2015-2016 Student Catalog 
    Jun 17, 2024  
2015-2016 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Practical Nursing, Certificate

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Contact Information

Program Requirements

Required Program

Degree/Certificate:   Certificate
HEGIS Code:           5209.20
SUNY Code:            0938
Major Code:            PN

The Career

Practical nurses play a critical role in providing health care to individuals in a variety of health care settings. They are needed in hospitals, nursing homes and community agencies.

Advanced Standing

Graduates of the NCCC Practical Nursing program are eligible for advanced standing in the Nursing (RN) program. The Practical Nursing program is designed as a “one-plus-one” curriculum. Successful completion of the one-year Practical Nursing program allows students the option of completing their RN studies with one more year of study.

Applicants who have questions regarding their qualifications should contact the Admissions Office at 614-6200.

Persons who would like to apply to the Practical Nursing program should contact the Admissions Office. 

The NCCC Approach

The NCCC’s Practical Nursing program is committed to the education of practical nurses and the promotion of wellness in the community.

The Practical Nursing program offers clinical experiences at hospitals, health care facilities and community agencies in Niagara, Orleans and Erie counties to provide students with important clinical experiences in all areas of health care.

Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Council License Examination (NCLEX-PN) for Practical Nurses through the State Education Department.

Program Admission Requirements

Students admitted for fall class start.  Applicants will be ranked based on overall GPA.

All applicants (first time, readmit, transfer and continuing students) must meet the following admission requirements and apply by February 1 for the September class:

  1. High school diploma or equivalency diploma
  2. An overall high school average of at least 80 percent or College GPA 2.0
  3. Successful completion (minimum 80 percent or B) of:
    • a high school-level biology or chemistry course or
    • minimum C or better college-level biology (BIO 109/109L or BIO 117/117L or BIO 213/213L) or chemistry course (CHE 120/CHE 111)
  1. The most recent BIO or CHE grade is the grade that will be considered and each course may be repeated only once, regardless of institution
  2. Satisfactory completion of all academic foundation requirements.

To be accepted into the program applicants must earn the minimum required score on placement assessments or pass the academic foundations course listed below.

If below the required score in Will need to pass
  Writing   ENG 099
  Reading   AAC 042
  Mathematics   MAT 002

Note:  these academic foundations courses do not count toward the degree.

  1. If college-level courses required for the Practical Nursing program were completed prior to the student starting in the program, a minimum of C or better is required in each of these courses.
  2. Current high school students with 12-college credits or less will have their overall high school GPA used for ranking.  Those applicants who have more than 12-college credits will have the college GPA used for ranking. 

Requirements to Remain in the Program

Once accepted into the Practical Nursing program, continued matriculation is contingent upon:

  1. An acceptable physical examination report. Health records including a physical exam, immunizations or titers proving immunity, and verification by the health care provider that the student may participate in the clinical nursing program with no restrictions must remain current  for the entire period of enrollment.  The student is responsible for all costs related to the physical examination report. See the NCCC website, Nursing Information Center, for more information. 
  2. Certification in Basic Life Support for Professional Rescuer is required and must remain current throughout the entire program. For acceptable certifications, see the NCCC website, Nursing Information Center.
  3. Annual immunization for seasonal flu (influenza) is required.


Grading Policy for Practical Nursing Courses: The major Nursing clinical courses have three components: lecture (theory), college laboratory and clinical. A student must earn a minimum C grade in lecture (theory) and a passing evaluation in college laboratory and clinical. The student must be successful in each component to earn a passing grade of C. If a student is unsuccessful in any of the three (3) components, a grade of F will be earned. Minimum passing grade in all NUR courses is C.  To continue to progress in NUR 111, students must achieve a C grade in NUR 105.

Minimum Grade in Anatomy & Physiology and Pharmacology Courses for Nursing Students: A minimum grade of C in BIO 213 E and L (Human Anatomy and Physiology I) and BIO 214 E and L (Human Anatomy and Physiology II) must be earned to progress in the Practical Nursing curriculum.

Repeat Policy: A student enrolled in any nursing curricula (RN Nursing or Practical Nursing) and who fails a major clinical nursing course (NUR 111, 112, 113, 114, 211, 212) (F grade), withdraws from or leaves a nursing clinical course in a failing state (W grade or repeated non-attendance), or withdraws from the college after failing a nursing course (X grade), may be considered for re-admittance, and is limited to one opportunity to repeat the incomplete or failed course.  It should be noted that a student who changes his/her curriculum from one nursing program to another is still limited to one course failure in any other clinical nursing course.  All other clinical courses must be passed on the first attempt. After two unsuccessful attempts in nursing clinical courses, the student is ineligible to return to any nursing program.  This does not affect a student who is passing a clinical course at the time of withdrawing from the course or the college. All prerequisite Nursing courses must be successfully completed before progressing to the next sequential Nursing course.

