Practical Nurse Certificate

Practical Nurse Certificate (PNC) Program

The Practical Nurse Certificate (PNC), a program within the Department of Nursing, is a 48-credit certificate program with up to 32 transferable nursing credits to the Associate degree nursing program at Maria College. Upon successful completion of the required coursework, students are eligible to sit for the New York State National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Passing the licensure exam will make the graduate eligible for LPN positions in the health field.

The PNC Program is offered during the weekend and can be completed within six semesters by the qualified applicant. The program consists of 47-48 credits (29 nursing and 18-19 liberal arts). It is recommended that at least 13-14 liberal arts credits be completed prior to the first nursing course. Admission priority is given to those applicants who have successfully completed the science requirement.

To enter the Practical Nurse Certificate Program, the applicant must provide evidence of a completed high school program or the equivalent. All applicants will be required to take a placement test. Those scoring below the cut-off score will be required to complete remedial course work and be re-tested to be admitted into the program, so that they will be prepared to complete the program. A complete physical examination, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification (CPR) are required before they will be allowed to take clinical courses.

A student must obtain a minimum grade of “C” in all courses required in the PNC Program. (A grade of “C-” is not adequate to meet the minimum requirement of “C”). The student must pass both theoretical and clinical components of a nursing course, or the course must be repeated in its entirety. Failure to successfully complete course work that is required by the nursing program results in dismissal from the program. A student may repeat a nursing course only once. Re-admission to the PNC Program is not automatic, and is at the discretion of the Nursing Chairperson and faculty, and may depend upon space availability. Re-admission to the nursing program beyond PNC 101 will require a written, dosage and skills examination. The student must be successful in all three examinations.

The PNC courses are offered only on the weekend and consist of a sequence of four semesters or about 15 months. The first course, PNC 101, which begins in January of each year, has lecture and lab classes during the spring "Weekend College", which is generally every other weekend. The college success seminar for PNC (PRD 103) must be taken concurrently with PNC 101.  The remaining nursing courses (PNC 102, 103 and 104) are clinical courses and require student participation every weekend from May through April of the next year (varies year to year, so please check the college's academic calendar).  Lecture and lab classes are during Saturday and Sunday of the "Weekend College".  Clinical experience is required off-site at a clinical facility during Saturday and Sunday of the opposite weekends. 

Transition to Nur 240 must be within two years of graduating from the PNC Program. If out of the nursing program for more than two years, the LPN will need to take the PN-RN Transition Course. Those who wish to re-enter the program after two years must start with PNC 101. Any student who is unsuccessful in the PNC program will not be considered for admission to the Associate degree nursing program.

Each state and/or profession has procedures for certification and licensure including, among others, consideration of felony convictions, pending criminal charges and professional misconduct. As a result, completion of a program does not guarantee licensure or certification.

The PNC program is offered in two tracks:

Track One

Track One allows a student to complete the Certificate on a part-time basis during the weekend in 47 credits. Of those, 22 to 25 will transfer to the ADN Program at Maria College (15 Nursing and 9-12 Liberal Arts). This track is designed for the student whose interest is to begin working as an LPN after completing the Certificate.

Track Two

Track Two allows a student to complete the Certificate on a part-time basis during the weekend in 48 credits. Of those, 32 will transfer to the ADN Program at Maria College (15 Nursing and 17 Liberal Arts).


Minimum Grade Point Average

    • 80 for high school students
    • 2.5 for transfer students

Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS V)

    • The TEAS V is a multiple-choice assessment of basic academic knowledge in reading, mathematics, science and English and language usage.
    • Applicants will be admitted on the basis of meeting the minimum requirements for entry and their TEAS test scores.
    • Applicants scoring below the desired TEAS test score may consider enrolling as a general studies student. Upon completion of remedial course work, the student may retest. Admissions decisions will be based on space availability.
    • How to Register for the TEAS V
        • TEAS V is administered through PSI and offered regularly in Albany
    • ATI Academic Preparedness Level of “Basic” and at or above the following scores for each of the four sub-categories:
        • Reading 70%
        • Mathematics 50%
        • Science 53.6%
        • English 50%
    • An applicant may take the TEAS test twice in a 12-month period. Test attempts at other colleges are reported to Maria College and will count as an attempt.
    • For more information please visit the Testing Requirement page.

Note:  High School students can substitute their SAT scores provided that they meet the minimum requirements.

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