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Practical Nurse Certificate

Approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing     

Program Advisor: Susan St. John, RN, BSN, MA  413-236-4733

Social, technological, and economic changes in today's society make nursing one of the most dynamic areas of health care. There are job opportunities for practical nurses in Berkshire County and throughout the country.

The primary employment setting for graduates of the Practical Nurse Certificate Program is in nursing homes. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-PN) to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

Admission Requirements 

Students must submit an application and Practical Nurse Certificate Matriculation form. Potential students who have met all admission requirements are accepted into the program on a space available basis. Applicants who do not initially meet the admission requirements may take courses to become eligible by enrolling in BCC's Liberal Arts program in Pre-LPN.

The sequence of nursing courses begins in the fall semester and continues through the end of June. Specific admission requirements include:

·         documentation of high school graduation or GED;

·         completion of MAT 028B, if applicable;

·         completion of BIO 150, or BIO 201 and BIO 202, with a "C" or better within the last seven years. BIO 201 and 202 may be taken in lieu of BIO 150 to facilitate mobility into the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program;

·         completion of ENG 101 with a C or better; and

·         completion of PSY 107 with a C or better (see footnote 1).

All students entering the Practical Nurse program must be immunized (or be in process) by March 1 prior to the academic year for which they are seeking admission. Accepted students may defer one time for a 1 year period.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates of the program should be able to:

·         Demonstrate professional behavior regarding responsibility and accountability, within the legal and ethical standards of practice.

·         Effectively communicate with clients, significant others, members of the interdisciplinary health team incorporating interpersonal, therapeutic, and technological communication skills.

·         Utilize the nursing process as the strategy for clinical problem solving.

·         Demonstrate a caring, safe, therapeutic, and culturally sensitive, life-span approach to client-centered care.

·         Collaborate with interdisciplinary team in planning individualized client care.

·         Demonstrate proficiency with entry-level psychomotor skills.

·         Apply leadership skills in the structured health setting by delegating appropriate aspects of care to unlicensed assistive personnel.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a certificate in this program a student must complete all program credits shown below and the additional requirements shown below also.


48 Credits

Prerequisite Courses (see footnote 1)

BIO 150

Introduction to the Human Body


PSY 107

Introduction Psychology


ENG 101

Composition I


 Practical Nurse Courses

LPN 142

 Health Maintenance of the Adult & Aging (see footnote 2)


LPN 145

Gerontology Practicum


LPN 152

Health Alterations of the Adult & Aging (see footnote 2)


LPN 162

Health Care of the Family



As Shown

Demonstrated College-Level Skills In Reading And Writing (see footnote 1)


Minimum Cumulative Average Overall


Minimum Cumulative Average In Program





Block For Practical Nurse Course Completion

The following is a suggestion for completing this program in one year.   
The actual time to complete the program may vary according to each student's individual needs.


Health Maintenance of the Adult and Aging (see footnote 2) 


LPN 142


Gerontology Practicum

       2 CREDITS  

LPN 145


Health Alterations of the Adult and Aging (see footnote 2)

     15 CREDITS

 LPN 152


Health Care of the Family


LPN 162

1)   BIO 150 or BIO 201 and BIO 202, PSY 107 and ENG 101 must be completed before admission to the program.
(2)   LPN 142 and LPN 152 incorporate a required Service Learning component each semester.







·       For Gainful Employment disclosure information on this program follow this link:

·       All nursing faculty hold, as a minimum, professional Registered Nurse licensure in Massachusetts

·       Students must achieve a numerical grade of 75 or better in LPN designated courses and a grade of C or better in BIO and PSY courses.

·       If an applicant has ever been convicted by a court of law, or is convicted during his or her tenure in the program, s/he should be aware that s/he may be denied the right by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to sit for the National Council Licensing Examiniation (NCLEX-PN).

·       Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in clinical agencies. See Criminal Offender Record Information Checks on page 13 of the College Catalog for details.

·       Lecture and laboratory sessions are held on both the main campus in Pittsfield and the South County Center in Great Barrington. Clinical experiences may be held at any facility in Berkshire County and may be a day, evening, or weekend clinical.

·         Students who previously failed more than one nursing course, LPN or RN, from any school/program, will not admitted to the BCC Practical Nursing Program.

·         Five seats in the program are help open through finals week each spring semester to allow preference for matriculation into the program by BCC pre-LPN students.