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Practical Nursing (3270)

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Practical Nursing - Certificate (3270)

Are you compassionate about others and work well with a team? Can you do multiple tasks while working under pressure? Do you have a general interest in the inner-workings of the human body? If so, a career in practical nursing may be for you.

HACC’s Practical Nursing certificate will give you the knowledge and skills to obtain your license and practice in this exciting field. This curriculum is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

View program requirements!

Practical nurses are crucial members of a healthcare team.  The demand for licensed practical nurses continues to grow. A practical nurse is prepared to work in many healthcare delivery settings, such as extended-care facilities, dialysis centers, correctional centers, clinics and acute-care facilitates, and be wellness coaches. As a practical nurse, you may perform a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Meeting the basic needs of stable clients
  • Carrying out therapeutic procedures under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed physician
  • Observing/reporting the response to treatment of the client, family or community
  • Collecting data concerning the client’s, family’s or community’s response to health, illness and life events
  • Identifying the needs of the client, family or community based upon the data collected
  • Assisting the client, family or community in developing preferred outcomes

Every day is different for practical nurses; therefore, it is important to have a well-rounded blend of skills. The ideal candidate for this program should:

  • Be compassionate and non-judgmental
  • Have excellent organizational skills
  • Be flexible in the face of change
  • Communicate effectively with all types of people
  • Be able to perform multiple tasks with attention to detail
  • Perform effectively under pressure


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Due to the amount of hands-on training and level of commitment by our professors, it is a selective program. Acceptance in to the program is not a guarantee. Instead, you must apply to enter the program, which is different from applying to the College. Since there are specific requirements, we encourage you to visit the Health Careers section of our website, email

Our program will prepare you to demonstrate:


  • Qualify for NCLEX-PN Licensure examination
  • Participate in life-long learning
  • Demonstrate ethical behaviors in nursing practice
  • Demonstrate accountability in nursing practice


  • Communicate effectively with client, family and colleagues

Critical Thinking

  • Utilize the nursing process to assist in the provision of developmentally appropriate care to clients with common well-defined health problems throughout the life span
  • Demonstrate critical thinking using the nursing process to assist in the delivery of clinically competent care
  • Collaborate in providing client care utilizing evidence base practice


  • Provide holistic care that reflects the client's values, cultures and lifestyles
  • Engage in caring behaviors to help achieve desired therapeutic outcomes
  • Promote comfort and optimal level of functioning along the health care continuum

After receive the Practical Nursing certificate, you will be qualified to register for the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). Once you pass this exam, you will obtain a license to practice as a practical nurse. When you are licensed, you can find employment as a practical nurse.


  • View summaries of every course at HACC by browsing our class schedules database.
  • Review our program guide (pdf) to view a list of required courses, recommended course sequencing and program competencies.
  • Browse our advising checksheet (pdf), which is also an excellent tool to help you personalize your course load each term and manage your overall advancement through our programs.

Our certificate program is designed to lead you directly into the workforce. However, if you wish to continue your education, we encourage you to earn an associate degree in our Nursing AS program!

When you complete your associate degree, you can continue and transfer credits to a four-year school.

You can complete the entire program at our Harrisburg, Lancaster and York campuses.


Yes! HACC has approximately 200 scholarships available through the HACC Foundation. Before you submit your application, we encourage you to learn the guidelines and steps to follow.


You can enroll in HACC classes for the spring, summer and fall, and you can apply online anytime! When you submit your application, you must include the unique program code 3270 to ensure you are applying to the correct program.  

Please remember that the program is selective. Acceptance in to the College does not guarantee admission in to the Practical Nursing program. There are specific requirements you must meet to be accepted. For the specific requirements, nursing application and admission cycle, please visit the Health Careers LPN webpage or please contact an Admissions Counselor, by phone at 800-ABC-HACC, or by email at


Compassionately YOURS, we want to help you succeed in your studies and to be your education partner. Please contact an Admissions Counselor, by phone at 800-ABC-HACC, or by email at


Did you know?

Job postings for nursing, psychiatric and home health aides in our region increased 42% between March 1, 2020, and May 8, 2020.

Source: Emsi June 2020 Report