Practical Nursing (PN) Certificate

Practical Nursing (PNC) Certificate at Harper College

Become a practical nurse

Program facts  Education icon


  • Credit hours: 38
  • Stackable to degree: Yes
  • Career options: Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

Prepare to become a practical nurse with this 38-credit-hour certificate program, which will give you the skills needed to provide safe care for a diverse population of clients. Nursing is a rapidly growing field, and you’ll qualify for a wide variety of employment opportunities within the industry after graduating from this program.

Learn from highly trained faculty members who regularly engage in professional development opportunities to provide cutting-edge teaching methods and clinical information. Practice your skills in Harper College’s Nursing Laboratory, a state-of-the-art simulated clinical environment.

After completing this program, you’ll qualify to take the NCLEX-PN exam and apply for Illinois licensure as a practical nurse (LPN). You may also choose to continue your education and complete Harper College’s Nursing AAS Degree program. 

This is a limited-enrollment program. Please review this program's admission criteria and process (see below).

Certificate program requirements

This 38 credit-hour certificate program is designed to educate the student to become a practical nurse.

The Practical Nursing certificate qualifies the graduate to sit for the NCLEX-PN and application for Illinois licensure as a practical nurse. Legal limitations could prohibit an individual from taking this licensing examination. Questions regarding these restrictions should be directed to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations at 217.782.8556. Positions in practical nursing are available in a variety of health care settings.

Because of the nature of clinical experiences and individual instruction required in this program and specialized technology and equipment necessary to offer this program, a higher tuition rate is assessed for career specific courses. These include courses with the NUR prefix. Tuition for these courses in this program is 200 percent of the standard tuition rate.

Admission Requirements:

Practical Nursing is a limited enrollment program. Applicants must have completed a CNA program and be active on the Illinois Department of Public Health, Health Care Worker Registry. For admission requirements, please contact the Admission Outreach Office at 847.925.6700 or visit harpercollege.edu

Students who apply for this limited enrollment program are obligated to meet current admission requirements and follow program curriculum as defined at the time of acceptance to the program. Upon admission to the Practical Nursing Certificate, the mathematics requirement is met.

SUMMER SESSION:

A grade of C or better in all BIO and NUR courses is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits
BIO 160 4

Description: Introduces the anatomy of the human body; the following systems studied either regionally or systemically: integumentary, skeletal, articular, muscular, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory, digestive, excretory, endocrine and reproductive. Includes some introductory histology. Specially designed for students in health careers, biology, and physical education. Strongly recommended preparation: One year of high school biology with a grade of C or better taken within the last five years, or BIO 110. (NOTE: Lab science credit.)

Prerequisite: Placement into ENG 101. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf

PSY 101 3

Description: Investigates human and animal behavior with emphasis on the scientific nature of contemporary and classic psychological investigation. Emphasizes psychological theories, principles, and research applications. Introduces the divisions of the American Psychological Association. References biological processes, sensation, perception, learning, memory, thinking, emotional life, mental disorders, intelligence, aptitude, personality, development, daily life and everyday problems. IAI S6 900

FIRST SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all BIO and NUR courses is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits
BIO 161 4

Description: Emphasizes physiological principles at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and system level, as they pertain to the human organism. The following systems are studied in detail: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive and endocrine. In this course, special applications will be made to meet the needs of students in health careers, biology and physical education.(NOTE: Lab science credit.)

Prerequisite: BIO 160 with a grade of C or better, or consent of instructor.

ENG 101 3

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

NUR 101 4

Description: Introduces concepts as related to the practical nurse's role as a member of the discipline of nursing and a provider of care. Emphasizes the Neuman Systems Model, the nursing process, essential components of therapeutic communication, basic skills, and legal and ethical professional issues for the delivery of safe and competent care for diverse patients through lifespan. Provides theory and practice in assisting clients to meet basic needs.

Prerequisite: Admission into the Practical Nursing certificate program and BIO 160 and PSY 101 with grades of C or better and prior or concurrent enrollment in HSC 201, BIO 161 and ENG 101 with grades of C or better.

Corequisite: NUR 131.

NUR 131 3

Description: Provides the student with the opportunity to practice and apply basic knowledge and skills to the provision of client care in the laboratory and clinical setting. The course emphasizes the role of the practical nurse as this role relates to the Neuman Systems Model, the nursing process, essential components of therapeutic communication, basic skills, and legal and ethical professional issues for the delivery of safe and competent care for diverse patients through lifespan. Provides practice in assisting clients to meet basic needs.

Prerequisite: BIO 160 and PSY 101 with grades of C or better and prior or concurrent enrollment in BIO 161, ENG 101 and HSC 201 with grades of C or better, and admission into the Practical Nursing certificate program.

Corequisite: NUR 101.

HSC 201 2

Description: Builds on pharmacology content begun in previous coursework (either NUR 111 or HSC 165). Discusses pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the major classifications of medications at an advanced level in order to understand the pharmacological activity within each classification. Incorporates the principles of safe drug administration. NOTE: This course is designed for nursing students.

Prerequisite: BIO 135 and HSC 165, or BIO 160 and NUR 110 or HSC 112 and HSC 165 with grades of C or better or prior or concurrent enrollment in NUR 101 or admission into the Medical Corpsman–PNC Program.

SECOND SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all BIO and NUR courses is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits
NUR 102 2

Description: Focuses on the use of the nursing process to meet the needs of young adults and older adults by utilizing concepts from the Neuman Systems Model. Emphasis on the normal physiologic and psychosocial aspects of basic care needs as well as the common diseases specific to each client population.

Prerequisite: BIO 161, HSC 201, NUR 101 and NUR 131 with grades of C or better.

Corequisite: NUR 108 and NUR 132.

NUR 108 1

Description: Utilizes the Neuman Systems Model and the nursing process to provide client-centered nursing care for clients experiencing psychosocial issues/mental health disorders. Emphasizes health promotion concepts in the care of clients across the life cycle and the continuum of mental health care. Addresses various treatment modalities and interventions including those applicable to community-based care and long-term care.

Prerequisite: NUR 101 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: NUR 102

NUR 109 2

Description: Focuses on the use of the nursing process to meet the needs of childbearing and childrearing families including infants and children, by utilizing concepts from the Neuman Systems Model. Emphasis on the normal physiologic and psychosocial aspects of basic care needs as well as the common diseases specific to each client population.

Prerequisite: HSC 201, NUR 102 and NUR 132 with grades of C or better.

Corequisite: NUR 139.

NUR 132 2

Description: Provides the student with the opportunity to apply common disease concepts related to the care of the adult in the clinical setting. Emphasis is on the normal physiologic and psychosocial aspects of basic care needs as well as the common diseases specific to each client adult population.

Prerequisite: BIO 161, HSC 201, NUR 101, and NUR 131 with grades of C or better.

Corequisite: NUR 102 and NUR 108.

NUR 139 2

Description: Focuses on the application the nursing process to meet the needs of childbearing and childrearing families including infants and children, by utilizing concepts from the Neuman Systems Model. Emphasis on the normal physiologic and psychosocial aspects of basic care needs as well as the common diseases specific to each client population. Selected clinical experiences in the areas, where practical nurses can be employed.

Prerequisite: HSC 201, NUR 102, and NUR 132 with grades of C or better.

Corequisite: NUR 109.

PSY 228 3

Description: Investigates the psychological development of humans from conception to death, through grief and bereavement. Investigates the theories, empirically derived science and principles of developmental researchers and developmental psychologists. Emphasizes cultural and/or international contexts as well as normative and non-normative patterns of development. Discusses mortality throughout the life-span. Integrates developmental psychopathologies. IAI S6 902

Prerequisite: PSY 101 or consent of instructor.

SUMMER SESSION:

A grade of C or better in all BIO and NUR courses is required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits
NUR 104 3

Description: Utilizes the nursing process and the Neuman Systems Model to provide care for clients with commonly occurring problems causing health interferences. Provides opportunity for supervised experience as a member of the nursing care team in health care settings, assuming the role and responsibilities of the practical nurse.

Prerequisite: NUR 102, NUR 108, NUR 109, NUR 132 and NUR 139 with grades of C or better.

Program learning outcomes

  • Provide safe care for a diverse population of clients
  • Utilize critical thinking skills to collaborate with members of the health care team in the evaluation of client responses.
  • Communicate with clients, families and members of the health care team.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and other disciplines in health care to promote wellness.
  • Apply Practical Nursing skills in compliance with legal, ethical and professional standards.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning, by questioning the basis for nursing actions based on research.

Student achievement outcome data

Practical Nursing Certificate Program 

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

Students Completing the Practical Nursing Certificate Program

26

19

16

 40

1st Time Pass Rate on NCLEX-PN Licensure Exam 

100%
(27/27)

95%
(18/19)

100%
(16/16)

100%
(40/40) 

Graduates obtaining a job

100%

100%

100%

100% 

PN NCLEX Pass Rate State Board .PDF

The Practical Nurse Certificate (PNC) program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The next evaluation will be Spring 2022.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road NE
Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
Phone: 404.975.5000
Fax: 404.975.5020

Nursing Program approved by:
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
320 West Washington
Springfield, IL 62786

Admission criteria and process

Please note: This program has selective admission requirements.

Status Start Term Application Window
Closed Summer 2018 October 1, 2017–March 15, 2018

Steps to prepare for application to this limited enrollment program:

  1. Attend the Health Care Careers Information Meeting (optional)
  2. Review program and policy information
  3. Learn about admission requirements
  4. Apply to Harper if you have not previously done so

Please note: Information provided on this page is subject to change.

Related programs

Students interested in nursing may also be interested in:

Resources

Next steps

For more information about nursing courses at Harper College, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.