Nursing – LPN

Program Description

The Practical Nursing curriculum is designed to prepare beginning practitioners with the knowledge and skills, as entry level nurses, to care for patients of all age groups. Students will be prepared to assist in meeting the health needs of the community through provision of quality nursing care as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). The program length is three semesters (one year). The program offers two admissions per year – during the spring and fall semesters.


This program is fully approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing. The Practical Nursing program, as part of Mountain Empire Community College, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Opportunities for Employment

Opportunities for the Licensed Practical Nurse include employment in nursing homes, clinics, day-care centers, school systems, physicians’ offices, rehabilitation facilities, industry, the military, home health, hospitals, and private duty nursing.

Admission Forms

To view admission forms and other program related documents, visit the MECC Student Forms Page under Health Science Program Admissions. 

Nursing (157) Practical Nursing


Course # Course Title Credit
ENG 111 College Composition I1 3
PNE 161 Nursing in Health Changes I 6
PNE 143 Applied Nursing Skills 1
MTH 126 Math for Allied Health2 2
PNE 173 Pharmacology for PN’s 2
PNE 155 Body Structure & Function3 3
SDV 100 College Success Skills 1
PNE 162 Nursing in Health Changes II  10
PNE 158 Mental Health Nursing 1
PNE 295 Care of Children 2
PSY 230 Developmental Psychology4 3
PNE 164 Nursing-Health Changes IV  10
PNE 195 Care of Maternal and Newborn Clints 2
HLT 130 Nutrition and Diet Therapy1 2
PNE 145 Trends4 1
Total Minimum Credits for Certificate 49

1ENG 111, SDV 100, HLT 130, PSY 230 are curricular courses and may be repeated; but, must be completed by the end of program.

2MTH126 is a curricular course and may be repeated but must be completed prior to admission or within the first semester for program progression.

3PNE 155 – may substitute BIO 141 and 142 for PNE 155. BIO 141 and 142 must be completed prior to or within first and second semesters for program progression. Due to BIO 141 and 142 being an acceptable substitute to PNE 155, failure within BIO 141 or 142 will count towards one of the PNE course failures.

4PSY 230- Students wishing to bridge or continue in the RN program will need to take PSY 231 and 232 instead of PSY 230.

5PNE 145 – PNE 199 supervised study course required if 90% probability on NCLEX predictor is not achieved during Trends.

Students may take all non-nursing courses prior to entrance into the LPN program. However, after admission, courses must be taken and successfully completed during the defined curricular schedule.


For Further Information Contact:


Admission Requirements

Admission to the Practical Nursing program is a selective process. The Practical Nursing program is open to applicants who are free of any physical or mental condition which might adversely affect performance as a member of the nursing profession. In addition to the requirements for admission to the college, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of Practical Nursing Program Application for each academic year interested in being considered for the Practical Nursing program.
  • State accredited high school diploma, home school diploma, or GED.
  • High school/GED Graduates with less than twelve (12) transferable college credits
  • The cumulative high school GPA will be used when less than twelve (12) transferable college creditsare completed. The GPA for GED recipients will be computed based on the total GED score.

Applicants are solely responsible for completing and/or submitting the following items:

  • MECC  application for admission to the college
  • MECC Practical Nursing Program Application (Spring Semester – accepted August 1 – October 1;   Fall Semester – accepted March 1 – June 1). Applicants will be notified of status for admission during the month following application deadline.
  • A copy of high school transcript or GED scores and any college transcripts must be submitted to Enrollment Services attached to the Application for Practical Nursing as part of the application packet.
  • It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application file is complete and all supporting documents have been received in Enrollment Services/Admission.

Anyone who has been convicted of a federal or state felony or misdemeanor (excluding minor traffic violations) and anyone with a history of drug or alcohol habituation should arrange for a conference with the Program Director or a nursing faculty member upon application to the program.

Admission to Practical Nursing program is based upon:

  • College placement scores indicating readiness for MTH 126 or higher
  • College placement scores indicating readiness for ENG 111
  • Biology with a lab (high school or college) with a “C” or better. Applied biology and/or ecology does not satisfy this requirement. Biology requirements must have been completed within five (5) years of application. PNE 155, BIO 101 or BIO 102, BIO 141 or BIO 142, BIO 145, NAS 171 will meet the admission requirements.
  • Cumulative GPA will be calculated at 40% into the overall scoring rubric. GED recipients will be ranked according to their general equivalent diploma scores. The most current grade recorded for coursework will be used in admission consideration.
    • TEAS 6 entrance testing
  1. Applicants must complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS ). Testing can be completed in Student Services a maximum of twice a year-once for Fall and once for Spring placement. Tests will be administered during the month of July/August and November/December (or as timing allows). Applicants must complete all sections on the TEAS. The individualized adjusted score will be calculated at 25% into the overall scoring rubric.
  2. Students can choose to use previous completed TEAS testing scores. Testing scores must be completed and dated within the last two (2) years.
  3. Testing fee: $55.00. (price for testing subject to change).
  4. Paying for TEAS testing: Fees for TEAS  testing must be paid by credit card, debit card, or prepaid card in the business office. Please bring one of these methods of payment with you on the day of your test. Pay in the business office. Take the yellow receipt to student services as proof of payment. Student services will help you get your test started.
  • Study guides for the TEAS test can be found online at,, the Wampler Library on MECC campus, other resources to research: search term: TEAS  study guides
  • General Education Course Requirements. These are the required general education program courses that will be used to give points towards admission. Students will receive credit for up to 14 credits for completed non-nursing coursework. These courses will be calculated into the overall scoring rubric at 35%. Students are highly encouraged, but not required, to complete this coursework prior to submission of application.
    1. -ENG 111- 3 credits
    2. -MTH 126- 2 credits
    3. -HLT 130- 1 credit
    4. -SDV 100- 1 credit
    5. -PSY 231 and 232 – 6 credits (recommended for those students planning for LPN to RN bridge)
    6. -PSY 230 – 3 credits
    7. -BIO 141 and 142- 8 credits (recommended for those students planning for LPN to RN bridge)
    8. -PNE 155 – 3 credits
    9. –BIO 145 – 4 credits

Other admission point availability:

On the day of the TEAS test, certified nurse aides with a minimum of 1,000 hours and 6 months’ work experience wishing to receive credit for work experience must submit to the program director:

  • A copy of their board certification and an officially sealed letter from human resources verifying length of work experience (1,000 hours or 6 months minimum), area of experience, and contact information.
  • All documentation will be verified by the program director.
  • Selection of Cohort:
  • Applicants, submitting applications on time, will be admitted by highest to lowest scores. Applications received after the deadline may be considered: 1) if the cohort is not filled or 2) when current enrollment grades are posted. Applicants must have minimum 53 points on the scoring rubric to be considered for admission.
  • Students should refer to the Practical Nursing Admission Process and the Health Science Program Application for published deadlines and admission criteria.
Scoring Rubric
Criteria Weight Calculation Score
Cumulative GPA (high school or college) 40% GPA:_________X 10 __________
General Education Courses completed 35% Grade Points Earned_____/up to 14 X 35 __________
TEAS V testing 25% IAS TEAS V score ________X 0.25 __________
Possible bonus points:      
Certified nurse aid and work experience +10 points +10 points  
    Scoring rubric total: __________


Students should refer to the Practical Nursing Admission Process and the Health Science Program Application for published deadlines and admission criteria.


Special Note

The State Board of Nursing has the authority to deny licensure to any applicant who has violated any of the provisions of 54.1-3008 of the Code of Virginia. Any student entering the Practical Nursing program who has committed any legal offenses other than minor traffic violations should discuss these matters with the Program Director of the Practical Nursing program prior to application.

Program Requirements


  • Students accepted into the program are required to attend a mandatory orientation to the program. During this orientation, all requirements to begin training will be discussed. Acceptance letters will outline date, time, and location for orientation.

Physical examination / Immunization requirements:

  • Individuals accepted into the program must pass a physical examination given by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant and be free of any physical or mental condition, which would adversely affect performance as a member of the nursing profession. Physical examinations documentation must be dated within six (6) months of program admission.
  • Physical demands in this program include duties that frequently require squatting, bending, kneeling, reaching, stair climbing, lifting and carrying up to 50 pounds, frequent pushing and pulling up to 200 pounds with assistance, and occasional lifting and carrying up to 51-74 pounds. Duties also require constant use of sight, hearing, touch, and speech. Environmental conditions include procedures that involve handling blood and body fluids using standard precautions.
    1. Immunizations must be current,
      1. If students are unable to provide proof of immunization, titers proving immunity to diseases must be submitted.
      2. A tuberculin test is required on admission and yearly while in the program, except for previous positive reactors who must have a chest x-ray.
  • MMR X3,
  1. tetanus every 10 years,
  2. varicella X2 (or documented history), and
  3. Hepatitis B series X3.
  • Students must receive an annual flu vaccination or submit physician proof of documented allergy.
  • Students must also be certified in CPR (American Heart Association Healthcare Provider or American Red Cross Professional Provider).
  • Students are NOT covered under any type of medical insurance through Mountain Empire Community College. Any and all expenses related to medical issues/injuries, whether personal or training related, is the sole responsibility of the student.

Criminal Background Check/Drug Screening

Background checks for criminal history and sex offender crimes against minors are required for entrance into clinical agencies. Students with convictions may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not be allowed to complete the program. Any questionable background check will be reported to the clinical agency. Clinical agencies have final say whether a student may attend clinical or not. If a student is denied admission into the clinical agency, the student will not be allowed to finish the program.

