ACM logo
ACM logo
Practical Nursing Certificate

Sandy Clark, Program Director
Allied Health 219

The Practical Nursing Certificate curriculum prepares the graduate to assume responsibilities of patient care in hospitals and similar facilities within the scope of the defined functions of the practical nurse. The Practical Nursing Program is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing, 4140 Patterson Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215-2254; 410-585-1900, 1-888-202-9861. Graduates of the program receive a certificate and are eligible to write the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) for licensure as Licensed Practical Nurses. One Practical Nursing class is admitted to the College each year in the fall.

A minimum grade of "C" is required in all science coursework; however, note that admission is competitive with grade point average being important. Laboratory science courses taken ten or more years prior to application for admission will not be considered.

Nursing students must meet the scholastic standards of the College and in addition must achieve a grade of "C" or better in each nursing course and each required biology course. Students must have a passing (satisfactory) grade in both clinical and campus laboratories. Students who fail to achieve a "C" grade in a nursing course and/or satisfactory grade in clinical and campus laboratories will not be permitted to continue in the program since courses are sequential and prerequisite for continuance. Students may be dismissed from the program for unprofessional and/or inappropriate behavior in clinical laboratory sites. Since all classes are sequential in nature, courses must be taken during or before the semester listed.

The nursing courses are designed to be completed within four consecutive college semesters. This normal progression within a two-year period may be interrupted in some instances because of a need for course repetition to receive a satisfactory grade, or because of illness or other unforeseen circumstances. To maintain continuity of the program, a maximum time limit of eight consecutive semesters (or four college years) will be allowed for completion of the program. During this time period, as the student progresses through the program, the student may not repeat (because of unsatisfactory performance) more than one required nursing course. A student who makes unsatisfactory progress in a required nursing course may repeat it only one time. Failure of a second course in the program constitutes a program failure. Readmission to the nursing program may be contingent upon completing a prescription, which requires the student to demonstrate improvement or appropriate change in the behavior(s), which resulted in failure. Eligible students will be readmitted only on space available basis, and students may have to wait for admission.

The Practical Nursing curriculum at Allegany College of Maryland has been designated as a Health Manpower Shortage Program. The Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has determined certain health occupations in the state to be in short supply. The Maryland Higher Education Commission has designated educational programs that correspond to these health occupations to be eligible for the Health Manpower Shortage Program. Maryland residents from counties other than Allegany County who register in this eligible program will be charged the out-of-county tuition rate. However, these students may be eligible to receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost difference between the in-county and out-of-county tuition rates. Funding availability for this program is based on funding from the State of Maryland and is thus subject to change each semester. Some restrictions apply. More information can be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office.

A satisfactory health record must be on file prior to clinical experience. In order to participate in clinical experiences, students must meet clinical agency requirements. All students are required to have an annual flu vaccine, unless an approved medical or religious exemption has been obtained. Students may be required to obtain a drug screen to meet clinical agency requirements. Students will need to obtain a Criminal Record Check prior to entrance into the Practical Nursing Program for the state where their clinical experiences are held. During enrollment any official change or the initiation of any governmental proceeding affecting the information revealed by the required criminal or child abuse background check must be reported immediately by the student to the director of the nursing program.

Completion of the program and recommendation by the Program Director entitles the graduate to be considered for admission to the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Completion of the requirements of the nursing program does not guarantee eligibility or guarantee passing the NCLEX-PN exam for licensure. A passing score on the examination results in qualifying for licensure as a practical nurse. Licensure is determined by a state board of nursing. By law, the Board may deny licensure for a variety of reasons. These include conviction of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude if the nature of the offense bears directly on the fitness of the person to practice.

BLS/CPR is a prerequisite to clinical nursing. Certification and/or recertification are the responsibility of the student. (The college regularly offers such courses.)

The College reserves the right to revise course and admissions requirements as appropriate.

The program costs beyond tuition, fees, and books are approximately $500 for uniforms, liability insurance, and achievement tests.

Students not admitted to the Practical Nursing Program should refer to the section entitled Selective Admission Health programs in the Admissions procedures section of the catalog.

Practical Nursing is designed as a career ladder program. The first year of the associate degree and the first year of the practical nursing programs are identical. Students interested in the Associate Degree Nursing Program should refer to the Nursing Program. This is a career program and is designed to enable students to seek employment at the program's completion. If you plan to transfer to a four-year college or university, please check with your advisor and Advising Center staff as soon as possible.

