Health Science - Practical Nursing

This degree is for students who wish to develop professionally in the areas of health care education, community health, or more advanced nursing training and supervision. DCC's program requires students to develop a firmer foundation in positive practices, anatomy and physiology, and applied mathematics than is required in typical practical nursing programs. Upon completion, graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN).

The LPN program is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing which allows graduates of the program to take the NCLEX. We do not have a national accreditation.

Admission Requirements: DCC's practical nursing program is academically rigorous, with more applicants than available seats. Admission is on a selective (not first-come, first-served) basis, focusing on the student's past academic performance and results of the entrance exam.

Required for full admission:

  1. High School diploma or GED, or homeschool equivalency.
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.0.
  3. Non-developmental placement in English (writing and reading) and demonstrated proficiency in mathematics at MTE 1-3 or its equivalent.
  4. Successful completion of the Nursing Entrance exam with minimum overall score of 55%.
  5. Current C.P.R. certification at the American Heart Association BLS provider level.
  6. Priority consideration will be given to students who have completed a sequence of preparatory college-level courses with grades of B or better in 3 attempts or less.
  7. ENG 111 successfully completed with a grade of C or better.
  8. NUR 135 successfully completed with a grade of C or better.
  9. BIO 141 and BIO 142 completed with a grade of C or better. (Completion must be within 10 years.)
  10. If accepted into the program, the student will be responsible for obtaining and paying for a physical exam, malpractice insurance and a criminal background check.

Readmission Requirements: Students seeking readmission to the program will follow the same procedures and submit a readmission application. Once a student is readmitted, there are additional requirements regarding repetition of previous coursework, which may be obtained from the Nursing Department following readmission.

Individuals currently licensed as practical nurses may register for this program without applying by contacting the Nursing Department. Transcripts from the institution where the student graduated in a practical nursing program are required.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Assist in assessing the client's physical and mental health.
  2. Contribute to the development and implementation of the health care plan.
  3. Record and report the nursing care rendered and the client's response to care.
  4. Communicate with patients, families, and other members of the health care team.
  5. Identify legal-ethical issues and selflimitations in the provision of patient care.
  6. Serve as contributing members in the community.
  7. Engage in additional educational opportunities that will enhance growth.

Program Requirements: In order to advance to the next semester, students must earn a grade of "C" or better in all course work. Students must also demonstrate satisfactory attendance and performance in nursing clinical areas.

Program Information

Minimum credits: 65

Length: 4 semesters (2 years) once accepted into the program.

The Practical Nursing program is full-time.

Career opportunities:
Licensed Practical Nurses are in high demand across the U.S. LPNs are typically employed in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, adult daycare, medical offices, hospice, and private-duty nursing.

  • LPN: $39,990 - $45,620
    Job growth: 12% from 2016 through 2026
  • *Median salary nationwide as of 2016. Source:

Division: Arts, Sciences, & Business

Contact: 434.797.8512

Course Sequence

Prior To First Year Lecture Hours Lab Hours Hours in Class Credits
ENG 111 College Composition 3 0 3 3
BIO 141 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 3 3 6 4
BIO 142 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 3 3 6 4
NUR 1351 Drug Dosage Calculations 2 0 2 2
  11 6 17 13

1 MTH 126 is an approved substitute for NUR 135 until Fall 2019.

First Semester Lecture Hours Lab Hours Hours in Class Credits
NUR 100 Introduction to Nursing 2 0 2 2
PNE 161 Nursing in Health Changes I 4 6 10 6
HLT 141 Terminology 2 0 2 2
PNE 173 Pharmacology for PN 2 0 2 2
  10 6 16 12
Second Semester Lecture Hours Lab Hours Hours in Class Credits
NUR 100 Introduction to Nursing 2 0 2 2
PNE 162 Nursing in Health Changes II 5 15 20 10
PNE 174 Applied Pharmacology 2 0 2 2
PNE 135 Maternal & Child Health Nursing 4 3 7 5
  9 20 29 17
Third Semester Lecture Hours Lab Hours Hours in Class Credits
PNE 163 Nursing in Health Changes III 4 15 19 9
PNE 145 Trends in Practical Nursing 1 0 1 1
PNE 158 Mental Health & Psychiatric Nursing 1 0 1 1
Approved Elective 3 0 3 3
  9 15 24 14
Fourth Semester Lecture Hours Lab Hours Hours in Class Credits
HUM Humanities Elective 3 0 3 3
PSY 230 Developmental Psychology 3 0 3 3
HLT 230 Principles of Nutrition & Human Development 3 0 3 3
  9 0 9 9