
  3. Demonstrate the use of critical thinking skills while utilizing the nursing process to provide care to patients throughout the lifespan. (Critical Thinking)
  4. Collaborate effectively within nursing and interdisciplinary healthcare teams to foster open communication, respect, and shared decision making to ensure safe, quality patient care. (Teamwork)
  5. Demonstrate the use of the best current evidence to guide clinical decision making to provide safe care for patients and families across the lifespan. (Evidence-Based Practice)
  6. Integrate information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, and support decision making in the practice of nursing care. (Informatics)
  7. Utilize concepts related to culture, ethnicity, and spirituality in the delivery of patient care. (Culture) 

Developmental Requirements:

ENGLISH – Applicants must receive a placement recommendation for ENF 3  or ENG 111 . If this placement is not achieved, applicants must have successfully completed all developmental English requirements.

MATH – Students who do not demonstrate proficiency in MTE 1 , MTE 2 , MTE 3 MTE 4 , and MTE 5  must have successfully completed all developmental Mathematics requirements.

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the Practical Nursing Program must hold a high school diploma or GED. Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to credit-level coursework established by the college.

  1. Applicants must have completed one unit of Algebra I with final grade of “C” or better or the developmental requirements listed above.
  2. Applicants must have completed one unit of high school or college-level Biology with a with final grade of “C” or better by end of summer semester preceding enrollment in PNE 141 
  3. Applicants must have a cumulative high school or college-level GPA of 2.0. College GPA is based on at least 12 credit hours of college credit in a 12-month time frame. The GPA is determined at the end of fall semester prior to admission.

Admission Procedures: Admission to the program is competitive. While applications are accepted at any time, to be eligible for admission the application packet must be submitted by April 1st of the admission year. Early application is encouraged for advising purposes.  Students are admitted once a year in the fall.

All application materials must be submitted to the attention of the Health Careers Information Specialist for School of Health Professions prior to April 1. The applicant is responsible for making certain that the following have been submitted in addition to the college application: completed practical nursing application form, written essay (criteria listed on back of application), official high school transcript, copy of GED scores (if applicable), official transcripts from all colleges attended (VWCC and other Virginia community colleges are not required). Applicants being considered for admission will be required to take a nursing entrance test during the spring semester (nonrefundable fee is the responsibility of the applicant). Applicants must attend a personal interview demonstrating satisfactory oral and written communication skills. Applicants should be aware that meeting the curriculum admission standards does not guarantee program admission. Applicants will be notified in writing of the action taken by the Practical Nursing Admissions Committee in May. Prospective applicants who are accepted into the program must attend a mandatory orientation session. Qualified applicants are considered without regard to race, color, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors

Students interested in this program should consult the Practical Nursing Program page for additional information and responsibilities. The page can be accessed through the Virginia Western website

Program Note:

This program is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing.

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

Clinical agencies require that students have periodic background checks and drug screenings completed at the student’s expense before beginning clinical rotations in the agency. A positive background check may include fingerprinting and drug screening and may deny a nursing student access to clinical agencies. Clinical facilities have the right to use a different background check than Virginia Western Community College that could affect a student’s ability to participate in clinical experiences. Inability to participate in clinical rotations will disqualify the student from completing the certificate program.

Conviction of a felony, misdemeanor or any offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions and duties of a practical nurse may constitute grounds for not allowing a candidate to take the licensing exam. This decision is made by the State Board of Nursing. For questions regarding this issue, call The Virginia Board of Nursing (804) 367-4515.

All Students must maintain a grade of “C” or better in all program required courses to remain in the program.

Students accepted into the Practical Nursing Program will receive a program handbook during their mandatory orientation prior to beginning the program.

Transfer Applicants:

Meet all Basic Admission Requirements.

Complete courses transferred with a grade of C or above.

Submit reference from director or nursing school previously attended to verify good standing and clinical competence.

Provide nursing school catalog, course outlines/syllabus, and unit outline as required.

Take any necessary placement tests.

Demonstrate clinical proficiency as required.

NOTE:  Transfer credit is only allowed for a nursing course of comparable credit and content to a course in the Practical Nursing Program. Transfer credit is given for a grade of C or above in nursing courses completed in the previous two years.  Only courses taken at State Board approved schools are considered for transfer credit. Placement is considered on an individual basis.  An applicant who meets all admission requirements is not guaranteed admission to the program. Successful applicants will be notified by May 20th.

Retention Policy: Students must pass each theoretical and clinical nursing course in order to proceed to the next course. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 to continue in the program.

Total Minimum Credits for Degree: 52

1 SDV 108  will satisfy the SDV 101 requirement. SDV 108 is for developmental English students.

2 Students who have completed BIO 141  and BIO 142  with a grade of “C” or higher may receive credit for PNE 155  if completed within five years of beginning the program.

3 HLT 105 or CPR certification can be used to satisfy this requirement; however, the required CPR certification for Practical Nursing is American Heart Association, Healthcare Provider CPR which includes infant, child, adult and AED.​

* This course has a requisite.

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