Students in class

Practical Nursing


PURPOSE: The Practical Nursing Certificate is designed to prepare a nurse who participates as an integral member of the nursing or health care team involved in health promotion and maintenance activities for the client. The practical nurse provides direct care for individual clients experiencing common, well-defined health problems with predictable outcomes, in structured health care settings with supervision. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the student will be eligible to take the national examination for licensure as a Practical Nurse (LPN).

OCCUPATIONAL OBJECTIVES: Licensed Practical Nurse positions in long-term care, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other comparable structured health care facilities and agencies

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: General college curricular admission, plus program-specific requirements (critical information below).

PROGRAM NOTES: Students must have a high school diploma, GED, or certificate of completion of home schooling to apply to the Practical Nursing Certificate.

The following steps must be completed to submit an application to the Practical Nursing program:

  1. Submit official high school transcript, GED, or certificate of completion of home schooling to Central Admissions & Records.
  2. Provide evidence of current certification as a Nurse Aide in Virginia, with no practice restrictions.
  3. Demonstrate competency through MTE level 5, through the placement and diagnostic tests or by satisfactorily completing the required MTE units or equivalent.
  4. Submit official college transcripts, if applicable, to Central Admissions & Records. Courses taken at other colleges that contain equivalent content and credits may transfer to satisfy a program requirement. If a student has attended another VCCS college, a Request for an Evaluation of a VCCS Transcript form (#11-0036) must be submitted with the Application for Admission to the college. This form can be found under student forms on
  5. If a non-native English speaker, complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) with a standard score of 84 or above and minimum speaking score of 26. Completion of ENG 111 does not satisfy this requirement.

    • These scores are based on recommendations from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for the level of English proficiency required to perform entry-level nursing safely and effectively.
    • Any non-native English speakers who do not take the TOEFL iBT and are determined to be unable to understand and speak English at the required proficiency will be dismissed from the nursing program.
    • TOEFL iBT scores are valid for two years.
  6. Attend a Practical Nursing information session within six (6) months of applying to the Practical Nursing program. This is the only way to obtain an Application to the Practical Nursing program. Information session dates are posted online at
  7. Complete BIO 141, ENG 111, PSY 230, and SDV 100 with a grade of "C" or above.
  8. Achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, with a curricular GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  9. Complete the Kaplan Test, which is free and available through the Reynolds Testing Center.  Testing center dates and times are provided at  The Kaplan Test may be repeated once.  After the second attempt, a student must wait at least 24 months before reattempting. A Kaplan Test study guide may be purchased in the Reynolds Bookstore.
  10. Submit a completed application to the Practical Nursing Admission Specialist. The application deadline for Fall 2018 will be published on the program website. Accepted students will be notified of a mandatory orientation session to be scheduled during the summer. 

Admission Process:  Admission will be ranked based on Kaplan admission scores. The required math score is weighted 30 percent; the reading score is weighted 30 percent; the science score is weighted 30 percent; and the writing score is weighted 10 percent. These sub-scores are combined to create an applicant’s "admission score” for ranking. 

Accepted students will receive additional information related to program requirements to complete prior to enrollment during the mandatory orientation session.  These include the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Evidence of immunity to Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, and Hepatitis B, and evidence of Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Immunization within the past seven (7) years.
  • Tuberculosis screening, with negative results (two-step process)
  • Annual flu vaccination
  • American Heart Association BLS Certification for Health Care Providers (C.P.R.)
  • Background check
  • Drug screening

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS: The Virginia Board of Nursing has the authority to deny licensure to an applicant who has violated any of the provisions of 54-367.32 of the Code of Virginia. Health care agencies used for clinical learning experiences also have the right to deny a student participation in direct patient care. Any student entering the program who has committed illegal offenses other than minor traffic violations should discuss these matters with the program head for clarification prior to admission. Criminal background checks are required of all applicants to the Practical Nursing program. Inability of a student to be placed in a clinical site due to a negative background check will result in removal from the program.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF CLINICAL FACILITIES: Clinical facilities used by the program have additional requirements for students that include updated immunizations, dress codes, and compliance with professional standards. In general, contracts include the following:

  1. Clinical agencies reserve the right to dismiss a student from their agency at any time with good cause. This will be done with advance notice except in an emergency.
  2. Compliance with Practical Nursing Dress Code standard.
  3. Maintaining all published hospital policies.
  4. Compliance with health care agency physical exam, immunization, TB, and flu requirements.
  5. The student releases the facility, its agents, and its employees from any liability for any injury or death to self or damage to personal property arising out of the clinical agreement or use of the facility. (Assumption of Risk document is signed and on file once the student is accepted into the program.)
  6. The student is financially responsible for any medical care that may be required while in the clinical setting.
  7. The student must maintain a current American Heart Association BLS Certification for Health Care Providers.
  8. Completion of the required criminal background check and drug screen and any re-screening as identified.  

