Mar 03, 2024  
2022-2023 College Catalog 
2022-2023 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Practical Nursing - Certificate

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Division of Health Sciences

Fall Semester Start

The Practical Nursing Certificate program is designed to meet the educational needs of those who wish career entry as a licensed health care worker.  Graduates are employed in various health care settings such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, physician offices, home health, and community health facilities.  The  Practical Nursing Program is conducted over a 40-week period beginning in the fall and continued through June.  Classes, labs, and clinicals are scheduled full-time during the day.  The theoretical, lab and clinical components of nursing courses must be taken concurrently and sequentially.

The Practical Nursing Program has been approved by
the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

A minimum grade of C, 75% is required for progression in all Practical Nursing courses.

Program Outcomes

Program learning outcomes available by clicking here.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the Practical Nursing Program (PN) will be individually evaluated on the basis of the Grade Point Average (GPA) and performance on the HESI A2 Entrance Exam or the Assessment Technologies Institute, Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) Exam.

Students must also meet the following additional criteria for eligibility for acceptance into the practical nursing program:

  • High School diploma or equivalent, or Associate Degree or higher
  • MassBay Placement into EN 101 ENGLISH COMPOSITION I   or completion of EN 98 FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPOSITION II*    with a grade of C or higher.
  • MassBay Placement into  MA 98 INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA*  or completion of  MA 95 INTRODUCTORY ALGEBRA*  with a grade of C or higher.
  • Successful completion of Reading Assessment Test with a score of 246 or higher.
  • Completion of BI 215 ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I w/LAB  and  BI 217 ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II w/LAB , within a five (5) year timeframe with a grade of C or higher at the time of matriculation into the Practical Nursing Program. Students can repeat each science course only once to achieve C or higher.
  • Documentation from a healthcare provider stating that you have completed the 3-dpse Hepatitis B vaccine or 2-dose Heplisav-B, a positive antibody Hepatitis B titer,  or have completed the Hepatitis B vaccine series and are a “non-responder” to the vaccine. You must allow a minimum of 6 months to complete this process.
  • HESI Admission (A2) exam score of 70% or better. A Student may take the HESI exam a total of 4 times.  HESI exam scores are valid for one year, at which time the exam must be retaken.


  • Students must achieve a passing score on the ATI TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills). A passing is defined: a minimum composite score of 60%. Students may repeat the TEAS test a total of two times within 12 months of taking the exam. Results are valid for three years. The most recent test results will be used for that admission cycle only. 

Once students have been admitted to the program the following pre- program requirements must be completed: 

Orientation: Practical Nursing students are required to attend the mandatory New Student Orientation. Students who do not attend this  orientation, and do not provide a legitimate excuse beforehand be withdrawn from the program and be considered for readmission at a later date.


Required Pre-Entry Documentation:

In order to be eligible to start class and remain in the program all new and progressing students are required to have Castle Branch accounts initiated at least 6 weeks in advance of the first day of class. All required forms and documentation outlined below must be uploaded to Castle Branch accounts by August 1st.


Failure to complete this step will result in the student being withdrawn from the program. Students who are withdrawn will be considered for readmission at a later date.

  • Medical clearance and proof of immunizations as required by state law and outlined in the Division of Health Sciences handbook and in admission paperwork and can be found on Division of Health Sciences’ web pages of the MassBay website by clicking the link, “Health and Background Check Requirements.”
  • Proof of CPR certification. The Basic Life Support Provider  Card (from the American Heart Association) and the Professional Rescuer Card (from American Red Cross or National Safety Council) or the equivalent from the Military Training Network are the only types of CPR certification that meet this requirement.  Copies of both sides and a valid signature or American Heart Association eCard are required.
  • Completion of CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) form to authorize a search of conviction and pending criminal case information under Standard Required Level I by the DCJIS (Department of Criminal Justice Information Services) and SORI (Sexual Offender Registry Information) in accordance with state regulations (CORI and SORI results are confidential).  If a CORI and/or SORI report is returned with a finding(s), it may or may not prohibit progression in a Health Sciences Program.  A National County Criminal Background check will be conducted as a part of the student’s completion of the clinical requirements.

More information is available on the Division of Health Sciences pages on the MassBay website.

  • Applicants to the Practical Nursing Program are required to attend a recent Information Session. Times and dates for these sessions can be located at Information Session Schedule
  • For more information about the costs of this program and employment opportunities after completion, please visit our gainful employment page here:  Practical Nursing.


Prerequisites (prior to application)

Subtotal for Program Prerequisites: 8-12

* BI 101 GENERAL BIOLOGY I w/LAB   (4 credits) pre-requisite if taking BI 215 ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I w/LAB  at MassBay

credits: 18

credits: 2

credits: 17


credits: 7

Total Credits: 44

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