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Practical Nursing Certificate

Last updated 6/9/2014

Certificate Code 5666

Program Contacts:
QC Campus
Kathy Dusthimer, 309-796-5390, dusthimerk@bhc.edu
First Stop Center, 309-796-5100
East Campus
Wendy Smith, 309-854-1713, smithw@bhc.edu


The curriculum in Practical Nursing is career-oriented and the applicant must meet the following requirements for admission:

  • High school graduation or equivalent
  • Physical examination is required prior to beginning clinical practice
  • Student must achieve a grade of “C” or above in all courses to continue in the program
  • Completion of pre-admission testing

Upon completion of this course of study, the student may be eligible to take the examination to become a licensed practical nurse in Illinois.

Licensed practical nurses are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, clinics and a number of community agencies.

Courses for this program include: »

BIOL 145 Anatomy Physiology I
4 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: Students must complete both #1 & #2 below or have instructor approval.
1. Biology 100, 101, or 105 and Chemistry 101 or 110 with a “C” or better; or a score of 70% or higher on the Anatomy and Physiology placement exam.
2. REA 098 & MATH 080 (or COMPASS equivalent) and students must be eligible for (as determined by COMPASS score or other assessment) or currently enrolled in college-level English courses (100-level or greater).
A systematic study of the anatomical-physiological aspects of the human body. Topics include homeostasis, biomolecules, cytology, histology, as well as integumentary, skeleto-muscular, nervous and endocrine systems.

COMM 100 Communication Skills
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
For career program students only. COMM 100 and ENG 132 fulfill requirements for an associate’s degree in several career programs. Concentration on developing skills in writing, speaking and reading.

ENG 101 Composition I
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: ACT English score of 22 or above; or appropriate COMPASS score; or English 091 “C” or better.
English 101 is designed for students who are competent in the fundamentals of composition. Students will write essays using a variety of expository strategies and will apply standard techniques of documentation when appropriate. IAI: C1 900

MATH 080 Basic Mathematical Skills
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: Appropriate placement score.
Review of basic computational skills including operations with fractions, decimals, percent, ratio and proportion, English and metric measurement, and formulas for area, perimeter and volume.

PN 105 Pharmacology in Practical Nursing I
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to Practical Nursing Program and MATH 080 “C” or better or COMPASS score of 55.
Basic mathematics as it applies to medication administration is reviewed. The study of drugs and the techniques of medication administration are begun.

PN 106 Pharmacology in Practical Nursing II
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: PN 105 and PN 112 “C” or better.
Drug classifications are studied through the structure of the nursing process.

PN 110 Basic Anatomy and Physiology
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Basic concepts of human anatomy and physiology.

PN 111 Foundations of Practical Nursing
8 cr. hrs.;
6 lecture hours; 6 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to Practical Nursing Program; MATH 080 or COMPASS score 55 or better and ENG 101 or COMM 100 and PN 110 or BIOL 145 or BIOL 146.
Within the framework of the nursing process, the course teaches the concepts basic to practical nursing. Dimensions of nursing, basic needs and special procedures are covered. With guidance, the nursing process is used in the care of patients with simple health problems.

PN 112 Older Adult Nursing
8 cr. hrs.;
6 lecture hours; 6 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PN 111 “C” or better.
This course covers normal aging and age-related changes in the older adult. It includes problems of mobility and circulation. It also includes concepts of mental health nursing and therapeutic communication.

PN 113 Adult Health Nursing
8 cr. hrs.;
6 lecture hours; 6 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: PN 105 and PN 112 “C” or better.
Within the framework of the nursing process, theories of nursing care for patients with acute medical-surgical problems are discussed.

PN 114 Intergenerational Nursing
8 cr. hrs.;
6 lecture hours; 6 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: PN 105 and PN 113 “C” or better.
Care of families through child-bearing, well children, ill children, and all family members through the lifespan. Concepts of growth and development, effects of illness on families, and care of clients in the hospital are also discussed.

Course of Study Outline – Suggested Courses (Credit Hours)
Program Prerequisites
MATH 080 — Basic Mathematical Skills  or  (3)
Appropriate COMPASS test score
ENG 101 — Composition I  or  (3)
COMM 100 — Communication Skills
BIOL 145 — Anatomy-Physiology I  or  (3-4)
PN 110 — Anatomy and Physiology

First Semester
PN 111 — Foundations of Practical Nursing (8)
PN 105 — Pharmacology in Practical Nursing I (1)
PN 112 — Older Adult Nursing (8)

Second Semester
PN 106 — Pharmacology in Practical Nursing II (1)
PN 114 — Intergenerational Nursing (8)
PN 113 — Adult Health Nursing (8)

Minimum total hours required for certificate (40)

Completion of the Practical Nursing program does not automatically guarantee a graduate the right to take the National Council Licensing Examination or to become licensed as a practical nurse. The student is bound by the Illinois Nursing Act Section 9 and Section 15.

Students must also successfully document and need all health and background checks required by academic departments and/or clinical sites prior to admission to program and/or courses.


Gainful Employment

Gainful employment is one important measure that students and parents should pay attention to as they examine colleges and programs. All non-degree programs must be designed to lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation in order to be deemed eligible for federal student aid. These programs are generally less than 2 years in length and result in a certificate.

Practical Nursing Certificate