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PN Certificate Program Requirements

Practical Nursing Certificate Program

Certificate: Practical Nursing

The practical nursing certificate program is designed for students who seek careers as licensed practical nurses. The program is designed to prepare graduates for the National Council Licensing Exam in Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). There are pre-requisite courses that must be completed before a student can be accepted to the practical nursing program. Satisfactory completion of pre-requisite courses does not guarantee admission to the program.

The program requirements include:

  • MAT 099 Intermediate Algebra eligible (by college placement test)
  • SCI 101 General Biology I eligible ( by college placement test)
  • ENG 101 English Composition I (pre-requisite for SSI 112 General Psychology)

The two pre-requisite courses for practical nursing include:

SSI 122 General Psychology 3 Credits
SSI 209 Human Growth & Development 3 Credits
Total:   6

Due to limited space in these career education programs, nursing has competitive admission. The practical nursing certificate program currently admits 16-24 students to a full-time day program each September.

The Division of Nursing and Allied Health offers group information and advising sessions every month from August to May for students interested in the nursing programs. Advanced placement for Licensed Practical Nurses is available. Contact the Division of Nursing and Allied Health at 617 541 5313 for the times and locations of these meetings.

Advising suggestions for academic success:
Nursing students find nursing course work to be very challenging. Students are advised to complete required general education credits, to work part-time for full-time study, and to have support systems in place BEFORE entering a nursing program.

General Education courses – other than pre-requisites
Practical Nurse Certificate Program

  • SCI 101 Introduction to the Human Body I*
  • SCI 102 Introduction to the Human Body II*

* Anatomy and Physiology I and II can substitute for Human Body I and II NUR 101 Learning Strategies for Success in Nursing is a suggested elective course prior to admission for either program.

Admission to the nursing clinical program does not guarantee clinical placement. Prior to beginning clinical practice, students will be required to submit CORI/SORI requests. The outcome of the C.O.R.I. may impact the student’s ability to participate in the clinical experience.


All RCC nursing students must provide documentation of the following immunizations to Student Health Services prior to the start of classes:

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) - (mumps & rubella)
  • Measles (two doses)
  • Diphtheria,/Tetanus Booster (within last 10 years)
  • Hepatitis B. Vaccine - (completion of series of three)
  • Varicella vaccine x 2 or positive antibody titer or a positive history of varicella as documented by physician.

Good Moral Character
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 112, sections 74 and 74 A require that all applicants for initial licensure by examination furnish satisfactory proof of good moral character. This information includes, but is not limited to, the absence of a felony or misdemeanor conviction or professional discipline of a trade or professional license or certificate for a minimum of five (5) years before the date of submission of the license application.

The Practical Nursing Certificate Program has the full approval of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.

Program Requirements

Admission Criteria:

  • High School Diploma or GED and submission of an application to the college
  • MAT 099 Intermediate Algebra (eligible only)
  • SCI 103 General Biology I (eligible only)
  • ENG 101 English Composition I (pre-requisite for SSI 112 General Psychology)



Prerequisites   Credits
SSI 122 General Psychology 3
SSI 209 Human Growth & Development 3
Total:   6
Upon completion of the above requirements the student may apply for admission to the Practical Nursing Certificate Program. (see note below)
Fall Semester:    
SCI 101* Introduction to the Human Body I 3
PNC 101 Introduction to Practical Nursing 12
Spring Semester:    
SCI 102 * Introduction to Human Body II 3
PNC 102 Practical Nursing II 12
Summer Semester:    
PNC 103 Practical Nursing III 9
Total:   45 

*Anatomy and Physiology I and II can substitute for Human Body I and II

The program requires a specific admission exam (TEAS exam) as part of the nursing admissions criteria. Pre-requisite course work should be completed or in the process of completion prior to taking this exam. This exam can be taken only once in a given year period.