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Practical Nursing

Opportunities in nursing will continue to grow as medical advancements help people live longer.

PTC's PRACTICAL NURSING program combines discussions, learning experiences, lectures and hands-on training in a state-of-the-industry laboratory and clinical classrooms where students can develop the skills needed to stand out in the job market and make a difference in patients' lives.

Key Benefits

  • PTC's Practical Nursing students started at an average salary of $38,823.**
  • You will regularly learn in PTC's state-of-the-industry simulation lab where you will work with the latest equipment and technology providing hands-on practice with the tools you will use in your nursing career.
  • Our program includes management instruction so you will be prepared to lead a department as you progress in your career.
  • Many graduates begin their career in senior care so this is a focus throughout your PTC education.
  • You will work in a nurturing environment with experienced instructors and student advisors. Our small class sizes mean you get the individual attention you need.
  • PTC students learn the art and science of nursing with classes that are building blocks to lifelong learning. Articulation agreements with several colleges open doors to nursing education should you decide to pursue your associate or bachelors degree.

**Represents the average starting salary for 2014 Practical Nursing graduates who were available to receive career search assistance between January 2014 through April 2015, are working in-field full-time, and reported salary information to PTC. Click here for supporting salary data.


The Practical Nursing Certificate Program is accredited through fall 2018 by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. (404) 975-5000. www.acenursing.org

So you want to be a Nurse? Here’s what you need to know about eligibility and admission to PTC’s School of Nursing.

So you want to be a Nurse? Here’s what you need to know about eligibility and admission to PTC’s School of Nursing.

PTC School of Nursing candidates must complete the following steps.

  • Attend a mandatory information session. Contact Bill Krobot at 412-809-5100 to schedule your date and time.
  • Once you have attended an information session, register to take the ATI TEAS exam at www.atitesting.com.
  • TEAS exams taken within the last two years can be accepted. You must request that ATI send an Official Transcript directly to PTC.
  • To be eligible for PTC's Practical Nursing program, candidates must have a minimum Adjusted Individual Total Score of 60.
  • To be eligible for PTC's ASN program, candidates must have a minimum Adjusted Individual Total Score of 65 and pass an academic review.

Once your PTC School of Nursing eligibility has been determined, admission requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Submit an application online at www.ptcollege.edu/apply, by mail or in person.
  • Provide your high school or GED and all college, university and nursing school transcripts.
  • Submit a $160 deposit. This covers your $100 tuition deposit and $60 for your drug screen.
  • Pass a background check by submitting your clearances: ACT 33/34/73.
  • If you are a candidate for PTC's ASN program, complete your transcript review.
  • Complete all financial aid forms and paperwork.
  • Submit a completed health evaluation packet.
  • Submit proof of your CPR certification - Healthcare Provider or Professional Rescuer.

Questions? Contact PTC Nursing Admissions at 412-809-5386 or krobot.william@ptcollege.edu

More information about Practical Nursing below

  • Administering medications
  • Administering oxygen therapy
  • Changing dressings
  • Completing comprehensive physical assessments
  • Performing CPR
  • Performing venipuncture to administer or withdraw fluids
  • Positioning, transferring and ambulation of patients
  • Preparing and maintaining a sterile environment
  • Preventing and treating infections
  • Providing range-of motion exercises
  • Providing skin care, catheter care and wound care
  • Taking vital signs

Graduates of PTC's Practical Nursing Program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. At PTC we will arrange for your clinical instruction at one of several of our partners such as:

  • Kindred Hospital
  • Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC
  • St. Barnabas Health Systems
  • KinderCare Learning Centers
  • HCR ManorCare, Greentree
  • UPMC Cranberry Place
  • UPMC Seneca Place
  • The Children's Institute
  • LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh
  • Baptist Homes
  • Country Meadows

CERTIFICATE TRAINING PROGRAMS

Anatomy and Physiology 1
This course is a systemic review of human biology with emphasis on homeostatic mechanisms that allow for normal anatomic and physiologic function. References will be made to pathological conditions when appropriate. Topics of discussion will include directional and anatomical terminology, cellular form and function, tissues, integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and endocrine systems. Co-requisite: NUR113.
Microbiology
The focus of this course is on the structure, function, and environment of microorganisms with emphasis on those which are pathogenic. Discussion topics will include an introduction to the basic principles of microbiology, the morphology and life cycle of bacteria, epidemiology, immunology, and control of microorganisms. The pathogenesis and progression of infectious disease will also be explored. Co-requisite: NUR111.
Microbiology Lab
This course is an introduction to the basic laboratory techniques used to observe and identify microorganisms. Students will master the use of the microscope and the performance of the Gram Stain technique, along with the cultivation and identification of bacteria. In addition, adherence to laboratory safety rules and the maintenance of aseptic technique will be emphasized throughout the course. Co-requisite: NUR108.
Anatomy and Physiology 1 Lab
This course is an introduction to the basic laboratory techniques used to observe and identify anatomical structures and demonstrate physiological principles. Students will examine dissected specimens, anatomical models, and charts to achieve course competencies. Topics discussed include anatomical terminology, cellular form and function, tissues, integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and endocrine systems. Corequisite: NUR103.
Anatomy and Physiology 2
This course is a systemic review of human biology with emphasis on homeostatic mechanisms that allow for normal anatomic and physiologic function. References will be made to pathological conditions when appropriate. Topics of discussion will include blood, cardiovascular, lymphatic and immunology, respiratory, urinary, digestive, and reproductive systems along with fluid/electrolyte and acid-base balance mechanisms. Prerequisites: Successful completion of NUR103, NUR108, NUR111 AND NUR113. Co-requisite: NUR119.
Anatomy and Physiology 2 Lab
This course is an introduction to the basic laboratory techniques used to observe and identify anatomical structures and demonstrate physiological principles. Students will examine dissected specimens, anatomical models, and charts to achieve course competencies. Topics discussed include blood, cardiovascular, lymphatic and immunology, respiratory, urinary, digestive, and reproductive systems along with fluid/electrolyte and acid-base balance mechanisms. Co-requisite: NUR118.
Pharmacology in Nursing
This course provides the nursing student with an introduction to drug therapy. Units of content include: drug classifications, common medications, pharmacologic principles, and legal and ethical considerations in administering medications. Prerequisites: successful completion of all 1st quarter courses. Co-requisite: NUR143 or RNU192. Successful completion of both NUR137 and NUR143 or RNU192 is necessary in order to progress to the next quarter and medication administration in any clinical nursing courses.
Pharmacology Applications in Nursing
This laboratory learning experience accompanies NUR137: Pharmacology, and focuses
Foundations of Nursing 1
This course provides an introduction to practical nursing, including the following units of content: history of practical nursing, the importance of patient safety and quality care, the impact of environment on health and illness, nursing's core values, concepts basic to the practice of nursing such as communication and ethics, infection control, introduction to planning nursing care utilizing the nursing process, basic concepts of nutrition and dietary adaptations for treatment of health issues, and basic patient care skills. Co-requisite: NUR 152. Successful completion of both NUR 151 and NUR 152 is necessary prior to entry into the 2nd quarter clinical nursing courses.
Nursing Practice 1
This clinical practicum course accompanies Foundations of Nursing 1. It provides learning experiences in the nursing skills laboratory and simulation center, as well as in long term care facilities. The goal of these experiences is to provide the beginning student with the opportunity to develop basic assessment, planning, and care giving skills that assist patients with activities of daily living and health care needs. Co-requisite: NUR 151. Successful completion of both NUR 151 and NUR 152 is necessary prior to entry into the 2nd quarter clinical nursing courses.
Foundations of Nursing 2
This course builds on the knowledge and skills gained in NUR151: Foundations of Nursing 1. In this course, there is continued emphasis on the mastery of skills fundamental to nursing practice. Units of content focus on: completing a health history with various types of patients; physical, psychosocial, and nutritional assessment techniques; adaptation of assessment techniques for various cultures and developmental levels; and planning for nursing care based on analysis of patient assessment data. Additional emphasis will be placed on health education for patients and families based on identified or potential health needs. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all first quarter courses, including both NUR 151 and NUR 152. Co-requisite: NUR162. Successful completion of both NUR161 and NUR162 is necessary prior to entry into the 3rd quarter clinical nursing courses.
Nursing Practice 2
This clinical practicum course provides students with opportunities in various healthcare settings to refine nursing skills associated with focused assessment, clinical reasoning, and nursing care planning. Students gain experience in contributing to the planning and implementation of nursing care in response to health and illness needs of residents in independent and assisted living settings, as well as patients in skilled nursing units. In addition, there is an emphasis on applying principles of health education in various settings in order to address identified and potential learning needs of residents, patients, and families. Co-requisite: NUR161. Successful completion of both NUR161 and NUR162 is necessary prior to entry into the 3rd quarter clinical nursing courses.
Medical/Surgical Nursing Care of the Adult
The focus of this course is on common health concerns of adults. Frequently occurring medical and surgical disorders of adults will be examined. Physical, psychological, nutritional, and spiritual needs of patients and their families will be explored. The application of nursing process to promote safe, high quality care in medical/surgical care settings will be emphasized, including clinical judgment and decision making as a result of effective critical thinking and clinical reasoning. Prerequisites: successful completion of all 1st and 2nd quarter courses. Co-requisite: Enrollment in NUR166. Successful completion of both NUR165 and NUR166 is necessary prior to entry into the 4th quarter clinical nursing courses, except by special permission of the 4th quarter instructor and Academic Chair.
Nursing Practice 3
