Apr 19, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog/Student Handbook 
2019-2020 Catalog/Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing: Practical Certificate

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(Christanna Campus and Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (South Boston)

Award: Certificate

Length: Forty-nine credit hour program

Purpose: The program in Practical Nursing prepares the student with the knowledge and skills needed to enter practice as a Practical Nurse. Upon completion of the program, the student is eligible to take the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensing Exam-Practical Nurses).

Program Philosophy

The practical nursing faculty believe nursing is an art and a science that demonstrates the art of integrating and assimilating knowledge, skills, and attitudes in providing patient-centered care across the lifespan in diverse populations. The organizational framework for the practical nursing program encompasses five core values: Patient-Centered Care, Professional Identity, Nursing Judgment, Collaboration, and Safe and Effective Care.

Patient-Centered Care

Advocate collectively and collaboratively for the patient and family and recognize the value of coordinated care based upon respect for patient’s preferences, values, and needs. Patient-centered caring behaviors are nurturing, protective, and compassionate. These behaviors enable the nurse to care effectively for patients across the lifespan and in diverse populations.

Professional Identity

Conduct oneself in a way that reflects integrity, responsibility, and ethical practice. The nurse recognizes how one’s personal strengths and values contribute to their profession, patient care, and the health care team. Active participation in lifelong learning instills pride and self-fulfillment found in being a nurse.

Nursing Judgment

Seek to provide a rationale for judgments used in providing safe and quality care to patients and families across the lifespan. The nurse must integrate critical thinking and clinical judgment by evaluating, identifying, and interpreting clinical data which contributes to the interdisciplinary plan of care for the patient.


Function effectively within nursing and the interdisciplinary teams. Recognizing the keys to collaboration include open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making. These keys assist in providing quality patient care. Collaboration creates a spirit of inquiry that seeks to understand the basis for nursing actions with respect to evidence based practice, patient preference, and the culture of the healthcare environment.

Safe and Effective Care

Incorporate technology and standardized procedures that support safe and quality care. Recognize that standards of care form the basis of safe and effective care in the healthcare environment. Reporting of errors and near misses is integral to the practice of providing safe and effective care. In collaboration with the patient, family, and health care team the practical nurse uses patient teaching as an opportunity to foster active participation by the patient and family in the plan of care.

New Graduate Outcomes

After completion of the practical nursing program the new graduate will be able to:

Patient-Centered Care

Advocate for patients and families in a variety of health care settings to promote active involvement in health care decisions.

Professional Identity

Adhere to the standards of practice, demonstrate caring for others, be accountable for his/her own actions and behaviors, and practice within legal, ethical, and regulatory frameworks.

Nursing Judgment

As a member of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, the practical nurse will make effective clinical decisions by incorporating evidence based practice and critical thinking in the nursing process.


Participate in the coordination of care with nursing and the interdisciplinary team. Foster open communication and collaboration that encourages a spirit of inquiry and values evidence based practice.

Safe and Effective Care

Provide safe and effective care with an emphasis on quality by utilizing technology and standards of care for diverse patients across the lifespan.

Program Approval: The Virginia Board of Nursing has approved the development, implementation, and continuation of this program. In Virginia, a State License is required for this profession. More information may be obtained from the Virginia Department of Health Professions; Board of Nursing, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463 Phone: (804) 367-4515.

Requirements for Application: Admission to the program is a separate process from general college admission and is selective. Students must satisfy MTE requirements 1-3 prior to taking any PNE of NUR course. Please visit the SVCC website at: http://www.southside.edu/programs/certificate-practical-nursing for detailed information and requirements. Applications for the clinical portion of the program are only accepted at certain times during the year. Specific application windows and deadlines may be found at the above link.

Gainful Employment    

Contact For More Information: 

Rebecca Laben 434-736-2214

Jonette Talbott 434-572-5591


Your Next Step

Required Courses

First Semester

Total Credits: 18

Total Credits: 16

Third Semester

Total Credits: 15

Total Credits for Certificate: 49

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