FUNCTIONAL SKILLS REQUIREMENTS: Students entering the Practical Nursing program must possess the following functional skills:

  1. Sufficient eyesight to observe patients, read records, manipulate equipment, and visually monitor patients in dim light;
  2. Sufficient hearing to communicate with patients and members of a health care delivery team, monitor patients using electronic equipment, hear a patient’s whisper, and hear necessary sounds during operation of equipment;
  3. Satisfactory speaking, reading, and writing skills to communicate effectively in English in a timely manner;
  4. Sufficient bilateral finger dexterity to manipulate equipment;
  5. Ability to lift, stoop, or bend in the delivery of safe nursing care;
  6. Satisfactory physical strength and endurance to stand for extended periods, push equipment, and move immobile patients; and
  7. Satisfactory intellectual and emotional functioning to ensure patient safety and to exercise independent judgment and discretion in performing assigned tasks.


  1. A minimum grade of "C" is required for all courses in the Practical Nursing curriculum.  A "C" is equal to 80% in courses carrying a PNE prefix.
  2. Students must obtain permission from the program head to continue in the program under the following conditions:
    • repeating a nursing course with a grade below "C"
    • withdrawing form a nursing course for any reason
  3. In accordance with VCCS policy, a student is limited to two attempts of the same course.
  4. Additional policies for the program are listed in the Practical Nursing Student Handbook, which is given to students at the mandatory orientation.

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM: The college offers this program in affiliation with the health care agencies and practitioners in the communities the college serves. The college relies on its community affiliates to provide clinical education opportunities for its students, expert clinical preceptors, and course instructors for many courses. The often rapid changes in health care law, standards of practice, technology, and content of credentialing examinations increasingly necessitate sudden changes in the program’s course content, policies, procedures, and course scheduling. As a result, the college cannot guarantee every student continuous and uninterrupted clinical and course instruction as outlined in the printed catalog curriculum for this program. Circumstances beyond the control of the college may necessitate the postponement of course offerings or changes in the sequencing and/or location of scheduled courses or clinical assignments. Additionally, the college may have to change the instructor for courses after instruction has started.

COMPUTER COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT: All applicants to the Practical Nursing program must either pass the computer competency exam, administered in the testing centers at each campus, or successfully complete ITE 115 or CSC 155. Students not passing the computer competency exam may retake the exam only once. Students who do not pass the exam after retaking it once must then complete ITE 115 or CSC 155.


Tuition (48 credits @ $162.85/credit)* $7,816.80
Books, equipment, supplies 900.00
Special testing across the curriculum 500.00
Uniforms and shoes 220.00
Background, drug screening, and electronic document manager   225.00
Health requirements 100.00 – 400.00
Licensure applications 425.00
Travel to clinical sites Variable
TOTAL $10,186.80 – $10,486.80 

*Please note that tuition may change.

NCLEX-PN LICENSURE EXAMINATION PASS RATES:  NCLEX-PN licensure examination pass rates for Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses are provided below for 2012 – 2017:

Year Enrolled Completion NCLEX_PN Pass Rate
2016 - 2017 17 15 93.8%
2015 - 2016 19 9 100%
2014 - 2015 20 8 81.25%
2013 - 2014 20 15 82.76%
2012 - 2013 28 20 75%

The Practical Nursing program prepares students to practice in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community as demonstrated by the college and community demographic data.  And, upon successful completion of the program, a student will be able to:

  1. Use the nursing process to meet common health needs of individuals, families, and the community across the life span in a variety of health care settings and utilize information technology appropriate to the facility;
  2. Provide safe nursing care based on application of values and principles from natural, scientific, humanities, and nursing theories that will lead to achievement of an optimum level of wellness;
  3. Provide individualized caring interventions to multi-cultural, multi-ethnic clients with multiple bio-psycho-social-spiritual needs;
  4. Demonstrate therapeutic communication in the delivery of care to clients across the life span and documentation of client responses through appropriate channels while maintaining confidentiality;
  5. Assist with nursing care in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment through planning, coordination, and effective communication;
  6. Implement a multifaceted, multisensory approach to the principles of teaching and learning in providing health education to clients across the life span;
  7. Utilize the nursing process, critical thinking strategies, and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to prioritize nursing care along the health/illness continuum throughout the life span;
  8. Integrate critical thinking and evidence-based practice in clinical decision-making for clients in a variety of health care settings;
  9. Assume responsibility for lifelong learning and personal development as a professional nurse, member of the health care team, and a contributing citizen within the community;
  10. Demonstrate the application of legal and ethical values and principles and regulatory boundaries of the practical nurse;
  11. Meet the criteria to apply to take the NCLEX-PN exam; and
  12. Meet prospective employer criteria to assume an entry-level position as a practical nurse.

GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION: Please see to access gainful employment disclosure information for this program.


