Practical Nursing Certificate - M064



  • Overview

    Nursing is the art and science of caring. Nursing is an interpersonal process based on values, beliefs and standards of the profession. Nursing is a profession which utilizes nursing knowledge and principles from the humanities and the biological, behavioral and social sciences to assist individuals, groups and communities in promoting, maintaining and restoring health.

    The HCC Practical Nursing Program is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.


    A CORI and a SORI are state statutes that regulate licensure as a licensed practical nurse. Prior to official enrollment and at the beginning of each semester in Nursing Programs, all accepted applicants and students must give permission for CORI and a SORI check. Some clinical agencies prohibit clinical participation if there is a finding when the CORI check is complete. Participation in planned clinical experiences throughout the curriculum is required; however, acceptance into the program does not guarantee placement in a clinical agency. All applicants and nursing students will be subject to the Criminal Record Information Act (CORI check), the Sex Offender Registry Information Act (SORI), Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Section 172-178, and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 18a, Section 1, et seq., and regulations promulgated pursuant to such statutes. Court record/past conviction may present a barrier to eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse (RN) or as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Applicants with a court record/past conviction are advised to consult an attorney to determine eligibility to meet legal qualifications for nurse licensure in Massachusetts.

    All applicants for licensure as RN or LPN must be of "good moral character" as required by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing statutes and regulations. The licensure applicant must have had no criminal convictions for a minimum of five (5) years before the date of submission of the license application and must have successfully completed all court ordered stipulations a minimum of one (1) year before the applicant will be considered for licensure by the Board (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 112, ss.74, 74A, and 76). Refer to for further information.

    Students accepted to an educational program that prepares for licensure as a practical nurse should be aware that a court record may present a barrier to her/his ability to obtain licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and other jurisdictions in the United States.

    Nursing Program Application for the PN Program can be found either by contacting the Admissions office (413) 552- 2321 or by going to the HCC website:

    All applicants must complete the NLN - PAX nursing entrance exam prior to submitting the nursing program application. See nursing application for details.

    Drug Screening Policy

    Several Health Care Facilities affiliated with the College's Health and Natural Science Division are now requiring that students have a negative drug screen prior to beginning clinical experiences in their facility. In addition, a clinical facility may require the student to submit and pass random drug screening analysis in order to remain at that facility.Therefore, passing a drug screen will now be considered an essential function for all students participating in the Health and Natural Science Division Programs. If a student fails drug screening, retesting occurs within 24 hours of notification of results. Failure to pass a drug screen or refusal to submit to screening will make the student ineligible for clinical placement. Failure and/or refusal for drug screening are grounds for immediate removal from the Health and Natural Science Division . Students will be provided with the drug screen procedure during the orientation process to each course. All screening will be at the student's own expense. The Work Connection at Holyoke Medical Center has been selected as the Health and Natural Science Division's exclusive laboratory for student drug testing. Appointments will be scheduled by the nursing department.

    All applicants must meet the following requirements at the time of their application:

    College Placement Testing (CPT) must be completed within two years ofapplication deadline demonstrating the following placement:

    Math Proficiency/Placement: ≥ 82 in Algebra or completion of MTH 095 (Intermediate Algebra) or MTH 099 (Introductory and Intermediate Algebra) or comparable with a C- or better from an accredited college or university.

    English Proficiency/Placement: ≥ 70 in Reading and ≥ 80 in Sentence Skills portion of the CPT or ability to enter college-level coursework in English. English competency may also be demonstrated through college coursework (completion of English Composition I). Please see the information packet for further details if English is not your first language or if you did not attend K through 12 in the U.S.

    Science Proficiency: the HCC Biology Department requires the successful completion (C or better) of BIO 100, 103 or BIO 107 prior to taking Anatomy and Physiology. This pre-requisite may be waived by passing the Biology Challenge Exam. Testing may be scheduled by calling the Assessment Center.

    Completion of Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II prior to the application deadline is strongly encouraged. Nursing students must achieve a C+ or better in all nursing and laboratory sciences courses (A&P I and II) to remain in and graduate from the program. Applicants currently working in a healthcare field can petition to lengthen the time that their laboratory science coursework is transferable to the Nursing Program by completing the Laboratory Science Petition Form in the Nursing Program Application.

    Please see the Nursing Program Application for other important information concerning required documentation and requirements for admission. Applicants for the Practical Nursing Program are reminded that transportation is the responsibility of the student. Since clinical experiences may be scheduled at various times, students are expected to plan for and meet at the designated times scheduled.

    The Board of Registration in Nursing mandates a minimum number of hours for practical nursing students (CMR 244-6.00(4)(b)4). Therefore, a student may be withdrawn from the program for failing to meet the attendance policy. 

    Program Outcomes

    • 90% of the students graduating from the Practical Nursing Certificate Program will pass the NCLEX-PN exam on their first attempt.
    • The graduates will rank in the 80th percentile or better in the NCLEX-PN State and National standing.
    • 90% of graduates of the Practical Nursing Certificate Program will be employed in nursing within one year of graduation.
    • 85% of the graduate surveys returned will indicate that the Practical Nursing Certificate Program was satisfactory in preparation for the entry into nursing practice in a variety of health care settings.
    • 85% of employer surveys returned will indicate satisfaction with graduate performance in the workplace.

    Please visit our Division pages to learn more.

    Gainful Employment Disclosure


    • Certificate

Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000