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Practical Nursing (P.N.)

Career and Technical

Competitive Entry

Location: Coeur d'Alene

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Tuition and Fees Cost of Attendance

Program Description

This 11-month program prepares students for entry-level employment as practical nurses (PN) in hospitals, urgent care clinics, physician offices, home health care, and long-term facilities.

The curriculum includes basic and clinical foundations of nursing, including medical and surgical nursing, maternal, care of infants and children, psychiatric nursing, pharmacology, and geriatrics.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to obtain their PN license. Students who wish to continue to the RN level should consult with their advisor for those program requirements. This program has a competitive admission process. See the NIC PN website for application information. This program is offered in cooperation with clinical facilities in Idaho and Washington and the Idaho and Washington Boards of Nursing.

View Degree Requirements

Application Information

An application to the Licensed Practical Nursing program (PN) is available during the following time frame:

  •     Mid-November through Mid-January for August admission of each year.

An application to the Advanced Placement Nursing program (PN to RN) is available during the following time frame:

  • Mid-February through Mid-April for October admission of each year.
  • Mid-August through Mid-October for February admission of each year.

Competitive Entry

  1. If HS program or GED is in progress, the completion of 12 or more college-level credits is required. Final HS transcript or GED must be received prior to starting NURS courses.
  2. Application to the Practical Nursing program.
  3. Minimum grades of C/2.00 must be earned in each of the prerequisite courses required for the program.
    • CAOT-179 (Medical Terminology)
    • PHAR-150 (Introduction to Pharmacology)
    • ENGL-101 (English Composition)
    • MCTE-102 (Computational Skills for Allied Health)
    • BIOL-175 (Human Biology)
    • PSYC-101 (Introduction to Psychology)

  4. All lab science courses which were completed more than seven years prior to application must be repeated.
  5. Obtain a valid Certified Nursing Assistant certificate from any state by the application deadline.
  6. Completion of an approved medical terminology course with a grade of C/2.00 or higher within seven years prior to application in the program.
  7. Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50 calculated on all courses which meet the curriculum requirements. This excludes the medical terminology and Certified Nursing Assistant courses.
  8. Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) Results.
  9. A criminal background check will be required upon acceptance. Violations may result in denied access to clinical sites and therefore inability to complete the program. For questions regarding specific violations, please contact the program director.

North Idaho College’s Practical Nursing Program is committed to student success by providing the highest quality education and teaching excellence. The nursing education received will help students reach their potential in providing safe and professional health care. North Idaho College’s Practical Nursing Program will enhance the quality of life for the student as well as the community and provide a resource for lifelong learning.

The practical nursing faculty believes the person is a holistic being. The person is complete and unified and cannot be viewed as merely the sum of his/her parts. Each person is a unique, thinking being who makes choices, possesses value and dignity, and strives toward attainment of his/her needs. The person does not live alone, but exists interdependently with the environment. The environment may include the family, the culture, and the community in which the person resides. The statements of belief include:

1. Concepts of Nursing
Health, the need and right of each person, is the ongoing effort of the individual to maintain balance in their ever changing environment. The individual constantly strives toward an optimal level of health, wellness, and self-actualization, moving toward independence rather than dependence. Nursing is the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of actual or potential alterations in health. Nursing is a science and an art which recognizes the inherent worth of the individual, the value of human life, and the pursuit of the highest standard of health.

2. Concepts of Practical Nursing
Education Education is a dynamic and continuing process of growth and adjustment during which the student, interacting with the environment, assimilates knowledge and acquires attitudes, appreciations and competencies. Through education, positive change in personal behavior and the environment is achieved. Practical nursing education benefits when it is within the structure of the college where the student may pursue general education courses, as well as professional-technical nursing courses. The college encourages the involvement of community representatives in determining present and future educational needs and the implementation of appropriate curricula to meet the needs identified. The college believes that the interests of the students, the business/industry community, and the college are best served through the advisory partnerships that are well established and maintained.

