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Practical Nurse Certificate

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).

Get in Touch

Christine Martin, RN, MSN
Interim Director of Nursing
cmartin@berkshirecc.edu
413-236-4638

Approved by: The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

Admission Requirements

Potential students who have met all admission requirements apply to the program beginning March 1 and no later than June 1.  Applications received by June 1 will be reviewed by Admissions and accepted students will be notified by mail. 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.

Students who are currently working to fulfill prerequisites for the LPN program should contact Academic Advising at 413-236-1620 to discuss how these changes will impact their enrollment.

How to Apply

  1. Complete and submit a
    BCC Admission Application
  2. Attend a mandatory info session — Register Now
  3. Submit a Practical Nurse Certificate Matriculation Form no later than June 1.

The LPN Student Handbook contains important policies and procedures for LPN students.  Applicants are encouraged to review the handbook to become familiar with the requirements of the LPN program.

  • Specific Admission Requirements

    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.  It is strongly recommended that students begin the hepatitits B immunization process by January 1. Accepted students may defer one time for a 1 year period. 

    Requirements: According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Chapter 76, Section 15C, General Laws of Massachusetts) and the BCC policy:
    • Hepatitis B:

    Recommended Immunization for Hepatitis B:  3 doses of the Engerix-B or Recombivax--HB formulations of the hepatitis B vaccine on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule, OR 2 doses of the Heplisav-B formulation on a 0 and 1 month schedule.  Test for hepatitis B surface antibody* (anti-HBs) 1–2 months after the final dose in the series to document immunity.  (Obtain a titer to document immunity.)*  Those without immunity (anti-HBs <10 mIU/mL) should receive one or more additional doses of HepB vaccine and retesting.

    Required Immunization Process for Hepatitis B**: 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccination OR Laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable.*  

    Other Required Immunizations:

    •  Tdap: 1 dose; and history of a DTaP primary series or age appropriate catch-up vaccination. Tdap given at ≥7 years may be counted, but a dose at age 11-12 is recommended if Tdap was given earlier as part of a catch- up schedule. Td should be given if it has been ≥10 years since Tdap.
    • MMR: 2 doses; first dose must be given on or after the 1st birthday and the 2nd dose must be given ≥28 days after dose 1 OR laboratory titer proof of immunity* 
    • Varicella: Medical proof of disease OR laboratory evidence of immunity*
    • Tb: Tuberculosis negative test within the year OR a negative chest x-ray within the last five years  (Must be kept current throughout the program)
    • Influenza — 1 dose of TIV IM or LAIV intranasally every flu season is required when available (usually September/October), for all nursing students. 
    • Meningococcal: 1 dose; 1 dose MenACWY (formerly MCV4) required for all full-time students 21 years of age or younger. The dose of MenACWY vaccine must have been received on or after the student’s 16th birthday. Doses received at younger ages do not count towards this requirement. Students may decline MenACWY vaccine after they have read and signed the MDPH Meningococcal Information and Waiver Form provided by their institution. Meningococcal B vaccine is not required and does not meet this requirement.

     *Antibody blood tests (titers) must include laboratory report as proof of immunity.

    **Nursing students must comply with the immunization requirements of their clinical site.  For example, if a clinical site requires a positive hepatitis B titer result but allows a waiver, students must either document immunity or submit the required waiver form. 

     Timeline

    Requirements must be submitted to Donna Connors in the Immunization Record Office at BCC, Room A-100, located in SBA.

    August 1 — for all students admitted to program prior to July 1st.
    August 31 — for students admitted to program between July 1st and August 15th
    After August 15 admittance — please see the Director of Nursing for assistance in meeting this requirement in sufficient time to attend clinical experiences.
    Consequences of failure to comply

    Students who do not meet all health requirements by the required dates will be removed from the program and will need to apply for re-admission. A student will not be allowed to participate in the clinical experience without all health requirements fully completed.

  • End-of-Program Student Learning Outcomes

    End-of-Program Student Learning Outcomes

    The expected outcomes for the BCC PN nursing program are tied to the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies (NOF). The course student learning outcomes are designed to determine student mastery of specific NOF competencies at each course level and correspond to the recommended blueprint for National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) learning competencies. Students are considered to have achieved the end-of-pro- gram learning outcome upon completion of the program.

    At the end of Practical Nursing certificate program, graduates are be able to comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate Nurse of the Future nursing core concepts of:

    • Patient centered care by providing holistic care that recognizes an individual’s preferences, values and needs and respects the patient or designee as a full partner in providing compassionate, coordinated, age and culturally appropriate, safe and effective care;
    • Professionalism by demonstrating accountability for the delivery of standard-based nursing care that is consistent with moral, altruistic, legal, ethical, regulatory, and humanistic principles;
    • Leadership by influencing the behavior of individuals or groups of individuals within their environment in a way that will facilitate the establishment and acquisition/achievement of shared goals;
    • Systems based practice by demonstrating an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context of the health care system, and will demonstrate the ability to effectively call on microsystem resources to provide care that is of optimal quality and value; Informatics and technology by using information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making (QSEN, 2007);
    • Informatics and technology by using information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making (QSEN, 2007);
    • Communication by interacting effectively with patients, families, and colleagues, fostering mutual respect and shared decision making, to enhance patient satisfaction and health outcomes;
    • Team work and collaboration by functioning effectively within nursing and interdisciplinary teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, shared decision-making, team learning and development QSEN, 2007);
    • Safety by minimizing risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance (QSEN, 2007);
    • Quality Improvement by using data to monitor the outcomes of care processes, and uses improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems; and
    • Evidence based practice by identifying, evaluating, and using the best current evidence coupled with clinical expertise and consideration of patients’ preferences, experience and values to make practice decisions (QSEN, 2007).

Program Completion Requirements

For information about typical program costs, student loan debt, graduation rates, and jobs associated with this program, read the Gainful Employment Disclosure

Footnotes:

  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.
Important Notices

Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in clinical agencies. All incoming students are required to have completed a CPR certificate for healthcare providers through the American Heart Association; Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers (2-year certification) or the American Red Cross; CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers (2-year certification) prior to their first clinical experience and maintain certification throughout the program. BCC will not admit student concurrently into any two of the following degree or certificate programs: Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Care, LPN or Nursing.

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

The College reserves the right to make changes at any time with respect to course offerings, degree requirements, services provided, cost of attendance, or any other subject.