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Practical Nursing

The Practical Nursing Program at Union County College is a four semester program leading to a Certificate. Nursing courses are offered during the day or on an evening/weekend schedule.  College courses may be taken during the evening, weekend hours or as distance education, as available. For all students, clinical rotations may be scheduled during the day, evening, and/or weekend hours in order to obtain optimum client care experiences. 

The curriculum incorporates theoretical knowledge from the biological and social sciences into the nursing framework. Students are able to apply information acquired in the classroom and skills laboratory to clinical client care experiences.


The Practical Nursing Program at Union County College received ongoing accreditation for eight years from October 2015 through October 2023, from the:
New Jersey Board of Nursing
124 Halsey Street
PO Box 45010
Newark, NJ  07101
(973) 504-6430


Applicants may contact the Board of Nursing with inquiries or concerns regarding the nursing program.

The program is also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN, formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission), effective 2011-2019. This is a voluntary accreditation that recognizes the program’s "ability to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality (NLNAC Accreditation Manual, 2008, p.1)." 

ACEN (NLNAC) may be contacted at:

3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 500
Atlanta, Georgia  30326
Phone: (404) 975-5000  Fax: (404) 975-5020
Graduates of this program are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN examination for Practical Nurse licensure. Licensed Practical Nurses provide client care in a variety of health care agencies under the direction of a Registered Nurse, and/or physician or dentist.
Students in the Practical Nursing program are required to have the following in order to participate in clinical nursing courses: 
  • Criminal background check clearance - for enrollment into PNU 190
  • CPR certification for the Healthcare provider
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Completed health records
  • Official uniform
 Curriculum Outcomes

The graduate of the Practical Nursing Program will:
  • Provide holistic care to clients from diverse multi-cultural backgrounds, experiencing a variety of self-care needs, within the context of the nursing process.
  • Collaborate with other members of the health care team.
  • Demonstrate accountability by practicing nursing within a legal and ethical framework.
  • Use effective verbal and written communication skills when interacting with clients, families, and other members of the health care team.
  • Assume accountability for personal and professional growth.
  • Apply clinical reasoning in interactions with clients, families, and other members of the health care team.
  • Incorporate contemporary knowledge and tools from nursing and the biological and social sciences into the care provided to clients at different developmental levels throughout the life span.
Criminal History Background Check
All students enrolled in the Practical Nursing program are required to have a clear criminal history background check to participate in clinical care experiences. Background checks are mandated by all clinical agencies and must be completed prior to enrollment in PNU 190. Students will be informed of the vendor for the background checks.
In the event that the student does not have a clear record and seeks to have further review, then each clinical affiliating agency will receive copies of any reports that indicate a criminal background. The clinical affiliating agencies will independently review these checks and, in their sole discretion, make a final decision as to whether each student will be allowed to participate in patient care activities at the clinical affiliating agency. If a student is denied clinical placement by any one clinical affiliating agency due to criminal history information, that student will not be able to enroll in PNU 190 and will be dropped from the program.
During program enrollment, it is the students’ responsibility to notify the nursing program of any change in their criminal history status.
Examples of criminal behavior (convictions, guilty pleas, or judicial findings of guilt) that may result in an inability to continue in the program include, but are not limited to: assault, battery, homicide, manslaughter, kidnapping, sexual assault, arson, domestic violence, theft, drug abuse and/or distribution, and fraud.
Failure to disclose all previous convictions, other than minor traffic violations, will be grounds for dismissal from the program.
A criminal history background check clearance is required for licensure as a Practical Nurse in the State of New Jersey. 
Admission to Practical Nursing

Upon completing the admission and placement criteria for the College, students are to submit an application packet that will be reviewed for PNU 190 enrollment.  This packet is to include an unofficial transcript of Union County College classes taken and courses accepted for advanced standing (as applicable). Selection for enrollment in the first nursing course is based upon submission of the application packet, college entry-level competency in English and Math, and achievement of a GPA of at least 2.5. If there are more applications than seats available, students will be selected based upon the GPA and date of original Union County College application or curriculum change to the Practical Nursing Program.  In this instance, students with the highest GPAs and earliest application/curriculum change dates will be given priority for enrollment.
Upon reaching the maximum enrollment in PNU 190, qualified students will be evaluated for the next regular semester offering of the course.

Career Options

Graduates of this program are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN examination for Practical Nursing Licensure. Articulation with RN programs is available for graduates who wish to continue their nursing education.

If you have any questions, you may contact (908) 791-4917

Program Information

Type of Program: Certificate

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Fast Fact

Union County College is #1 among New Jersey community colleges in non-credit Continuing Education enrollments, serving more than 26,000 learners aged 4 to 94 with certificate programs, and courses in professional development, health, fitness, leisure and personal enrichment.
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