Catalog & Student Handbook 2022-2023 
    Jul 24, 2024  
Catalog & Student Handbook 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Practical Nursing Certificate

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Certificate: Practical Nursing

Length: Five-semester sequential program to include a summer semester. The program begins on sequence each fall semester with two preclinical semesters followed by three clinical semesters.

Purpose: The Practical Nursing Program prepares students educationally to qualify as contributing members of the health care team, rendering patient care as practical nurses in a variety of health services facilities. At the successful completion of the program, students will be educationally eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam leading to licensure as a practical nurse.

Occupational Objectives: Graduates will be able to obtain a position in health-related facilities such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, or other health-related agencies.

Admission Requirement: To enter the Certificate Practical Nursing Program, the student must be a rising senior in a dual-credit high school program, a high school graduate, or the equivalent. High school courses must include one unit of biology and one unit of algebra with a grade of “C” or better. Competency in English as demonstrated through the placement and diagnostic tests, or by satisfactorily completing the required developmental courses. Students enrolled in the first year Practical Nursing class must complete developmental courses before beginning PNE 162 .

Applicants should be advised that the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Nursing Statutes and Regulations (54.1-3007) state the following:

Refusal, revocation or suspension, censure or probation: The Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Nursing may refuse to admit a candidate to any examination, refuse to issue a license or certificate to any applicant and may suspend any license or certificate for a stated period or indefinitely, or revoke any license or censure or reprimand any licensee or certificate holder or place him/her on probation for such time as it may designate for any of the following causes:

  1. Fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license;
  2. Unprofessional conduct;
  3. Willful or repeated violation of any of the provisions of this chapter;
  4. Conviction of any felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
  5. Practicing in a manner contrary to the standards of ethics or in such a manner as to make his/her practice a danger to the health and welfare of patients or to the public;
  6. Use of alcohol or drugs to the extent that such use renders him/her unsafe to practice, or any mental or physical illness rendering him/her unsafe to practice;
  7. The denial, revocation, suspension or restriction of a license or certificate to practice in another state, District of Columbia, or a United States possession or territory; or
  8. Abuse, negligent practice, or misappropriation of a patient’s or resident’s property.

Please Note: All PN classes are held at WCC’s location at the Crossroads Institute in Galax. Classes are held two days per week the first two semesters. Classes are held 4 days per week during the last three semesters.

Application Requirements: Applications for the Practical Nursing Program will be processed in the following manner:

  1. High school applicants will apply through the guidance department of their respective high schools.
  2. Adult applicants will submit applications directly to the Office of Admissions and Records at Wytheville Community College. High school transcripts, transcripts from any and all colleges attended, and placement test scores will be required.
  3. Preference will be given first to rising high school seniors from area participating high schools and then to adult applicants from the service regions of Wytheville Community College and from service regions of other Virginia community colleges that do not provide access to a Practical Nursing program.

The following is a list of technical abilities and skills applicants for admission should possess:

  • Critical Thinking: Critical thinking ability sufficient
  • Interpersonal: Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds
  • Communication: Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form
  • Mobility: Sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces
  • Motor Skills: Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe care
  • Hearing Acuity: Ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs
  • Visual: Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in nursing care
  • Tactile: Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment

Program Requirements: Upon acceptance into the Practical Nursing Program, the following are necessary:

  1. Completed health form submitted before admission to PNE 161 ;
  2. Current CPR certification (AHA Health Care Provider Course or Red Cross CPR for Professional Rescuer);
  3. A grade of “C” in all Practical Nursing courses is necessary to progress through the program;
  4. Criminal background checks and drug screenings. See policy below:
    1. Policy:  Criminal Background Checks are required for students enrolled in Wytheville Community College Practical Nursing Program.
    2. Purpose:  To meet VA State Board of Nursing Regulation 18VA9027-70: D.Except for high school students, all applicants to a nursing education program shall be required to submit to a criminal background check prior to admission.
    3. Procedure: Criminal background checks and drug screens are required by clinical agencies used by Wytheville Community College for all Practical Nursing Program students. A criminal background check will be required by all non-high school students before entering the PNE classes. The criminal background check and drug screen will be performed by an approved third party vendor as designated by Wytheville Community College. Prospective students are responsible for completing the necessary forms and payment for the background check and drug screen. Anyone who does not pass the background check or drug screen will not be eligible to enroll in the PNE Program. If a change occurs at any time while the student is still enrolled in the program, the student will agree to resubmit, and incur the cost of, a background check and drug screen to the third party utilized by Wytheville Community College ( If the student fails to comply with this agreement, the student may not be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam according to the Virginia Board of Nursing Regulations.

Criminal background checks and drug screens must be performed every year while enrolled in the PNE Program.

For high school students, a criminal background check and drug screen will be required before entering clinical practicum.

Program Readmission: All Students who wish to return to the Practical Nursing Program must contact the program head in writing.

Students who withdraw or make a grade less that “C” in PNE courses must reenter the program and retake the affected course or courses the next time the courses are offered. Before readmission, students must have a WCC GPA of 2.5 or better, complete all developmental courses, update clinical eligibility forms, have current Healthcare Provider CPR card, complete criminal background and drug screens, complete a drug dosage and calculation review, and pass exams for all previous courses. Faculty may create an individualized developmental plan with additional requirements. Readmission to second year will be contingent on available clinical slots. Student must reapply by February 15 for summer and fall semester and deadlines established by program head for spring semester. Students are not eligible for readmission after two attempts; only extenuating circumstances may be considered by the Practical Nursing faculty committee. Any student who is eligible for readmission and has been out of the program for more than a year must repeat all PNE courses. Students who are withdrawn because of honor code violations are ineligible for readmission.

Special Accreditation Status: The program is approved by the Virginia Community College System and the Virginia State Board of Nursing.

NCLEX-PN Pass Rates

2022 92%
2021 72%
2020 80%
2019 85%
2018 80%
2017    100%   
2016 89%
2015 89%
2014 70 %
2013 91%
2012 80%
2011 71%

The following list is a suggested sequence in which students may plan their class schedules to ensure graduation in two years.

Suggested Credits for Semester: 7

Suggested Credits for Semester: 6

Year 2–Third Semester

Suggested Credits for Semester: 6

Suggested Credits for Semester: 17

Suggested Credits for Semester: 16

Total Minimum Credits Required for this Curriculum: 52

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