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Hagerstown Community College / HCC

Academic Catalog

2023-2024 Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing (Practical Nursing), Certificate

The Practical Nursing Certificate program is designated as a Health Manpower Shortage Program; therefore, some residents of Maryland enrolled in this program of study on the first day of the term may be eligible for in-county tuition rates for courses required for program completion.

Special Admission Requirements: Application Deadline: March 15 

Purpose: For students who wish to complete a certificate program in practical nursing. The nursing program is approved by the Maryland State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The nursing program is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skill, and understanding necessary to function effectively in all areas of practical nursing. Graduates of the nursing program are eligible to apply to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Students must have a social security and tax I.D. number to sit for this exam.

Curriculum: The curriculum is divided into several broad areas of study and consists of lecture, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Emphasis is on providing basic nursing care to assist persons with acute and chronic health problems in a variety of settings.

Program Outcomes

  1. Seventy percent or greater of practical nursing program students will complete the nursing program in no more than 100% of the stated program length beginning with the enrollment in the first nursing course.
  2. Seventy-five percent of the graduate survey respondents at nine months after graduation express satisfaction within the nursing program. 
  3. Ninety percent or greater of a graduate survey respondents will be employed as an entry-level practitioner within 6 months of graduation.
  4. Seventy five percent of the graduate survey respondents will express satisfaction with curriculum, environment, learning resources, support services, and policies.
  5. Eighty-five percent or greater of the program graduates will pass the NCLEX on their first attempt. 

Program Student Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the program, graduates of the Practical Nursing Program will be able to:

  1. Use the nursing process to identify the interrelationship among the person, the environment, health, and the role of nursing. 
  2. Contribute to the development of the nursing plan of care using the application of knowledge, judgment, principles of communication, specialized skills, creative problem solving, and critical thinking. 
  3. Practice within the ethical and legal framework of the nursing profession.
  4. Manage and provide care with and across healthcare settings under supervision and according to the LPN scope of practice.

Pre-Admission Requirement: Students must complete the nationally normed test for nursing students known as the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). The TEAS is a scholastic aptitude assessment in the areas of math, reading, English, and science. Students will not be considered for admission to the program until they achieve the required scores on the TEAS. Applicants should consult the HCC Web site at for specific information about the TEAS, including score requirements. This requirement should be completed prior to submission of the Supplemental Application (see below), but no later than the application deadline of March 15.

Admission Requirements: Admission to HCC does not guarantee admission to the Division of Nursing. The requirements below must be completed and submitted to the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Management by the application deadline. 

  • All students planning on applying to the Practical Nursing program must watch the Nursing Preview video. Follow the instructions in the Nursing Preview video on how to document that you have watched the video before the Supplemental Application deadline.   Students who are transferring credits in who have completed a nursing class at another accredited college are exempt from watching this video. Students who have only completed a CNA class must watch this video. View the Nursing Preview video here
  • An official copy of a high school transcript or GED scores
  • A completed program application known as the Supplemental Application for the Practical Nursing Program form
  • Official TEAS scores must be submitted. Official score reports are required for TEAS taken at locations other than the HCC Testing Center. Students who do take the TEAS at HCC are encouraged to bring a copy of the scores or email the scores to the HCC Admissions Office. Applicants will not be considered for admission to the program until they achieve a 69% or higher on the Adjusted Individual Score for Reading and an Adjusted Individual Total Score of at least 60%.  TEAS scores are valid for three years from the testing date.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended even if the courses taken are not directly applicable to the PN program. HCC calculates cumulative GPA from all college coursework as part of the scoring process (students who took classes at HCC do not need to submit official HCC transcripts).  All transcripts must be complete and show grades or outcomes for each class taken or the status of in-progress for classes that are in-progress at the application deadline.
  • Completion of BIO 203  at the application deadline
  • Completion or in progress of BIO 204  at the application deadline
  • Completion of all required science courses within seven years prior to the application deadline
  • Completion or in progress of ENG 101  at the application deadline (ENG 101E  and ENG 101P  are approved substitutions for ENG 101) 
  • Completion or in progress of PSY 101  at the application deadline
  • Completion or in progress of MAT 090  or MAT 095  at the application deadline or eligibility to enter college level Math
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average for all college coursework of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale 
  • A grade of “C” or higher is required for all general education requirements. If a student has a grade below a “C”, they are not eligible to be scored until that grade is replace with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Foreign educated students must have their college and high school transcripts evaluated by World Education Services (WES)
  • The Practical Nursing program is a Maryland Health Manpower Shortage program.  All students who apply for this program must be eligible to work in the State of Maryland at the application deadline and while enrolled in the program.

Program Requirements: Students practice skills and procedures in the college laboratory. All nursing students must receive:

  1. A minimum overall grade of 75% in each nursing course. Two final course grades below a 75% means dismissal from the nursing program and the student cannot continue or reapply to the PN program for 5 years.
  2. A minimum exam grade average of 75% in each nursing course.
  3. A minimum grade of 90% on a drug calculation exam in each nursing course.
  4. A mark of satisfactory for both the laboratory and clinical experiences. Students who receive an unsatisfactory laboratory or clinical experience, or fail the drug calculation exam, despite a passing theory grade, will not be permitted to progress in the nursing program and will receive a final grade of “F” for the course.

