2018 - 2019 Student Catalog 
    Apr 24, 2024  
2018 - 2019 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 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  and Curriculum 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 between September 1 and February 1 for the September class:

  1. High school diploma or equivalency diploma
  2. An overall high school average of 80 percent or cumulative college GPA minimum of 2.75
  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)
    • 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
    • For students who took BIO 213, BIO 214 five or more years ago, the course must be repeated
  4. 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 at this or another institution.


    Note:  these academic foundations courses do not count toward the certificate/degree.
  5. 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 (including courses in progress) will have the overall College GPA used for ranking. 
  6. Students who have had a grade of less than passing in two nursing courses at NCCC or other nursing programs are not eligible.        

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.
  4. If background checks are required by NCCC or a clinical facility, all costs related to background checks conducted by a third party vendor will be the responsibility of the students. See nursing department for details on requirements.

Advanced Standing

Graduates from Practical Nurse programs are eligible for limited advanced standing and should consult the Nursing Education Department for details.

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

Persons who would like to apply to the Registered Nurse program should contact the Admissions Office.


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 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, lecture or lab) nursing course (NUR 111, 112, 113, 114, 211, 212) (F grade), withdraws from or leaves a (clinical, lecture or lab) nursing 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, lecture or lab) nursing courses must be passed on the first attempt. After two unsuccessful attempts in (clinical, lecture or lab) nursing courses, the student is ineligible to return to any nursing program.  This does not affect a student who is passing a nursing 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. 

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.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  • Develop competent nursing practice by utilization and prioritization of nursing knowledge information/technology to provide holistic (biophysical, psychological, socio-cultural, spiritual) patient-centered care across the life span
  • Provide patient-centered care with sensitivity and respect for the diversity of human experience
  • Collaborate professionally and effectively with nursing, interprofessional team members, patient, family, and/or community members fostering shared-decision making to achieve quality patient care
  • Implement psychomotor skills safely and demonstrate role-specific nurse competency to provide safe, quality care
  • Provide health teaching utilizing concepts of teaching/learning to promote decision making and human flourishing of the patient, family, and/or community members
  • Demonstrate integrity and accountability while practicing within the ethical, legal, and regulatory frameworks of nursing.  Utilize information/technology to enhance safety and support decision making
  • Integrate best practices based on evidence with clinical expertise and research in the delivery of optimal health care
  • Commit to personal and professional growth incorporating a spirit of inquiry, patient satisfaction and quality improvement

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:
    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 and Allied Health Area 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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