Successful completion of this program qualifies a student to apply for a Certificate in Practical Nursing.

To become eligible for this program, as a recent high school graduate or Early College student, an applicant must satisfy the following requirements:

  • One year of high school chemistry, biology, and algebra (or their equivalent) with a minimum grade of “C” in each course.
  • Pass the Allegany College of Maryland Placement Assessment including the Anatomy and Physiology Placement Exam or successfully complete all required courses before the first college semester.
  • A minimum ACT score of 21 in each section will meet the minimum requirements to apply for admission as a high school student, but meeting the minimum score will not guarantee admission into the program. The average composite score of an accepted student is 25.

To become eligible as a college student currently attending Allegany College of Maryland or transferring from another institution, or any Early College student at Allegany College of Maryland who has waived the senior year at high school and is enrolled as a full-time student, an applicant must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • Pass the Allegany College of Maryland Placement Assessment including the Anatomy and Physiology Placement Exam or successfully complete all required courses.
  • Have a minimum overall college grade point average of 2.5.
  • Successfully complete Anatomy and Physiology I (Biology 207). In order to be eligible to enroll in this course, students must have passed the Anatomy and Physiology Placement Exam or successfully completed Biology 93, 100 or 101 with a grade of ”C” or better. Students must have appropriate placement scores or a grade of “C” or better in Reading 93 and Mathematics 90 to be eligible for Anatomy and Physiology I (Biology 207). Current enrollment in Anatomy and Physiology I (Biology 207) will be considered in determining eligibility for admission.
  • Schedule and take the Nursing Admission Assessment Test for the Nursing program. The test is administered each semester at various times and locations. A list of testing dates is available in the Nursing Office, Admissions Office, and is listed on the college website ( Please refer to the Nursing Information Book for more specific information on the test.

Applicants will be ranked using the following factors:

  • Scores on the standardized exam (weighted 1/3). The average score for an accepted applicant is 84.
  • A point system awarding points for each required course completed and grade earned (weighted 2/3).
  • For Anatomy and Physiology 207; Anatomy and Physiology 208; Microbiology 204; and College Algebra 102 or Probability and Statistics 109
    • Each A will be worth 10 points
    • Each B will be worth 8 points
    • Each C will be worth 6 points
    • No points will be awarded for a D or F
  • For all other general education courses required for the Nursing program (English 101;Psychology 101 and 203; Sociology 101; and two Humanities electives)
    • Each A will be worth 5 points
    • Each B will be worth 3 points
    • Each C will be worth 1 point
    • No points will be awarded for a D or F

The average point total for an accepted applicant is 56.

Admission to the Nursing program is competitive and not all applicants can be selected.

Applications must be received in the Nursing Office no later than February 28 if the student wishes to be considered for the fall program. Please contact the Nursing Office or the Admissions Office for complete application requirements.

The CMA-PN Online program is for currently certified Medical Assistant CMA (AAMA). There is specific admission criteria and deadline dates for acceptance into this Practical Nursing pathway. Interested applicants should contact the Nursing office for detailed information.

A minimum grade of “C” is required in all science coursework; however, note that admission is competitive with grade point average being important. Laboratory science courses taken ten or more years prior to application for admission will not be considered.


Required Nursing Courses

Nursing I
Nursing II
Mental Health Concepts in Nursing
Nursing in Society
Concepts in Maternal-Child Nursing

Required General Courses

Anatomy and Physiology of the Human I
Anatomy and Physiology of the Human II
English Composition I
College Algebra or
Probability and Statistics
General Psychology
Human Growth and Development (Education 203)




Biological Science 207 (Anatomy and Physiology of the Human I) 4
Total: 4
Biological Science 208 (Anatomy and Physiology
of the Human II)
Nursing 120 (Nursing I) 9
Psychology 101 (General Psychology) 3
Total: 16
English 101 (English Composition I) 3
Mathematics 102 or 109 (College Algebra or Probability and Statistics) 3
Nursing 150 (Nursing II) 9
Psychology 203 (Human Growth and Development) 3
Total: 18
SUMMER SESSION (following second semester)
Practical Nursing 106
(Mental Health Concepts)
Practical Nursing 108
(Nursing in Society)
Practical Nursing 110 (Concepts in Maternal-Child Nursing) 5
Total: 7
Total Credit Hours: 45

PROGRAM NOTE: All general education classes must be taken either before or with the semester listed in order to progress to the next semester.

All nursing courses must be taken in the sequence listed.

NOTE: All courses specifically identified by course number are graduation requirements for this program.