The Practical Nursing Certificate is undergoing curriculum revisions at the state level. Approval of the new curriculum will be accompanied by other revisions. It is anticipated that the revised program will begin enrolling students in the summer or fall semester of 2018.  The new, approved curriculum and other revisions for the program will be posted on as soon as available.




PNE 116 Normal Nutrition (1 cr.)

Introduces the basic principles of good nutrition. Studies nutrients, their sources and functions, and basic requirements for individuals. Includes a brief introduction to diet therapy. Prerequisites: BIO 141, SDV 100, and admission to the Practical Nursing program. Prerequisites or co-requisites: ENG 111 and BIO 142. Co-requisite: PNE 161. Lecture 1 hour per week.

PNE 161 Nursing in Health Changes I (7 cr.)

Focuses on nursing situations and procedures necessary to assist individuals in meeting special needs related to human functions. Prerequisites: BIO 141 and SDV 100 with a grade of C or above in each course and acceptance into the Practical Nursing Certificate. Prerequisites or Co-requisites: ENG 111 and BIO 142. Co-requisite: PNE 173. Lecture 4 hours. Laboratory 9 hours. Total 13 hours per week.

PNE 162 Nursing in Health Changes II 1(1 cr.)

Continues the focus on nursing situations and procedures necessary to assist individuals in meeting special needs related to human functions. Prerequisites: SDV 100, BIO 141, BIO 142, ENG 111, PNE 161, and PNE 173 with a grade of C or above. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: PSY 230. Co-requisite: PNE 116. Lecture 6 hours. Laboratory 15 hours. Total 21 hours per week.

PNE 163 Nursing in Health Changes III (8 cr.)

Continues the focus on nursing situations and procedures necessary to assist individuals in meeting special needs related to human functions. Prerequisites: Completion of BIO 141, BIO 142, SDV 100, ENG 111, PNE 173, PNE 161, PNE 162, PNE 116, and PSY 230 with a grade of C or above. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: ITE 115. Co-requisite: PNE 296. Lecture 5 hours. Laboratory 9 hours. Total 14 hours per week.

PNE 173 Pharmacology for Practical Nurses (2 cr.)

Studies history, classification, sources, effects, uses, and legalities of drugs. Teaches problem-solving skills used in medication administrations. Emphasizes major drug classes and specific agents within each class. Prerequisites: Successful completion of Level 1 courses (PNE 161, PNE 116, BIO 142, ENG 111) with a grade of C or above in each identified course. Co-requisite: PNE 162. Lecture 2 hours per week.

PNE 296 Practical Nursing On-Site Training: Capstone Course (2 cr.)

Enables students to participate in a career orientation and training program without pay in selected businesses that is supervised and coordinated by the college. Provides students an opportunity to summarize and apply what has been learned as a result of successful enrollment in the Practical Nursing program. Prerequisites: Successful completion of BIO 141, SDV 100, BIO 142, ENG 111, PNE 173, PNE 161, PNE 162, PNE 116, and PSY 230. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: ITE 115. Co-requisite: PNE 163. Lecture 1 hour. Laboratory 3 hours. Total 4 hours per week.

Name Program Email Phone
Christina Blottner Practical Nursing C 804/523-5015
Catherine Moore Practical Nursing C 804/523-5759
Carolyn Parrish Practical Nursing C 804/523-5626
Melinda Ripley Practical Nursing C 804/523-5762
Lisa Stone Practical Nursing C 804/523-5758
Hilda Taylor Practical Nursing C 804/523-5160
Rebecca Thompson Practical Nursing C 804/523-5536
Christina Blottner Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5015
Catherine Moore Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5759
Carolyn Parrish Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5626
Melinda Ripley Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5762
Lisa Stone Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5758
Hilda Taylor Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5160
Rebecca Thompson Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5536


Common Job Titles1: Charge Nurse; Clinic Licensed Practical Nurse (CLINIC LPN); Clinic Nurse; Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN); Licensed Practical Nurse, Clinic Nurse (LPN, Clinic Nurse); Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN); Office Nurse; Pediatric Licensed Practical Nurse (PEDIATRIC LPN); Private Duty Nurse; Triage Licensed Practical Nurse (TRIAGE LPN)

Labor Market Statistics (Richmond, MSA)

Projected number of jobs by 2026: 3,580

Current Wage Range (Entry - Experienced): $32,600 - $44,000

Bright Outlook Bright Outlook occupations are expected to have rapid growth over the next 10-years (employment increase of 14% or more over the period of 2016-2026), are expected to have a high demand (projected to have 500 or more job openings in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2016-2026), or are new and emerging occupations in high growth industries.

1 This program may prepare you for one or more of the listed jobs; however, graduates may not be qualified for all of the jobs listed in this section.

Reynolds Community College makes every attempt to provide students with the best, most accurate information possible. The data was sourced from external agencies (O*NET and JobsEQ) on February 08, 2017.