2022-2023 Catalog 
    Feb 29, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Practical Nursing Leading to LPN, C

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The mission of the MECC Practical Nursing program is to facilitate the health of the community. This mission is accomplished through nursing education, leadership, scholarship, and innovative nursing practice. The foundation of these goals is lifelong learning, responsiveness to changing healthcare needs, generation and dissemination of new knowledge, and service to the public and the profession.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  1. Obtain an entry-level nursing position within a variety of healthcare settings.
  2. Provide nursing care encompassing the attainment and maintenance of the physical and mental health of clients and groups with multiple chronic conditions throughout the life span in a variety of healthcare settings.
  3. Provide focused assessments of client status that includes the use of quantitative reasoning to determine client needs, care, data collection, evaluation, reporting, and documentation of care rendered.
  4. Development of working concepts of anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, and behavioral sciences.
  5. Development of communication skills to enhance the nurse-client and interdisciplinary team relations.
  6. Develop and provide care based on understanding of the concepts of the ethical and legal aspects of nursing, including Virginia Code of Nursing, client rights, privacy, confidentiality, prevention, recognition, intervention, and reporting evidence of child or elder abuse; roles of the practical nurse; professional boundaries; history and trends in nursing care.
  7. Provide care to clients throughout the life span in concepts of medication administration, dosage calculations, and nutrition and diet therapy.
  8. Provide client-centered care that incorporates respect of cultural differences, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and client and healthcare setting safety; prevention and appropriate response to bioterrorism, natural and man-made disasters, and intimate partner and family violence; use of critical thinking skills in the implementation of safe client care and care of clients with multiple, chronic conditions.
  9. Development of management and supervisor skills that include technology use, quality improvement and supervision of aides and assistive personnel.

Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities for the Licensed Practical Nurse include, but are not limited to, staff positions in hospitals, nursing homes, health departments, physicians’ offices, clinics, home health agencies, day care centers, public schools, and civil service. 

Program Requirements

An academic advisor will review with students their preparation in Mathematics and English. Students will be guided to appropriate preliminary coursework to give them the greatest chance of success in this program All identified developmental course needs must be completed prior to admission to the Practical Nursing program.

  1. State accredited high school diploma, home school diploma, or GED.
  2. For high school graduates/GED recipients with less than twelve (12) transferable college credits completed, the cumulative high school GPA will be used. The GPA for GED recipients will be computed based on the total GED score.
  3. Applicants are solely responsible for completing and/or submitting the following items:
  • MECC application for admission to the college
  • MECC Practical Nursing Program Application (Spring Semester deadline is October 15; Fall Semester deadline is June 15. Applicants will be notified of status for admission during the month following application deadline.
  • A copy of high school transcript or GED scores and any college transcripts must be submitted as an attachment to the Application for Practical Nursing online program application.
  • It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application file is complete and all supporting documents have been uploaded as part of the online program application.
  • A copy of TEAS testing scoring sheet must be uploaded with the online application.
  • Completion of an online Practical Nursing Program Application is required for each academic year for which the applicant is interested in being considered.

Additional Information

Admission to Practical Nursing program is based upon:

