All about our Practical Nursing program
Practical Nursing Curriculum Requirements
Pre-nursing students planning to enter the Practical Nursing (PN) program are advised to take the following prerequisite courses:
- BIO 151 Nutrition (3 credits)
- BIO 168 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)
- BIO 173 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits)
- BIO 186 Microbiology (4 credits)
- EDU 160 Human Growth and Development (3 credits)
Within these prerequisite courses, applicants will need to earn a minimum 2.7 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
All students are advised to register for classes with nursing program advisors or nursing faculty at each campus. A list of these contacts can be found on the "Meet Our Faculty and Staff" page.
Applications for the Practical Nursing program are accepted throughout the year, with a new class beginning each fall and spring at MCC and each fall at ECC. Your Nursing Admissions Folder must be complete by March 15 for Fall admission or October 15 for MCC's Spring admission. However, qualified applicants with completed admissions folders will be accepted on a "first come, first served" basis prior to these deadlines.
When student has been officially accepted into the Practical Nursing program, each student will take the following courses as listed below. Marshalltown Community College (MCC) begins a new class each fall and spring semester. A new class begins only in the fall at Ellsworth Community College (ECC).
- PNN126 Fundamentals of Nursing (6.5 credits)
- PNN231 Pharmacology (3 credits)
- PNN402 Mental Health Concepts (2 credits)
- PNN424 Intro. to Obstetrics (2 credits)
- PNN412 Intro. to Pediatrics (2.5 credits)
- PNN520 Adult Client I (4 credits)
- PNN522 Adult Client II (3.5 credits)
- PNN536 Adult Client III (4 credits)
- PNN523 Nursing Care of the Older Adult (2 credits)
Gainful employment reporting
Beginning July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education began requiring colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible certification program that “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” The information provided here represents only one year’s data but will be updated as more information becomes available.
For ECC’s Practical Nursing program, of the 17 program completers in 2012-13 who responded to a survey (17 of 21), 1 was employed in a related or unrelated field and 16 decided to continue their education at the time of the survey, for a respondent placement rate of 100%. It took the completers two terms to finish the program for an on-time program completion rate of 5%. Of the 21 completers, the median loan debt was $6,436. College cost information can be found online at http://www.iavalley.edu/ecc/financial_aid/costs.html.
For MCC’s Practical Nursing program, of the 41 program completers in 2012-13 who responded to a survey (41 of 42), 10 were employed in a related or unrelated field and 26 decided to continue their education at the time of the survey, for a respondent placement rate of 88%. It took the completers two terms to finish the program for an on-time program completion rate of 7%. Of the 42 completers, the median loan debt was $9,485. College cost information can be found online at http://www.iavalley.edu/mcc/financial_aid/costs.html.
Additional information about practical nursing and practical nursing careers can be found on the O*Net website at http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2061.00 .
Practical Nursing Course Descriptions
BIO168: Human Anatomy & Physiology I (4 credits) – Introduces the structure and function of the human body, with an emphasis on cell and tissue organization, and the integumentary, musculoskeletal, and nervous system.
BIO173: Human Anatomy & Physiology II (4 credits) – The structure and function of the human body, with an emphasis on the endocrine, cardiovascular, pulmonary, urinary, digestive, and respiratory systems.
EDU160: Human Growth & Development (3 credits) – Examines physical, social, and cognitive development from conception to death, utilizing current research.
BIO151: Nutrition (3 credits) – Understanding and implementing present-day knowledge of nutrition. Use of food for health and satisfaction of the individual and the family.
PNN126: Fundamentals of Nursing (5 credits) – Orients the student to nursing and the nursing process. Develops technical skills used within the scope of practical nursing in Iowa and enhances knowledge and professionalism in the use of interpersonal communication and professional and medical ethics.
PNN231: Pharmacology (3 credits) – The coursework provides an introduction to the study of drugs which affect various body systems. Various pharmacological classification, dose ranges, actions, side effects, and methods of administration of common-prescribed medications will be studied. The foundation for safe and effective drug preparation and dosage calculations will be a focus.
PNN402: Mental Health Concepts (1.5 credits) – Explores the basic mental health areas for practical nurses, with a focus on the mind and body connection that exists in each person. Course work develops the mental health variables of assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental illnesses. Correlation between the psychological and medical-surgical venues are emphasized in the nurse-patient relationship.
PNN412: Introduction to Obstetrics (2 credits) – This course includes health teaching related to the study of family centered nursing care. Maternity focus: The study of preconception; pregnancy and major complications; the birth process; postpartum nursing care; and newborn care. Students learn about contraception; infertility; common neonatal birth defects; and differentiate principles of newborn care for preterm infants, term infants, and post-term infants.
PNN424: Introduction to Pediatrics (2.5 credits) – Pediatric focus: Emphasizes the application of principles of human growth and development to provide nursing care to families with infants, children, or adolescents. The study of nursing care for the prevention and treatment of common pediatric disorders is highlighted. The clinical component is in acute care obstetrical and pediatric settings.
PNN521: Nursing Care of the Adult Client I (5 credits) – Applies a systematic approach for the comprehensive coverage of the nursing care of adults with disorders requiring medical and surgical management. Each unit covers a body system and begins with assessment, age-related changes, diagnostic tests and procedures, and common therapeutic measures that are related to the body system discussed. Specific disorders and nursing care are then discussed. Students continue to develop skills using NANDA terminology and the nursing process. There is an associated clinical component in an acute care setting.
PNN522: Nursing Care of the Adult Client II (3.5 credits) Continues the systematic approach for the comprehensive coverage of the nursing care of adults with disorders requiring medical and surgical management covered in Nursing Care of the Adult Client I. There is an associated clinical component in the acute care setting.
PNN523: Nursing Care of Older Adults (2 credits) – This course is designed to assist students to assume their role as a member of the health care team. It presents an overview of the normal processes of aging and gerontological nursing. Includes the study of health promotion for well elderly as well as the study of common problems and disorders of aging. Includes an introduction to MDS. Identifies ethical issues relating to elders and the Human Genome Project. Reviews pharmaco-therapeutics and laboratory data considerations in the elderly. The clinical component includes an emphasis on elder assessment and rehabilitation.
PNN524: Nursing Care of the Adult Client III (3 credits) – Continues the systematic approach for the comprehensive coverage of the nursing care of adults with disorders requiring medical and surgical management covered in Nursing Care of the Adult Client I & II. There is an associated clinical component in the acute care setting and a preceptorship experience.
Practical Nursing students must complete clinical rotations while in the program. The total number of clinical hours required for the entire Practical Nursing program is 309 hours broken down between six different clinical rotations and a preceptorship at the end of the program. Each student will gain clinical experience in the areas of Medical Surgical Nursing, Obstetrics, Pediatrics and Geriatrics in both the hospital and long term care settings. Clinical rotations are taught by full time nursing faculty and adjunct clinical nursing faculty.