This clinical practicum course accompanies NUR165: Medical/Surgical Nursing Care of the Adult. Students will have clinical opportunities to provide nursing care and health education in short and long term acute care settings, with an emphasis on patient-centered care for acute and chronic illness. An introduction to the application of skills associated with evidence-based practice will be provided. Prerequisites: successful completion of all 1st and 2nd quarter courses. Co-requisite: Enrollment in NUR165. Successful completion of both NUR165 and NUR166 is necessary prior to entry into the 4th quarter clinical nursing courses, except by special permission of the 4th quarter instructor and Academic Chair.
Psychosocial and Psychiatric Issues
This course introduces the practical nursing student to the study of mental health and mental illness, and the impact on the individual, family, and community. A holistic approach is used in understanding the individual in his/her environment, including discussion of motivation, social influences, and cultural impact. Content will include definitions of mental health and mental illness; personality development; types of mental disorders and their symptoms, characteristics, and treatments; explanations of cognition, perception, and feelings; therapeutic communication skills and relationship development; psychosocial issues in patients with health problems; and the application of nursing process in working with patients experiencing alterations in mental health. Co-requisite: Enrollment in NUR 176. Prerequisites: successful completion of 1st and 2nd quarter courses. Successful completion of both NUR 170 and NUR 176 is necessary prior to entry into the 4th quarter.
Gerontology and Nursing Practice
The focus of this course is on the theories and concepts of aging, including physiological, psychological, social, and spiritual changes. Issues critical to providing safe, high quality nursing care to older adults will be discussed, including: safety strategies, quality of life, culture, symptoms and treatment for dementia, activity, sleep, adequate nutrition, home care, palliative care, and end-of-life care. Clinical experiences will provide the student with an opportunity to examine holistic nursing care for individuals and groups in a variety of geriatric settings across the health care continuum. Prerequisites: All 1st and 2nd quarter courses. Co-requisite: NUR176.
Nursing Practice 4
This clinical practicum course accompanies NUR170: Psychosocial and Psychiatric Issues and NUR175: Gerontology and Nursing Practice. Clinical experiences will emphasize the application of nursing process, and will provide the student with an opportunity to provide holistic care designed to preserve or restore health for adults and aging adults. Each student will be able to identify health needs of adults and provide nursing care to individuals and groups in a variety of psychiatric and geriatric settings across the healthcare continuum. Co-requisites: Enrollment in NUR 170 and NUR175. Prerequisites: Successful completion of 1st and 2nd quarter courses. Successful completion of NUR170, NUR175, and NUR176 is necessary prior to entry into the 4th quarter, except by special permission from the 4th quarter instructor and the Academic Chair.
Maternity Nursing
The focus of this course is on the basic needs and associated nursing care of patients and families in maternity settings. An emphasis is placed on the physical, nutritional, and psychological changes experienced by a woman during the antepartal, intrapartal, and postpartal periods. The impact on the family is explored, along with strategies for providing developmentally and culturally appropriate health education. Prerequisites: successful completion of all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter nursing courses, or enrollment by special permission of the course instructor and Academic Chair. Co-requisite: NUR181. Successful completion of both NUR180 and NUR181 is necessary for program completion and graduation.
Nursing Practice 5
This clinical practicum course accompanies NUR180: Maternity Nursing. Clinical experiences are provided in inpatient and community based settings with a maternity focus, including labor and delivery and postpartum care of mothers, babies, and families. Application of clinical reasoning and nursing process are emphasized with the select patient population. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter nursing courses, or enrollment by special permission of the course instructor and Academic Chair. Co-requisite: NUR180. Successful completion of both NUR180 and NUR181 is necessary for program completion and graduation.
Pediatric Nursing
The focus of this course is on the basic needs and associated nursing care of patients and families in pediatric settings. Emphasis is placed on growth and development, the nutritional needs of children and adolescents, health issues, and common medical and surgical disorders in children and adolescents. Parental needs and the impact of health concerns on the family are explored along with strategies for providing developmentally and culturally appropriate health education. Prerequisites: successful completion of all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter nursing courses, or enrollment by special permission of the course instructor and Academic Chair. Co-requisite: NUR186. Successful completion of both NUR185 and NUR186 is necessary for program completion and graduation.
Nursing Practice 6
This clinical practicum accompanies NUR185: Pediatric Nursing. Clinical experiences are provided in inpatient and community based settings with a pediatric and/or family focus. Application of clinical reasoning and nursing process is emphasized in settings where well children and adolescents are seen, as well as settings where children and adolescents with chronic illness concerns are being treated. In addition, practical nursing students have the opportunity to explore community based services for women, children, and families in distress that may impact the health of the family unit. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter nursing courses, or enrollment by special permission of the course instructor and Academic Chair. Co-requisite: NUR185. Successful completion of both NUR185 and NUR186 is necessary for program completion and graduation.
Transition into Nursing Practice
This course focuses on the transition from being a student to assuming the responsibilities of the practical nurse. Units of content include: current trends and issues in practice, opportunities and challenges facing the Licensed Practical Nurse, skills for successful beginning practice, organization and financing of health care delivery systems, leadership theories and skills that promote safe and high quality nursing care, management theories and skills, strategies for lifelong learning, preparing for the first position in nursing, successful completion of the licensure examination, and adaptation to the work environment. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter courses. Co-requisite: Enrollment in NUR191. Successful completion of both NUR190 and NUR191 is necessary for program completion and graduation.
Nursing Practice 7
This clinical practicum course accompanies NUR190: Transition into Nursing Practice, and provides the student with opportunities to refine assessment, clinical reasoning, and patient care skills with groups of patients. In addition, the student will examine leadership/management skills and the responsibilities of the practical nurse in a selected health care environment, will communicate significant information to members of the healthcare team and patients' families, and will administer medications and document patient responses to those medications, for groups of patients. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter courses. Co-requisite: Enrollment in NUR190. Successful completion of both NUR190 and NUR191 is necessary for program completion and graduation.