  • Demonstrated competency in math, English, and science by one or more of the following:
    • Readiness for MTH 133  (minimum testing scores of MTE 1-3 or MDE 10 ) or completion of MTH 133  (C or better course grade)
    • Readiness for ENG 111 ; or completion of ENG 111  (C or better course grade)c. All developmental course work must be completed prior to program admission.
  • Biology with a lab (high school or college) with a “C” or better. Applied biology and/or ecology does not satisfy this requirement. PNE 155 , BIO 1 , BIO 101  or BIO 102 , BIO 141  or BIO 142 , BIO 145 , or NAS 171  will meet the admission requirements.
  • Cumulative GPA will be calculated at 40% into the overall scoring rubric. GED recipients will be ranked according to their general equivalent diploma scores. The most current grade recorded for coursework will be used in admission consideration. Minimum GPA for admission consideration is 2.0.
  • TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) entrance testing: Applicants must complete all sections of the TEAS test. The individualized adjusted score will be calculated at 25% into the overall grading rubric for admission.
  • TEAS scores must be attached to the application and submitted to Enrollment Services.
    • Scheduling a TEAS examination: Go to www.mecc.edu/testing and click on the TEAS registration form link. Complete this form to register for a date and time to take the TEAS assessment. After you submit the form, you will receive an Outlook Calendar invitation within 48 hours.
    • Students can choose to submit previous completed TEAS testing scores. Testing scores must be completed and dated within the last two (2) years.
    • Testing fee: $70.00. (price for testing subject to change).
    • aying for TEAS testing: Fees for TEAS testing must be paid by credit card, debit card, or prepaid card in the Student Services Testing Center. Please bring one of these methods of payment with you on the day of your test. Student Services staff will assist test takers in processing online payment.
  • Study guides for the TEAS test can be found online at www.atitesting.com, uniontestprep.com/teas and the Wampler Library on MECC campus. Other resources may be found online using the search term: TEAS study guides.
  • General Education Course Requirements. These are the required general education program courses that will be used to give points towards program admission. Students will receive credit for up to 14 credits for completed non-nursing coursework. These courses will be calculated into the overall scoring rubric at 35%. Courses must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or higher for admission points values. Students are highly encouraged, but not required, to complete this coursework prior to submission of program application.
  1. -ENG 111 - 3 credits
  2. MTH 133  - 3 credits
  3. -HLT 130 - 2 credits
  4. -SDV 100 - 1 credit
  5. -PSY 230  - 3 credits
  6. -BIO 141  and BIO 142 - 8 credits (recommended for those students planning for LPN to RN bridge)
  7. -PNE 155  - 3 credits
  8. -BIO 145  - 4 credits
  9. -SAF 130  - 1 credit

Criminal Background Check/Drug Screening

Background checks for criminal history and sex offender crimes against minors are required for entrance into clinical agencies. Background check and drug screening documentation must be dated within one (1) year of entry into the PN program and be conducted through our approved third-party vendor. If background check and drug screen become dated over one year, and the student continues in the program, the criminal/sexual background check and the drug screening must be repeated at the student’s expense. Students with convictions may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not be allowed to complete the program. Any questionable background check will be reported to the clinical agency. Clinical agencies have final say whether a student may attend clinical or not. If a  student is denied admission into the clinical agency, the student must withdraw from the program. Clinical agencies require drug testing prior to placement of students for clinical rotations. Students with positive drug test results will be prohibited from clinical practice and will not be eligible to complete the program. The cost of criminal background checks and drug testing will be the responsibility of the student.

Financial Requirements

Students are responsible for the following costs in addition to tuition, fees, and book costs: uniforms, CPR/First Aid certification, immunizations, physical exam, medical equipment (stethoscope, sphygmomanometer, pen light, watch with second hand, etc.), and mandatory review and testing services (ATI) throughout the program. Upon completion of training, students will be prepared to take the NCLEX-PN examination. All fees related to licensure examination are the student’s responsibility. Students are also responsible for their own transportation to the college and all clinical sites. Students who fail to meet these responsibilities will not be able to continue in the program. The anticipated cost of the entire training program is $8000.00 (subject to change as prices and tuition fluctuate).

Licensure Requirements

Qualifications for a Practical Nurse licensure have been established by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and can be found in Nursing Law of Virginia that may be seen in the Program Director’s office. Upon satisfactory completion of the Practical Nursing Program, the student should apply to graduate and will be awarded the Certificate in Practical Nursing. Graduates are prepared to take the NCLEX-PN examination and subsequent licensure. Students are responsible for all fees relating to the NCLEX-PN examination. Links for further NCLEX-PN and licensure information can be found at:

Selection of Cohort

Applicants, submitting applications on time, will be admitted by highest to lowest scores. Applications received after the deadline may be considered: 1) if the cohort is not filled or 2) when current enrollment grades are posted. Applicants must have minimum 54 points on the scoring rubric to be considered for admission.

Scoring Rubric

Criteria Weight Calculation Score
Cumulative GPA (high school or college)
General Education Courses completed
TEAS testing (individual adjusted score)
Possible bonus points:
Certified nurse aid and work experience

+10 points
GPA:_________X 10
Grade Points Earned_____/up to 14 X 35
IAS TEAS score ________X 0.25

+10 points
Scoring rubric total:__________


Notification of Acceptance

All applicants will receive email notification of acceptance/non-acceptance by December 21 for Spring admission and August 1 for Fall admission (dates are subject to change based on number of applications to process). Email notifications will be sent to the student’s MECC email account. The college is not responsible for undeliverable or unchecked email. It is the student’s responsibility to check their email daily for correspondence regarding admission and follow all instructions outlined in emails. If the applicant’s acceptance of an admission offer is not completed by the stated deadline, the offer will be withdrawn without notice. Appeals of an Admission Committee decision must be made in writing to the program faculty.