In accordance with our philosophy, which emphasizes career mobility and articulation with community college programs, practical nursing education is constructed to present an orderly and systematic framework which builds upon common basic principles from the social, biological and psychological sciences. The program is planned to provide continuity, sequence, and integration of learning experiences so the student may progress from simple basic nursing care to that which is more complex.

The practical nursing curriculum is constructed to build on students' previous learning experience. It provides fundamental knowledge to all students. The program provides for learning differences among students. All qualified individuals should have an opportunity for upward mobility in nursing. As faculty, it is our responsibility to provide learning experiences that build on the students' previous educational experiences. Practical nursing education provides the learner the opportunity to gain knowledge to qualify for the licensing examination and develop basic competencies as stated by the Idaho State Board of Professional-Technical Education. It is an amalgam of theory and clinical experience. The science and technology of nursing changes rapidly; therefore, nursing education focuses on the concepts and principles inherent in meeting basic human needs.

3. Concepts of the Teaching/Learning Process
The faculty believes optimal learning occurs when:

  • The environment encourages freedom of inquiry, thought, and expression within a framework of professional conduct;
  • Learning progresses from the simple to the complex, knowledge to application;
  • The responsibility for learning is placed on the learner;
  • There is a close correlation between theory and practice;
  • Ample opportunity for application and practice of theoretical concepts is provided;
  • A variety of instructional methods are offered to meet the different learning styles of the learner; and
  • Education is viewed as a life-long process to assist the individual to adapt to changes in his or her environment.

The Nursing Process is the tool of nursing practice and education. The Nursing Process is the method whereby nursing knowledge is transferred into practice. It is the process applied to nursing action and includes assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation and revision.

A varied program of theory, and correlated clinical, community experiences and individualized advisement encourages the student to develop confidence as a person and a nurse who now, and in the future, can be a contributing member of society.

Upon completion of the Practical Nursing Program the graduate will:

  • Recognize people as unique individuals with rights and viewpoints, reflective of their culture and developmental level.
  • Integrate theoretical knowledge with clinical practice.
  • Utilize the nursing process to provide care for people experiencing problems resulting from illness, injury, or commonly occurring health problems.
  • Integrate the nursing roles of organizer, coordinator, advocate, and educator under supervision.
  • Demonstrate accountability for learning and growth.
  • Utilize effective interpersonal communication skills.
Academic Year/n 2019-2019
Pass Rate for first
time test takers
91% 100% 100%

Graduating Class

(N=Total number of graduates in class)

PN Pass Rate Pass/Total Taken  
July 2015 (21) 91% 18/21  
July 2016 (19) 95% 18/19  
July 2017 (20) 90% 18/20  
July 2018 (18) 100% 18/18  
July 2019 (23) 91% 21/23  
July 2020 (18) 100% 18/18  
July 2021 (18) 100% 18/18  
July 2022 (14) 100% 14/14  
Graduation Class of: # Students Beginning Program # Students Completing in 100% Time Success rate at 100% Time
July 2018 20 18 90%
July 2019 25 23 92%
July 2020 19 18 94.74%
July 2021 20 28 90%
July 2022 20 13 65%
July 2023 20 18 90%

Both the Health Professions and Nursing Division calculate GPA on transfer courses using the following method:

  • GPA will be calculated on a lower transfer credit level, but never a higher transfer credit level. (Example: Lab science courses may transfer to NIC as 5 credits, rather than the NIC equivalent of 4 credits. In this scenario, the GPA will be calculated on 4 credits rather than 5 credits.
  • Courses that transfer to NIC from a quarter system may transfer over at a lower credit rate. (Example: Biol-227 or 228) may transfer at 3.3 credits rather than 4 full credits. Comm101 may transfer at 2.6 credits rather than 3 full credits. In this scenario, the GPA will be calculated on the lower credit level.
  • