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Practical Nursing

Curriculum Description

The Practical Nursing curriculum provides knowledge and skills to integrate safety and quality into nursing care to meet the needs of the holistic individual which impact health, quality of life, and achievement of potential. Course work includes and builds upon the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual. Content emphasizes safe, individualized nursing care and participation in the interdisciplinary team while employing evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Employment opportunities include hospitals, rehabilitation/long term care/home health facilities, clinics, and physicians’ offices.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Participate in evaluating the concepts of the holistic individual and client response in the promotion of health, wellness, illness, quality of life, and the achievement of potential.
  • Practice professional nursing behaviors, within the ethical-legal practice boundaries of the LPN, incorporating personal responsibility and accountability for continued competence.
  • Participate in providing evidence-based nursing care, from an established plan of care, based on biophysical, psychosocial and cultural needs of clients in various stages of growth and development while assisting them to attain their highest level of wellness.
  • Reinforce and/or implement the teaching plan developed and delegated by the registered nurse to promote the health of individuals, incorporating teaching and learning principles.
  • Participate in the nursing process to provide individualized, safe and effective nursing care in a structured setting under supervision.
  • Demonstrate caring behaviors in implementing culturally-competent, client-centered nursing care to diverse clients across the lifespan.
  • Participate in Quality Improvement (QI) by identifying hazards and errors and by suggesting, to the RN, changes to improve the client care process.
  • Utilize informatics to access, manage, and communicate client information.
  • Participate in collaboration with the interdisciplinary healthcare team, as assigned by the registered nurse, to support positive individual and organizational outcomes in a safe and cost effective manner

What is the first step to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse?

Students interested in the program will begin in Pre-Health Sciences in order to qualify to apply for admission into the Practical Nurse Program. Students accepted into the PN program must be listed on the NC Nurse Aid Registry (NCNAR) by the start of class for the first semester of the program. The Director may allow exceptions to this policy in cases of extenuating circumstances on an individual basis. After completion of the 1 year Practical Nurse Program, graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Successfully passing the NCLEX-PN provides graduates with a license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

After Graduation

Graduates are able to obtain jobs at locations such as:

  • Medical clinics
  • Hospice
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation, Long-term Care, or Home Health Facilities
  • Physician's offices
  • Mental Health facilities
  • When and where are classes and clinical's scheduled?

    Class times may vary each semester. In general, there are two class days and two clinical days per week. Most classes are held in the morning with labs and clinical lasting until the late afternoon.

    All lecture and lab instruction is held on the Rutherford Learning Center (RLC) campus (top floor of the building on the right). Classroom instruction is held in Room 304. Lab instruction is held in Room 306. Computer-based class assignments and all course exams are held in Room 310. Clinical's are held off-campus at local health care facilities. 

    Clinical opportunities are scheduled in Rutherford, Polk, Burke, Cleveland, and McDowell counties. Students report to area hospitals, clinics, and long term care facilities. We cannot promise to place you in clinical close to your home. In addition, we cannot promise that students who ride-share will be placed at the same clinical site. 

  • Are any of the classes taught on-line?

    Practical Nursing program courses typically meet face-to-face on campus. However, many course components and assignments are online. Students are required to have an Isothermal email account and access to Moodle for each class.

  • Are the classes and clinical taught on the same days and times each semester?

    Class and clinical days and times may change each semester. The class will either be on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. The lab and clinical days will be the opposite. For example, if class is on M/W, then clinical will be on T/Th. Due to scheduling, please expect an occasional Friday class or clinical.

  • Do I have to purchase the same uniform as other students?

    All students accepted into the PN program are expected to wear the PN program clinical uniform. Each student will be given a list of the items required. The uniform must be purchased through SDF Fashions, Shelby. Other items can be purchased here as well or wherever the student chooses.

  • Do I have to purchase my own health and malpractice insurance?

    Health Insurance: Is not required for our program, but you are still responsible for any health care costs related to any accident or injury that may occur in a clinical setting. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students have personal health insurance. 

    Malpractice Insurance: Malpractice insurance is provided for you by Isothermal Community College while you are a student. 

  • Do I have to complete a criminal background check?

    Yes, that information will be given to you after acceptance into the program. Isothermal Community College does not require a criminal background check for admission into the program. However, to attend clinical, students must complete a criminal background check and drug screen. Clinical agencies may disallow attendance at their facility based on results of the background report and drug screen. Any student who is refused by a clinical site for any reason will not be allowed continue in the nursing course. To practice nursing in North Carolina, a nurse must have a background report free of activity related to abuse, fraud, illicit substances, etc. If you have questions regarding this, you may contact the NC Board of Nursing (NCBON).

  • Are computer skills required?

    Yes, you must be able to successfully navigate Moodle and other computer systems required by the program. You will be required to complete a computer tutorial at the beginning to assess/confirm your computer knowledge. 

    If you do not own a computer, you may be able purchase one in the ICC Bookstore with your financial aid. Computers are also available for loan from the college. In addition, students may use the computer lab on the RLC Campus or on the main campus.

  • How do i ensure my success in the PN program?

    The PN program is academically challenging and time consuming. You will need to fully commit yourself to your success. Here are our strongest recommendations:

    • Create a reading/study calendar and stick with it.
    • Complete the assigned reading BEFORE class.
    • Devote three hours of your time per week for reading and studying for each one hour you spend in class. For a class that meets six hours per week, this will be approximately 18 hours. This does not include time spent on specific course assignments.
    • Do as many practice questions as possible per day. Do these before each exam.
    • Teach someone else what you are learning.
    • Learn the medical prefixes, suffixes, and root- words.
    • Seek help. Ask for assistance with academic, school, and personal issues. Take advantage of the ICC math and writing labs.

Contact for information

Health and Public Services
Health and Public Services

Office: 828-395-1668
Department Directory

Office hours

8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Subject to change depending on availability.

Stephanie Denison
Director of Practical Nurse Education
sdenison@isothermal.edu
828-395-1762

Tina Porter
Pre-Health Sciences Nursing Advisor
tporter@isothermal.edu
828-395-1621