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    Apr 15, 2024  
2022-23 Academic Catalog 
2022-23 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Practical Nursing, Certificate

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This is a G3 eligible program.  Click here to learn more.

This certificate is designed to prepare beginning practitioners with the knowledge and skill to care for patients of all age groups and to qualify as contributing members of the health care team. Students who successfully complete the curriculum are awarded a certification in practical nursing and are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) leading to a license as a practical nurse.

APPROVAL: The Practical Nursing program is approved by the VCCS and the Virginia Board of Nursing.


  1. Application to Laurel Ridge Community College and to the nursing program
  2. Laurel Ridge Community College placement tests (if required) and completion of any developmental work that may be identified by the placement test. Must show proficiency in MDE 10  or eligibility for MTH 154  and readiness for ENG 111 .
  3. Graduation from high school or satisfactory completion of the certificate of general education development (GED or equivalent); official copy required.
  4. Meet certain computer competencies prior to entering the nursing program. Applicants are required to review and sign the “Essential Computer Competency Checklist.” Students without the required skill set are encouraged to enroll in ITE 152 , CSC 110  or equivalent.
  5. A GPA of 2.5 or higher based on a minimum of the 12 most recent college credits or high school units completed by the end of summer semester prior to submitting a nursing application.
  6. Completion of required HESI admission assessment exam components scoring at or above the 45th percentile in each required component which includes reading comprehension, anatomy and physiology, math, critical thinking, and the composite score.
    • HESI critical thinking exam learning style and personality profile are also included in the required HESI admission exam.
    • Two attempts on the admission exam are permitted per application cycle.
    • Nursing entrance exams are good for two (2) years only.
  7. If current CNA - evidence of a current restricted CNA license.
  8. Submit official transcripts from other institutions to the Laurel Ridge Community College Records Office for evaluation for transfer credit.  Official transcript from the other institutions must be submitted with the application.
  9. Admission requirements must be completed by spring application, including remedial work for Math or English.

Upon acceptance to the PN program the student MUST:

  • Submit a completed physical history and examination, including immunizations.
  • Provide proof of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by the American Heart Association/Healthcare Provider Course.
  • Complete a criminal background check and drug screening conducted by the college-designated contractor. The costs of the background check and drug screen are the responsibility of the student. Failure to pass either will prevent student from clinical requirements, which will prevent student from being accepted into PNE course.
  • Comply with all rules and guidelines of the Laurel Ridge Community College Nursing Student Handbook and the Laurel Ridge Community College Student Handbook.
  • Sign an agreement which releases all clinical agencies and their employees, Laurel Ridge Community College, The Virginia Community College System and the Commonwealth of Virginia from any liability for any injury or death to the student or damage to his/her property arising out of agreement of use of facilities associated with the nursing program
  • Nursing students enrolled in nursing courses are required to show evidence of health insurance and maintain their health insurance throughout the program. Students may purchase health insurance from independent providers.
  • Students must comply with all clinical agreement protocols including immunization requirements, drug screening, background checks, and personal health insurance.


  1. Completion of a minimum of 47 credits with a “C” or better in all general education and nursing courses, to include the Preceptorship clinical experience in PNE 164 .
  2. Demonstrate satisfactory attendance and performance in the nursing clinical areas. Virginia Board of Nursing requires at least 400 hours of clinical experience for licensure with a satisfactory grade of “C” or better.
  3. Must provide own transportation to and from classes and to agencies used for clinical experiences.
  4. Student is responsible for all fees charged in purchasing required testing, health insurance, uniforms, books, immunizations, criminal background search and drug screen.
  5. Strict adherence to attendance and performance policies for classroom and clinical courses as outlined in the Nursing Student Handbook and Laurel Ridge Community College Student Handbook.

Formal Acceptance into the Practical Nursing Program is required before registering for any of the PNE courses.

The following courses may be completed prior to acceptance into the Practical Nursing Program: SDV 101 /SDV 100 , ENG 111 , BIO 145  or BIO 141  and BIO 142  (BIO 141  and BIO 142  are strongly encouraged for nursing students and are required for continuing nursing education), PSY 230 .

Pre-Nursing students are strongly encouraged to attend a nursing information session. Dates are posted on the website

Certificate Curriculum

Semester Total: 19 Credits

Semester Total: 15 Credits

Semester Total: 13 Credits

Program Total: 47 Credits

BIO 141  and BIO 142  are strongly encouraged for nursing student and are required for continuing nursing education.
2 PSY 230  must be completed with a “C” or better before enrolling in the 2nd semester PNE courses.

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