When the class has been filled, the remaining applicants will be placed on an alternate list by the score from the selection process. Should an admitted student not accept his/her position, applicants from the alternate list will be admitted into the program through the last day of registration for spring/fall classes. If the College is unable to contact the next student on the alternate list by mail/phone, or if the student is unable to immediately commit to accept, the next student, on the alternate list, will be contacted with the offer.

Priority will be given to all qualified applicants applying by the deadline for the respective semester who are domiciled residents of Lee, Wise, Scott, Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton, and to Virginia domiciled residents not having access to a given program at their local community college. A domiciled resident is one who has lived in the locality or state for the twelve months before application deadlines. Applicants moving out of the locality or state between April 1 or September 1 and the first day of classes will lose their preferred status and any offer of admission to the program may be withdrawn. In addition, residents of localities with which the college has clinical-site affiliation (Sullivan County, TN, Hawkins County, TN, Hancock County, TN, and the city of Kingsport) may receive equal consideration for admission as local residents. Applicants who may not meet requirements for domicile are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor.


Students accepted into the program are required to complete a mandatory online Practical Nursing Program orientation. This will be followed by an in-house meeting to finalize registration. An acceptance email will be sent with the online orientation link to be completed within five (5) days of receipt of email. It is the student’s responsibility to check their student email accounts for correspondence. 

Other admission point availability

Certified Nurse Aides with a minimum of 1,000 hours and 6 month work experience wishing to receive credit for work experience must submit the required documentation as an attachment to the online PN program application:

  • A copy of their Board certification
  • An official letter from Human Resources verifying length of work experience (1,000 hours or 6 months minimum), area of experience, and contact information 
  • All documentation will be verified by the program director.

Program Progression

Upon admission and during the course of the program, the LPN faculty will carefully observe and evaluate the student’s aptitude for nursing. Students are expected to complete all courses listed in each semester of the curriculum before being allowed to enter subsequent semesters.

Any student who earns a grade lower than “C” in any practical nursing curricular course must repeat the course and earn a final grade of “C” or better before progressing to the next nursing course or graduating from the Practical Nursing Program. Courses must be completed by semester in sequential order. Once a student is accepted into the Practical Nursing Program - Students may repeat one PNE prefix course, or acceptable substitute, once. Repeat is limited to the original enrollment and one additional enrollment in one course. If a student fails a second time or subsequent course, the student will be dismissed from the Practical Nursing Program. Any exception to the above policy must have the approval of the director of the nursing program. Students who must repeat a nursing course will be enrolled in that course on a “space available” basis.

Students will be allowed two withdrawals from PNE courses. Upon a third withdrawal, the student will be dismissed from the program.

A minimum GPA of 2.0 must be maintained throughout the program. Upon failure to maintain a GPA of 2.0, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Students are highly encouraged to repeat PNE courses within the next available semester. If repeated coursework is not completed within one year, students must apply as new applicants to the program.

Students may, and are encouraged to, complete all non-nursing coursework prior to admission. After acceptance into the Practical Nursing program, students are required to complete the coursework within the designated semester listed in the Practical Nursing curriculum.

ATI Proctor Exams: Content proctored exams will be required in the following courses: PNE 164 PNE 173 PNE 158 PNE 145 , and PNE 132  and PNE 159 . Prior to proctor exam dates, students are required to complete the two ATI online practice tests with 100% as preparation for the final ATI exams. These practice tests are timed at 48 hours between each attempt. Instead of a comprehensive final exam, the ATI proctor exam will be completed and grade calculated as the final exam.

ATI exit exam: The final exit exam is the ATI probability exam. This exam measures the readiness of students to pass NCLEX PN on the first attempt. An exit exam will be given to all students enrolled in PNE 145  and who are in their last semester of the PN program. Students will be given a practice probability exam (students are responsible for fee) and two (2) final attempts (purchased as part of the ATI review package) on the probability exam. This probability exam will calculate into the overall grade average for the PNE 145 - Trends in Practical Nursing  course. The probability exam is calculated into the overall course grade average as follows:

Actual probability exam grade earned will be weighted at 80% of overall course grade average

Physical Examination/ Immunization Requirements

Individuals accepted into the program must pass a physical examination given by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant and be free of any physical or mental condition, which would adversely affect performance as a member of the nursing profession. Physical examinations documentation must be dated within one (1) year of program admission. After initial physical examination ,while active in the program, students must complete a continuation of health statement form verifying continued health status for training.