Students who do not meet program or course standards that result in dismissal from the nursing program are not eligible for readmission. This includes students who cannot meet safety standards, and students who violate the college’s Honor Code and Code of Conduct, the nursing program’s Standards of Student Conduct, and the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses’ Association Code of Ethics.

Fact Sheet

Program Requirements (42 credits)

*A minimum overall grade of 75% in each nursing (NUR) course and a minimum grade of “C” or better in BIO 203 , BIO 204  , ENG 101 , and PSY 101  is required. Two final nursing (NUR) course grades below a 75% means dismissal from the nursing program and the student cannot continue or reapply to the PN program for 5 years.

Certificate Requirement (42 Credits)

Selection Criteria

Students will be admitted to the practical nursing program each summer. The program is an oversubscribed program which means that there are more applicants than there are available seats in the program. Students are selected for admission based on their TEAS scores, completed required general education courses, and cumulative grade point average. Students who have been accepted for admission will be notified of the decision by mail. The offer of admission is for the specified year only.

Those students not admitted to the class will be placed on a standby list until June 1. The standby list is dissolved after this date, and students who desire admission to the practical nursing program in a subsequent year, must fill out another Supplemental Application for the Practical Nursing Program form and follow the admission guidelines above.

Final Acceptance

Final acceptance into the program is contingent upon the following criteria.  Students unable to meet these criteria will be withdrawn from the program and the seat filled by a student from the standby list.

  1. Those students accepted into the program must submit a $50 enrollment deposit when accepting their spot in the program. This deposit will be applied to your tuition for the semester and is not refundable. 
  2. ENG 101  (ENG 101E  and ENG 101P  are approved substitutions for ENG 101)BIO 204 , PSY 101  and MAT 090 MAT 095 , or eligibility to enter college level math with a grade of “C” or better must be completed or in progress at the application deadline. Students must have completed BIO 203  prior to the spring semester in the same year. 
  3. Students must pass a dosage calculation exam with a score of 90% or above.
  4. Students must successfully pass a drug screen and criminal background check.
  5. Students must be able to meet the program’s technical standards.
  6. Satisfactory completion of a health examination record and all required tests and immunizations.
  7. Current American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR certification.

Criminal Background Checks

All nursing students who are offered admission to the nursing program will be required to complete a criminal background check. A separate criminal background check may also be required by a clinical site prior to beginning a clinical experience. Criminal background check results are disclosed to clinical facilities as required. If a student is denied access by a clinical site because of the background check, and as a result, cannot meet program requirements, the student may be dismissed from the nursing program.

Individuals applying to take the NCLEX - PN exam may be required to submit to an additional criminal background check depending upon the state in which the individual seeks licensure. State boards of nursing may deny an individual the opportunity to sit for an examination, or grant licensure, even if the individual has completed all course work and graduated from the program, if the individual has a criminal history, has been convicted, or pleads guilty, or nolo contendere to a felony or other serious crime. A valid government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, passport, military ID, or green card) is required for a background check. Prior criminal records may prohibit students from clinical program placement, becoming licensed, or employment opportunities. 

Drug Screen

All nursing students who are offered admission to the nursing program will be required to submit to a drug screen. Drug screen results are disclosed to clinical facilities as required. A random drug screen may also be requested at any time during the nursing program if a nursing faculty member or a clinical facility representative has reasonable cause to suspect that a student is impaired and poses a safety concern to patients or others. If a student is denied access by a clinical site because of drug screen results, and as such, cannot meet program requirements, the student may be dismissed from the nursing program.

Readmission to the Nursing Program

Students who fail NUR 111  and desire readmission to the program must reapply as a first time student according to the standards listed above. Students who withdraw from or fail NUR 112 , NUR 113 , NUR 114 , and NUR 115 , and desire readmission to the practical nursing program, must submit their request in writing to the Director, Nursing Division within 60 days of withdrawal or unsuccessful completion of the course. In addition, students who fail a course because of failing the course’s required drug calculation exam are required to successfully complete a drug calculation exam for readmission to the program. Readmission cannot be assured and is based on the availability of seats, faculty, and clinical facilities. Readmission to the nursing program must take place within one year of leaving the program. The curriculum under which a student seeks readmission may be different from the one under which the student left. Students who are accepted for readmission must complete the degree requirements in place at the time of readmission. Students who fail or withdraw from a nursing course after readmission are not eligible to return a second time and can reapply to the nursing program after 5 years.

Transfer from Other Colleges

Students transferring to HCC from other colleges who seek admission as a first time student into the practical nursing program must be enrolled as an HCC student and complete the Supplemental Application for the Practical Nursing Program form by the established deadline dates. In order to be considered for admission, students must meet the same requirements as other first time students and will be selected according to the same criteria. Official transcripts from all colleges attended must be received by the application deadline. A transfer evaluation will be done on all transcripts by the Registrar to determine which courses a student may transfer to HCC for credit. Required science courses that are older than seven years must be repeated.  

Transfer to Associate Degree Nursing Programs

Licensed Practical Nurses with an active, unencumbered Maryland or compact LPN license articulating to the Associate Degree level are awarded a maximum of one year of nursing courses in the program they are entering, following successful completion of the program’s transition course(s), if required (

Technical Standards

There are technical standards and skill requirements which students are expected to possess and demonstrate in order to be successful in this program. More information on these standards can be found on the Web page for this program.