The Practical Nursing curriculum provides knowledge and skills to integrate safety and quality into nursing care to meet the needs of the holistic individual, which impact health, quality of life, and achievement of potential.
Course work includes and builds upon the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual. Content emphasizes safe, individualized nursing care and participation in the interdisciplinary team, while employing evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics.
Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Employment opportunities include hospitals, rehabilitation/long term care/home health facilities, clinics, and physicians' offices.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Participate in evaluating the concepts of the holistic individual and client response in the promotion of health, wellness, illness, quality of life, and the achievement of potential.
- Practice professional nursing behaviors, within the ethical-legal practice boundaries of the LPN, incorporating personal responsibility and accountability for continued competence.
- Participate in providing evidence-based nursing care, from an established plan of care, based on biophysical, psychosocial and cultural needs of clients in various stages of growth and development, while assisting them to attain their highest level of wellness.
- Reinforce and/or implement the teaching plan developed and delegated by the registered nurse to promote the health of individuals, incorporating teaching and learning principles.
- Participate in the nursing process to provide individualized, safe, and effective nursing care in a structured setting under supervision.
- Demonstrate caring behaviors in implementing culturally-competent, client-centered nursing care to diverse clients across the lifespan.
- Participate in Quality Improvement (QI) by identifying hazards and errors and by suggesting, to the RN, changes to improve the client care process.
- Utilize informatics to access, manage, and communicate client information.
- Participate in collaboration with the interdisciplinary healthcare team, as assigned by the registered nurse, to support positive individual and organizational outcomes in a safe and cost effective manner.
Students applying for admission to the Gaston College Practical Nursing Program MUST meet all Gaston College admission requirements for GENERAL ADMISSION to the college.
To be eligible to participate in the competitive admission process, an applicant must complete the following application steps:
- Submit a Gaston College Application
- Complete Residency Determination for in-state tuition
- Apply for financial aid
- Meet with an advisor / Attend an information session
- Submit official transcripts
- Provide proof of course placement requirements:
Students must demonstrate readiness for College level reading and math. Students can demonstrate that readiness in the following ways:
- Provide proof of unweighted US High School GPA of 2.8 or higher within the last ten years.
- Provide proof of an associate or bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Provide proof of satisfactory scores on ACT, SAT, GED, NCDAP, COMPASS, ASSET or ACUPLACER within the last ten years.
Students who do not have recent high school transcripts or test scores within the past 10 years should prepare to take the placement test and demonstrate:
Mastery on RISE (Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence) English placement Tier 2 and RISE Math placement Tier 3; OR successfully complete ENG 002 through TIER 2 (grade of P2) and MAT 003 through Tier 3 (grade of P3).
To be eligible to submit an application to the Practical Nursing program, applicants must:
- Attend a Practical Nursing information session. Dates/times are listed online on the Practical Nursing webpage.
- Submit a minimum composite score of 60 on the ATI TEAS examination. Must be taken within five (5) years of application deadline. TEAS examinations must be taken at least 60 days apart to be eligible for admission criteria.
- Must have grades of "C" or better in all required college courses listed as part of the nursing major (PNE).
- The required courses in Anatomy & Physiology must be taken within the last ten (10) years of application deadline.
- Students on academic probation or suspension, due to related course work, will be denied admission to the Practical Nursing Education Program. A student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better for admission.
The final selection of applicants into the program is based on the following criteria, which has been approved by the Admissions Committee, made up of the nursing faculty. The final selection of applicants into the program is made by the nursing faculty.
Competitive Admission Criteria
- ATI TEAS score.
- Number of required courses completed by end of the Fall Semester prior to entering program.
- Grade Point Average (GPA) in required courses only.
- Completion of Gaston College Nurse Aide I or Nurse Aide II course. (This is not required to be admitted to the PN program).
- Completion of Gaston College Phlebotomy program. (This is not required to be admitted to the PN program).
Additional Program Requirements Upon Admission
- A Gaston College Health and Human Services Student Medical form, documenting satisfactory emotional and physical health, completed and signed by a health care practitioner.
- The documentation of additional non-academic criteria includes criminal background checks, urine drug testing, and proof of immunizations. Students are to complete these requirements by registering and paying a fee to a third party vendor. Instructions will be provided by the compliance specialist.
- Professional liability insurance (malpractice insurance) is arranged through the Gaston College Business Office.
Clinical agencies reserve the right to deny a student access to the facility based on failure to meet the above requirements. If a student is denied access to any clinical agency, the student will be not be allowed to continue in the nursing program. Detailed information regarding these agency requirements will be provided upon conditional acceptance into the nursing program.
In addition to tuition and textbooks, costs of this program include the following: uniforms, lab coat, stethoscope, clinical compliance fees and fees for application for licensure for NC State Board of Nursing and National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). Students also must maintain current CPR certification and annual PPD testing and Flu Vaccination.
Individuals interested in additional information about the Practical Nursing Program should contact the Chairperson for the Practical Nursing Program at 704.748.5220 or 704.748.5221. Deadline for Practical Nursing Application: March 1 of each year.
Clinical sites for the Practical Nursing Program are:
- Caromont Regional Medical Center, Gastonia, NC
- Atrium Health-Lincoln, Lincolnton, NC
- Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC
- Frye Regional Medical Center, Hickory, NC
- Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory, NC
- Courtland Terrace, Gastonia NC
- Carolina Care Center, Cherryville NC
- Abernethy Laurels, Newton, NC
Additional clinical sites may be added in order to achieve student learning outcomes. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from all clinical, laboratory, and class activities. Clinical experiences may be scheduled afternoons, evenings, or weekends at various clinical sites. Clinical experiences that do not fall into these time frames will be scheduled with adequate notice given to students for planning purposes.