  • Physical demands in this program include duties that frequently require squatting, bending, kneeling, reaching, stair climbing, lifting and carrying up to 50 pounds, frequent pushing and pulling up to 200 pounds with assistance, and occasional lifting and carrying up to 51-74 pounds. Duties also require constant use of sight, hearing, touch, and speech. Environmental conditions include procedures that involve handling blood and body fluids using standard precautions.
  • Immunizations must be current,
  1. If students are unable to provide proof of immunization (vaccination record or HCP documented history of disease), titers proving immunity to diseases must be submitted.
  2. Upon entrance to program, 2 step TB testing - 2 weeks apart
    –If a student is unable to take PPD due to history of positive reaction, the student must be asymptomatic of tuberculosis as documented on the physical form. A current copy of a recent chest x-ray with results clearly documented must be on file. After clearance by two step TB testing, student will complete TB training modules (CDC website: ***TB 101 for Health Care Wortkers) and symptom questionnaire annually for clinical clearance. The TB training modules completion certificates and questionnaire must be loaded in to the student’s Castlebranch account.
  3. MMR X2,
  4. tetanus every 10 years,
  5. varicella X2 (or documented history), and
  6. The Hepatitis B vaccine The series must be started prior to beginning clinical experience. This is a series of three vaccines over a 6-9 month period of time. Or students can choose to request from their healthcare provider the Dynavax two vaccine series, two vaccines scheduled one month apart.
  7. Hepatitis A vaccine. Series of two vaccines scheduled at last six months apart.
  8. Students must receive an annual, current season, flu vaccination or submit physician proof of documented allergy. Clinical affiliates require the documentation to include: manufacturer, lot number, expiration date of lot, and site of injection.
  • Students must also be certified in CPR (American Heart Association Healthcare Provider or American Red Cross Professional Rescuer).
  • Students are NOT covered under any type of medical insurance through Mountain Empire Community College. Any and all expenses related to medical issues/injuries, whether personal or training related, is the sole responsibility of the student. Clinical affiliates require documentation of current health insurance coverage.

Core Performance Standards* for Admission to and Progression through the Nursing Program

In addition to the nursing program’s admission requirements, the nursing program sets forth eligibility requirements by citing the core performance standards. The standards set forth cognitive, sensory, affective and psychomotor performance requirements for every nursing student. Each core performance standard is accompanied by examples of activities nursing students and nurses are required to perform while executing nursing care. Students must be able to demonstrate satisfactory application of these core performance standards in classroom, clinical and laboratory settings, with or without reasonable accommodations, during the course of the nursing program.

Requirement Performance Standard Examples
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment and delivery of safe client care Identify cause and effect relationships in clinical situations; evaluate effectiveness of nursing interventions; use the scientific method in the development of nursing interventions; prioritize nursing tasks and solve problems
Quantitative Literacy Quantitative literacy sufficient for clinical judgment and delivery of safe client care Ability to take measurements; perform arithmetic and numerical operations (such as is necessary for calculating medication dosages and rates); read and record graphical displays of scientific and real-time physiologic data
Professional Relationships Interpersonal and emotional skills sufficient for professional interactions with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrouds Establish rapport with clients and colleagues; ability to engage in conflict resolution, demonstrate peer accountability; adapt to changing environments/stressors; perform multiple responsibilities concurrently; establish therapeutic boundaries
Communication Ability for professional interactions with others in verbal, non-verbal and written form Explain treatment procedures; initiate health teaching; document and interpret nursing actions and client responses; ability to interpret common non-verbal expressions indicating pain, discomfort, anxiety and other behavioral states
Mobility/Endurance Physical abilities sufficient for movement from room to room and in small spaces; ability to execute movements required to provide care and treatment to clients in all health settings including functioning in emergency situations Move around in client rooms, work spaces and treatment areas; administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation; walk and/or stand for prolonged periods during a 12 hour shift Perform lifting, as required, up to 50 pounds
Motor Skills Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient for providing safe, effective nursing care Ability to bend, squat, kneel, climb stairs, push, pull, reach for extended periods and assist in lifting, transferring, ambulating and positioning clients of all age groups and weights; calibrate and use equipment such as IV pumps; manipulate small equipment and containers such as syringes, vials and medication packages
Hearing Auditory ability sufficient for monitoring and assessing health needs Ability to hear alarms and other emergency signals, normal speaking level sounds, cries for help and auscultatory sounds on assessment
Visual Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in client care Ability to observe client’s condition and responses to treatments; ability to discern colors and changes in color shading; ability to read handwritten and printed data such as orders, medication labels, calibrations on syringes; ability to read chart content and interpret data correctly by clearly viewing monitors
Tactile Sense Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment Ability to sufficiently perform physical assessments including palpation, pulses, changes in skin temperature and anatomical appearance

*Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

Student Accommodations Statement

The nursing program is committed to the policies set forth by the Virginia Community College System regarding disabilities and reasonable accommodations. If you require special services or accommodations, you should visit the Disability Services web page https://www.mecc.edu/disabilityservices/ and contact the Disability Services Counselor for an appointment at least 2 weeks prior to the beginning of nursing classes. Your success is contingent upon your ability to fulfill the core performance standards of the program with or without reasonable accommodations.

Virginia Board of Nursing request for accommodations for NCLEX PN testing information link:

Please refer to the link below for guidance on Virginia State Board of Nursing guidance on requests and follow through of requests for accommodations on NCLEX PN examination.


Reapplication to the Practical Nursing Program

If a student is not admitted to the program but wishes to reapply for the next year’s class, he/she MUST complete a new online Practical Nursing Program Application form prior to established deadlines for the next year.

Students dismissed for academic reasons can reapply to the Practical Nursing program one time only. These students must complete the nurse aide program, obtain certification, and obtain at least 1,000 hours or 6 months’ work experience prior to submitting application for re-admission. Students must also repeat all PNE coursework regardless of previous letter grade.

Special Note

The State Board of Nursing has the authority to deny licensure to any applicant who has violated any of the provisions of 54.1-3008 of the Code of Virginia. Any student entering the Practical Nursing program who has committed any legal offenses other than minor traffic violations may want to discuss these matters with the Program Director of the Practical Nursing program prior to application.

Transfer into the Practical Nursing program

Students wishing to transfer from other colleges’ nursing programs will be given consideration by the program on an individual basis.

Students requesting to use TEAS scores from another institution or nursing program must have completed the test within the previous two (2) years prior to admission into the Practical Nursing program. It is the student’s responsibility to submit copies of the TEAS testing results as an attachment to their online program application.

Students who transfer from another State Board of Nursing approved program will have to complete the following to receive credit: a) apply and meet all program admission requirements, b) Skills lab final exam and performance exam/check off, c) Medical math test with 90% accuracy (3 attempts allowed), d) complete a final comprehensive exam on transfer materials with 80% or greater score, and e) Received a grade of “C” (80% or higher) on any course requested for transfer.

Licensure Reciprocity

Licensure Meets state educational requirements for licensure Does not meet the state educational
requirements for licensure
MECC has not made a determination
on licensure reciprocit

Sources cited:

Statement for Practical Nursing program (LPN):

Pursuant to United States Department of Education (US DOE) regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), the Mountain Empire Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing (LPN) program provides the following information for all prospective and current students:

The Mountain Empire Community College LPN program meets all Virginia Board of Nursing requirements for pre-licensure nursing education programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Commonwealth of Virginia participates with multiple (see table) other states in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) National Licensing Compact (NLC) to allow nurses licensed in one state to provide nursing care across state lines in other compact states. Information listed is current per NCSBN as of July 1, 2020.

Mountain Empire Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

For Further Information, Contact:

Lena Whisenhunt, Program Director



Sabrina Cowden



Mitzi Jones



Kim Dorton, Dean



Program of Study

Students Earn AHA Heartsaver OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Certification. Option: After Successful Completion of PNE 161 and 40 Clinical Hours Students Are Eligible to Challenge the Certified Nurse Aide Exam

Students May Be Eligible to Take the Virginia Board of Nursing Certified Medication Aide Exam

Second Semester

Graduates Will Be Prepared to Take the NCLEX-PN Examination and Obtain Subsequent Licensure.

Total Program Credits: 51

Notes and Additional Curriculum Options

Course substitutions may be available. Please see an advisor for more information.

Completion of both PSY 231  and PSY 232  will substitute for PSY 230 . Completion of BIO 145 , or both BIO 141  and BIO 142 , or completion of both BIO 231  and BIO 232 , will substitute for PNE 155 .

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