2015-16 Virginia Western Academic Catalog 
    Aug 09, 2022  
2015-16 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 eligibility to sit for NCLEX-PN. 

5 Year NCLEX-PN Pass Rates:

2010 - 83.33%
2011 - 80%
2012 - 93.75%
2013 - 92.86%
2014 - 86.36% 

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 an ENF 3  or ENG 111  placement test recommendation. If this placement is not achieved, applicants must have successfully completed all developmental English requirements.

MATH – Students who do not demonstrate proficiency on the placement test in the following mathematical units will be required to complete developmental courses: MTE 1 , MTE 2 , MTE 3 MTE 4 , and MTE 5 .

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 registered 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.

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.

First Year

Second Year

Total Minimum Credits for Degree: 49

1 Students who have not previously completed SDV 100  or SDV 108  must enroll in SDV 100  or SDV 108  during the first semester of the practical nursing program.

2 HLT 105  or CPR certification can be used to satisfy 1 credit of this requirement.

3 Students who have completed BIO 141  and BIO 142  may receive credit for PNE 155  if completed within five years of beginning the program.

* This course has a requisite. Requisites for all courses are listed in the course description section at the back of the catalog.

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 high school or college-level Biology with a grade of “C” or better.
  2. 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.
  3. Applicants must complete required evaluative tests administered at Virginia Western.

Admission Procedures: Admission to the program is competitive. Students are admitted once a year in the fall. Prospective applicants who are accepted into the program must attend a mandatory orientation session. 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. Applications may be accepted after this date on a space available basis. The criteria for admission to the practical nursing program are outlined in the Practical Nursing Admissions Packet. Additional information related to entrance testing requirements will be given to qualified applicants in the spring semester.

Letters are mailed in May regarding fall admission. All application materials must be submitted to the attention of the Health Careers Information Specialist 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. Qualified applicants are considered without regard to race, color, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors.

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. 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 http://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/practicalnursing/index.php.

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