Practical Nursing Certificate
This certificate program admits students twice a year — starting in August and ending in July and starting in January and ending in December. Classroom instruction is coordinated with clinical experience in the nursing care of patients at the local hospital and nursing homes. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses. The PN program is approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and traditionally has a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX-PN. The PN program also is ranked second in Arkansas by www.practicalnursing.org.
To be eligible for admission the student must:
- Be accepted as a student in the college.
- Complete and submit the PN Program application or printable application by April 15 for the August class and Oct. 15 for the January class. The written application for admission must be renewed yearly. Applicants applying after the deadline will be considered for admission if space is available and they meet the admission criteria stated in the admission requirements.
- Have completed the ACT, COMPASS or ASSET Test and have scores sent to Northark. Transfer students must submit a complete transcript.
- Must complete all college preparatory classes based on scores on the ACT, COMPASS or ASSET test with a “C” or above before being accepted into the PN Program.
- Have official high school transcript or GED scored sent to the Registrar’s Office at Northark.
- Have official transcripts from colleges/universities attended sent to Registrar’s Office at Northark. Must hold a 2.5 grade point average or higher for entry into the program.
- Complete the prerequisite course BIOL 1434, Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology or BIOL 2214, Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 2224, Anatomy and Physiology II with a minimum grade of a “C.” It must be successfully completed within five years of entry into the program.
- Have a CNA license and submit it with the application.
- Submit a completed health form on the first day of class verifying good physical and mental health which may also include a negative drug screen.
- Submit the following immunizations on the first day of class:
- MMR - MMR screening or vaccination - series of 2.
- Hepatitis B screening or vaccination - series of 3.
- Tdap within the last 10 years. The Tetanus, Diphtheria, Petussis (Tdap) immunization is needed every 10 years to remain protected.
- Tuberculin (TB) skin test - 2 within the last year (two-step or annual)
- Varicella - verification of having chickenpox, Varicella screening or vaccination - series of 2.
- Be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) “healthcare provider course” prior to entry in the PN Program. Students must maintain certification throughout the program. CPR must be obtained through the American Heart Association.
- Students must carry malpractice insurance which is obtained each semester when paying fees.
- Students who are offered a place in an entering class must accept by phone or writing by the date indicated on the acceptance letter or the position will be given to the next alternate.
- Attend an all-day orientation session prior to starting the program.
- Upon admission to the program, the student will submit to a criminal background check prior to clinical experience. Students will also submit to a federal and Arkansas criminal background check during the last 8 weeks of the PN Program. All persons seeking initial licensure as a nurse in Arkansas are required to undergo a federal and Arkansas criminal background check. If you have pled guilty or been convicted of a crime, you must check this on the PN Program application. If an applicant has been convicted, pleaded guilty, or nolo contendere to any offense listed in Act 1208 or 1999, he/she is not eligible for Arkansas licensure. Act 1208 and 1999 provides opportunity to request a waiver of eligibility criteria related to a criminal background in certain circumstances. If you need additional information, contact the Director of the PN Program.
- Falsification of any information in the application process may result in dismissal from the program. All PN classes must be successfully completed with a “C” or above, including Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology.