Programs And Courses

Health Careers
Health Careers

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 sit for your NCLEX-PN license exam and practice in this exciting field as an Licensed Practical Nurse. This curriculum is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

All students interested in this program must begin in the Pre-Health Professions Program. Then, students may apply for admission into this program once they meet the requirements to apply. Students will discuss these admission requirements as part of their advising process.

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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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Our program is designed to prepare you to sit for your National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) licensing exam. Once you finish our certificate and successfully pass this exam, you will be able to work as a Licensed Practice Nurse (LPN) in the state of Pennsylvania.

Due to the amount of hands-on training and level of commitment by our professors, our program 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:


  • Possess a sense of professional identity, a spirit of inquiry and a commitment to the profession of practical nursing
  • Demonstrate the ability to practice as a member of the health care team, whose practice reflects holistic patient-centered care, integrity and ethical behavior
  • Provide evidence-based clinical nursing practice by using evidence to promote change and excellence
  • Consistently demonstrate accountability, ethical behavior, and adhere to the standards of professional practice


  • Communicate effectively, in a therapeutic way with the patient, promoting human dignity integrity, and human flourishing across the life span
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize informatics, as a communication and information gathering tool to support patient-centered care
  • Demonstrate the ability to respectfully communicate information verbally, nonverbally and in writing, while delivering patient-centered care in partnership with multidisciplinary members and to achieve continuity of care and positive patient outcomes

Critical Thinking

  • Demonstrate the ability to recall and comprehend information and problem solving using the nursing process and concepts foundational to quality nursing practice
  • Utilize critical thinking skills to make nursing judgments regarding a posed clinical problem that demonstrate the use of the nursing process
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply nursing knowledge to implement interventions and to reach a nursing judgment regarding the patient response to interventions in accordance with the national patient safety initiative


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

The Practical Nursing program at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College), located at One HACC Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110-2999, is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta GA 30326 (Phone: 404-975-5000),

  • This program was initially accredit in May 1991.
  • The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners (September 2019) for the Practical Nursing program is Continuing Accreditation.
  • You may view the public information disclosed by ACEN regarding this program at:
  • 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.

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 may complete our certificate at our Harrisburg, Lancaster and York campuses through various modalities (e.g., on-campus/in-person instruction, hybrid, synchronous remote instruction and/or asynchronous instruction).

Yes! We offer many scholarships through the HACC Foundation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility requirements. To learn how to apply, please visit

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 first enroll into the Pre-Health Professions AS degree. So, use the program code 3150 on your application and then select the Practical Nursing concentration.   

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, practical 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


Future students, we are excited to connect with you and answer your questions. Please choose the option that works best for you to meet with us.

Current HACC students, please contact our Advising Department with any questions.