Practical Nursing Certificate

Program Description

 New students applying to Black Hawk College should select the AAS/General Occupational and Technical Studies (GOTS) until such time as they have been officially accepted by the department into this program.

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.

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Display Practical Nursing knowledge at a competent level.
  • Complete the ATI-Nursing education computerized learning and testing coursework.

Practical Nursing graduation class

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. For more information, refer to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules – Administrative Code

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.

Admissions InformationNursing student listening to a patient's heartbeat

Due to the required Black Hawk College GPA of 2.0 or better to graduate, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 while in the PN program. Upon application for admission to the PN program, if your GPA is below 2.0 or if you have not yet earned a GPA, you must meet with a BHC academic advisor to create and sign an academic plan to attach to your application. The academic plan must reflect that your GPA can be maintained at or above 2.0 during the PN program. If you are unable to graduate and receive your certificate from BHC you will not be allowed to sit for the post-program test (NCLEX). Successful completion of the NCLEX is required to receive licensure to practice as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) Call 309-796-5101 to schedule an appointment with an advisor to complete a plan.

Practical Nursing (LPN) Application (PDF)

Applications are accepted in Feburary for August start.

Application deadline has been extended to May 1, 2023.


TEAS test – All prospective PN students are required to take the TEAS test (Test of Academic Essential Skills).  Students are encouraged to prepare for this exam in order to assure that the necessary score is achieved to be considered for admission into the nursing program. Study materials can be found at ATI Testing and at the BHC bookstore.

Scoring: A minimum score of 50 is required to be considered for admission.

Prospective PN students will be ranked on the following criteria:

  1. TEAS score
  2. Grades in PN 110 or BIOL 145
  3. GPA of 2 or above
  4. CNA certificate (not required)

Discover careers and salaries for this program

Suggested Courses

Course (Credit Hours):

Program Prerequisites

BIOL 145 Anatomy – Physiology I or
PN 110 Basic Anatomy and Physiology (3-4)
ENG 101 Composition I or
COMM 100 Communication Skills (3)
MATH 078 Pre-Algebra or
Appropriate placement score (3)

First Semester

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

Second Semester

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

Minimum total hours required for degree: 40