PTC Practical Nursing graduates are prepared for entry-level positions at:

  • Hospitals
  • Community Health Centers
  • Urgent Care Centers
  • Government Agencies
  • Home Health Services
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Outpatient Centers
  • Physician's Offices
  • Public Health Departments
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Skilled Nursing Units
  • Transitional Care Units

PTC offers a comprehensive Career Services Department with a dedicated staff who will assist you in your career search. Companies that have previously hired PTC graduates include:

  • Family Hospice and Palliative Care
  • HCR Manorcare
  • Highland Park Care Center
  • Providence Point
  • Continuum Pediatric Home Health Care
  • Uniontown Hospital
  • Vincentian Collaborative System
  • UPMC Cranberry Place

Applicants for the Practical Nursing program must pass several requirements: Act 33 Child Abuse History Clearance, Act 34 Request for Criminal Record Check, Act 73 FBI Criminal Background Check and Fingerprinting, Initial Health Evaluation Form, Professional Rescuer CPR Certification, Random Drug Screening ($60), Critical Thinking exam and Reading Comprehension exam. Some employers may require a background check or drug screening prior to employment.

Consumer Information: Practical Nursing

The Practical Nursing Program has Provisional Approval Status from the PA State Board of Nursing, through fall 2016, when the licensure examination first time pass rates will be reviewed for the PN graduates who have taken the NCLEX-RN examination during this annual reporting year (10/1/15 through 9/30/16).

The Practical Nursing retention rate – the percentage of students who complete the program – is 93% as reported by the PTC School of Nursing.  PTC’s Career Services Department reports that 98% of the practical nursing students available for placement in 2015 found employment in their field of study.  The NCLEX-PN first-time pass rate for PTC practical nursing students is 66.23% as reported by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

For graduation rates and other important consumer information regarding this program, please click on the link below:

United States Department of Education Gainful Employment Data

Practical Nursing the Sidebar

PTC can help launch your career with a hands-on, personal approach
and a wide range of advantages over traditional institutions.