Students must apply to the college (if applicable) and the Nursing Department by the stated deadline to be considered for return and submit a letter requesting re-admittance to the program.  Acceptance is based on meeting the eligibility requirements for admission to the program, academic history, ranking by program GPA and space availability.  There is no guarantee of re-admittance for students who were unsuccessful in completing a clinical nursing course.  Contact the Nursing Department for more information.

Unsafe Clinical Practice: When a student is unable to provide safe nursing care at an off-campus facility, the Nursing Education Department Head, upon recommendation from the clinical nurse faculty, will remove said student from the clinical laboratory component of the course. Unsafe practice is defined as “placing the patient in clear and present danger.” The student is not eligible for re-admission into the Nursing program.

Five-Year-Course Policy: If a student has taken any course with a NUR or BIO prefix five or more years before enrolling in a subsequent NUR or BIO course, the NUR/BIO course(s) must be repeated.  PHA 250, General Pharmacology, must have been taken within five years of entering the Practical Nursing program.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Practical Nursing program, the graduates will be reported by the New York State Education Department to have passed the NCLEX-PN licensure exam at a rate equal to or exceeding the mean for New York State, be employed in a position for which the program prepared them and report satisfaction with the Nursing program. Students are expected to complete the program in six semesters. Employers will express satisfaction with the competence level of the graduates.

Student Learning Outcomes

The graduate of the Practical Nursing program at Niagara County Community College is prepared to:

  • Use Maslow’s Theory of Motivation and Hierarchy of Needs as a framework in assisting individuals to maintain their basic needs and prioritize them when there is an interruption in their ability to meet those needs
  • Incorporate developmental considerations as identified by Erikson in providing individualized, comprehensive nursing care
  • Participate in the development and implementation of a comprehensive nursing plan utilizing the nursing process and critical thinking skills to make patient-centered decisions within a variety of acute community and long-term settings
  • Demonstrate respect for the dignity and worth of each individual recognizing unique cultural and spiritual values
  • Demonstrate caring behaviors in provision of comprehensive nursing care
  • Utilize effective verbal, non-verbal and written communication when interacting with members of the health team
  • Demonstrate accountability and responsibility in providing a safe environment
  • Perform psychomotor skills incorporating nursing judgment, principles of safe practice and current technology
  • Employ teaching-learning principles in providing for the health needs of an individual
  • Provide care for a group of patients while functioning collaboratively as a member of the health care team
  • Maintain ethical and legal standards of nursing practice
  • Demonstrate accountable behavior in the provision of comprehensive nursing care
  • Demonstrate personal and professional growth


Program Requirements (PN)

  1. A total of at least 45-credit hours with a minimum curriculum grade-point average of 2.0. Academic Foundations courses do not count toward the certificate.
  2. Nursing: A minimum of 29-credit hours to include:
    NUR 105 - Medication Simulation 
    NUR 111 - Nursing I *
    NUR 112 - Nursing II 
    NUR 113 - Practical Nursing III 
    NUR 114 - Practical Nursing IV  
  3. Sciences: A minimum of 10-credit hours to include: 
    BIO 213L - Human Anatomy and Physiology I Lab 
    BIO 214L - Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab II  
  4. Social Sciences: A minimum of 6-credit hours to include:
  5. PSY 110 - Introduction to Psychology 
    PSY 210 - Lifespan Developmental Psychology  


Required Program


*Dependent upon the fulfillment of Academic Foundations requirements.

+ Must have been successfully completed within the last five years.

** Courses listed in each semester must be taken prior to or concurrent with Nursing courses. For example, BIO 213 and PSY 110 and NUR 105 must be taken prior to or with NUR 111.

(a) Courses listed in each semester must be taken in that order or with the major Nursing course as listed.

Additional Costs

 Students must purchase a uniform, standardized testing program, laboratory supplies and profession-specific equipment. Detailed information can be obtained by contacting the Nursing Department at 614-5940.

Scholarship Opportunities

There are several scholarships available to NCCC students.  Scholarship deadline dates vary each semester.  For more information, please visit the scholarship webpage at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/scholarships . The NCCC Scholarship Office is located within the Financial Aid Complex, A-114 or by phone (716) 614-6205.

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