Clinical agencies require drug testing prior to placement of students for clinical rotations. Students with positive drug test results will be prohibited from clinical practice and will not be eligible to complete the program. The cost of criminal background checks and drug testing will be the responsibility of the student.

Program Progression

Any student who earns a final grade lower than “C” in any listed curricular course must repeat the course and earn a final grade of “C” or better before taking the next course of sequence. Students are encouraged to repeated courses within the next available semester but must be completed within one year of admission. If over one year, students will be required to submit an application and repeat all PNE coursework. Students will be allowed ONE course failure and repeat of ONE PNE course or recognized course substitute. Upon failure of second course, student will be dismissed from program, regardless of the semester.

Students are allowed two withdrawals from PNE courses. Upon the third withdrawal, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Applicants and enrolled students within the Practical Nursing program must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Any applicant or enrolled student who fails to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or greater will be dismissed from the program.

All students will be required to complete ATI proctor exams in PNE 161, PNE 164, PNE 158, PNE 173, PNE 136 (OB and pediatrics), and PNE 145. Regardless of letter grade, a level 1 proficiency score is required to successfully complete the above listed coursework. Students who do not achieve a level 1 proficiency score will be given a grade of “F” and be required to repeat the coursework. Students who are unsuccessful (grade D or F) within coursework will not be allowed to take the ATI proctor exams and will be given the grade earned for that course.

Reminder, students may only fail and repeat one PNE, or accepted substitution, course. Upon second failure, student will be dismissed from program.

In the third semester (PNE 145), students will be given an ATI predictor exam. Students are required to score a minimum of 90% probability of passing boards on first attempt. Students will have two (2) attempts to earn the minimum score of 90% probability. Students who do not score the minimum of 90% probability on the exit exam will be given a grade of “F” for the course. Students will be required to repeat the PNE 145 coursework and take PNE 199-supervised study (graded as: satisfactory/unsatisfactory). Upon satisfactory completion of PNE 145 and PNE 199 coursework, students will be required to retake the probability exams. Students will be given two (2) attempts to score 90% or greater probability of passing on first attempt. If 90% probability is not achieved, students will be given a grade of “F” in PNE 145 and will not earn the certificate of practical nursing and will be ineligible to retake the practical nursing certificate coursework.

Virginia Community College System policy states that no course may be taken more than twice (original enrollment and one repeat). There will be no exceptions to this policy.

Reapplication to the Practical Nursing program

  1. If a student is not admitted to the program but wishes to reapply for the next year’s class, he/she MUST complete a new Practical Nursing Program Application form and submit it to Enrollment Services/Admission prior to established deadlines for the next year.
  2. Students dismissed for academic reasons can reapply to the Practical Nursing program one time only. These students must complete the nurse aid program, obtain certification, and obtain at least 1,000 hours or 6 months work experience prior to submitting application for re-admission. Students must also repeat all PNE coursework regardless of previous letter grade.


  • Transfer into the Practical Nursing program
    1. Students wishing to transfer from other colleges’ nursing programs will be given consideration by the program on an individual basis.
    2. Students requesting to use TEAS scores from another institution or nursing program must have completed the test within the previous two (2) years prior to admission into the Practical Nursing program. It is the student’s responsibility to submit copies of the TEAS testing results to enrollment services with their application.
    3. Students who transfer from another State Board of Nursing approved program will have to complete the following to receive credit: a) apply and meet all program admission requirements, b) Skills lab final exam and performance exam/check off, c) Medical math test with 90% accuracy (3 attempts allowed), d) complete a final comprehensive exam on transfer materials with 80% or greater score, and e) Received a grade of “C” (80% or higher) on any course requested for transfer.


Special Considerations

Practical Nursing is an academically rigorous program, but one having the potential to provide a rewarding career for participants.

Practical Nursing classes begin in the fall and spring of each year. This program is a limited enrollment program that accepts a maximum of 25 students in the spring semester and 30 students in the fall semester.

Medical Insurance coverage and personal liability for expenses related to injury and/or illness is the sole responsibility of the student. The College nor program assumes no responsibility for medical expenses and does not provide health insurance for students.

Financial Requirements

Students are responsible for the following costs in addition to tuition, fees, and book costs: uniforms, CPR/First Aid certification, immunizations, physical exam, medical equipment (stethoscope, sphygmomanometer, pen light, watch with second hand, etc.), and mandatory review and testing services (ATI) throughout the program. Upon completion of training, students will be eligible to sit the NCLEX-PN examination. All fees related to licensure examination are the student’s responsibility. Students are also responsible for their own transportation to the college and all clinical sites. Students who fail to meet these responsibilities will not be able to continue in the program. The anticipated cost of training: $7500.00 (subject to change as prices fluctuate).