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Practical Nurse

Certificate of Applied Science Degree

Program Director: Lauren Swant

Program Faculty: Kaylene Strutz, Mandilynn Lee, Russell Biddle

A hybrid option is available for this program. Please contact the program director for more information.

Program Website

Program Application (Fall 2019 Application is available February 15th)

The Practical Nurse program prepares individuals to function as entry-level practical nurses with the ability to give safe, effective nursing care. The Practical Nurse program at Great Falls College Montana State University is currently approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing.

Upon completion of the Certificate of Applied Science Degree in Practical Nursing, students will be prepared to begin a successful career as a practical nurse. Students are prepared to sit for the national licensure examination for practical nursing.

The Practical Nurse program is a limited enrollment program. Interested students must apply for entry into the program. An application packet is available on the program website. Accepted students will be required to provide proof of Health Care Provider CPR certification, a negative Tuberculosis test, and a complete Student Immunization and Verification form before the beginning of the fall semester of the practical nurse courses. Computer skills are highly recommended.

The Hepatitis B immunization series is strongly recommended before entrance into the program. A student may be denied access to clinical rotations without an adequate Hepatitis B titer. Students having religious or personal conflicts against receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine must sign a release form.

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Incorporate therapeutic communication and collaboration with clients, families, and health care team for theoretical knowledge and professional delivery of high quality and safe patient care.
  • Practice within the ethical, legal, and regulatory framework of state board of nursing, basing nursing decisions on ethics, legal knowledge, theoretical knowledge, and professional expectations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct practice with insight and without discrimination on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual preference, national origin, or handicap.
  • Utilize the nursing process to collect, report, and record objective and subjective data in an accurate and timely manner to formulate clinical decisions and implement nursing interventions for the provision of safe, quality care.
  • Demonstrate skill in providing comprehensive, holistic, culturally compassionate care for clients, families, and communities across the life span.
  • Demonstrate accountability, responsibility, professional attitude, civility, and commitment to nursing when dealing with clients, families, and members of the health care team.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, using the nursing process to assist with clinically competent care.
  • Contribute to the individualized care plan that enables one to adapt health care practices that meet the needs of patients from various cultures and life experiences.
  • Participate in lifelong learning, fostering the development of professional growth, critical thinking, and leadership.

Estimated Resident Program Cost*

Tuition and Fees $5,127
Application Fee $30
Uniforms $225
Lab/Course Fees $80
Program Fee $200
Books/Supplies $2,531
Total $8,192

Many students need preliminary math, science, and writing courses before enrolling in the program requirements. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math and writing placement before planning out their full program schedules.

GFC MSU Additional Graduation Requirement

Prerequisite Coursework

The following courses must be completed prior to admission into the Practical Nurse Program. All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C (not a C-) in each course and a minimum cumulative GPA in prerequisite coursework of 2.0. Grades in prerequisite courses are a major factor in ranking applications for program acceptance.

Science courses must be completed within five (5) years of application to the program, and other courses must be completed within 15 years of applying to the program.

PSYX 100Introduction to Psychology +3
WRIT 101College Writing I **.+3
Select one of the following
BIOH 104Basic Human Biology & Lab **,+4
BIOH 201Human Anat Phys I/Lab (= 301) **,+4
BIOH 211Human Anat Phys II & Lab(=311) *,+4
Select one of the following
M 120Mathematics with Health Care Applications **,+3
M 121College Algebra **,+3
M 140College Math for Healthcare **,+3
M 151Precalculus **,+4
M 171Calculus I **,+4
NOTE: STAT 216 Intro to Statistics will no longer be accepted as a math substitution effective Fall 2014. For transfer students, M 115 Probability and Linear Math will be accepted.

Program Course Requirements After Formal Acceptance

Once enrolled in nursing courses, a minimum of a grade of C in all courses is required to continue in the program. In the clinical setting, students must achieve a grade of 75% in all rotations of each clinical experience.

The courses listed below are required in the program of study for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Practical Nursing. The courses are offered at GFC MSU in the following sequence:

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
NRSG 130 Fundamentals of Nursing *,+ 3
NRSG 131 Fundamentals of Nursing Lab *,+ 3
NRSG 135 Pharmacology for Practical Nurses *,+ 3
NRSG 136 Pharmacology for Practical Nurses Lab *,+ 1
NRSG 152 Gerontology and Community Nursing *,+ 2
NRSG 153 Gerontology and Community Nursing Clinical *,+ 2
NRSG 140 Adult Health Nursing *,+ 4
NRSG 141 Adult Health Nursing Clinical *,+ 2
NRSG 142 Nursing Care of Women and Children *,+ 3
NRSG 143 Nursing Care of Women and Children Clinical *,+ 1
NRSG 148 Leadership Issues for Practical Nurse *,+ 2
NRSG 149 Leadership Issues for Practical Nurse Clinical *,+ 1
 Total Credits27


Suggested Electives

These courses are highly recommended in addition to standard nursing curriculum.

AHMS 144Medical Terminology3
Any NASX prefix course3
NUTR 221Basic Human Nutrition3
Any PSYX prefix course3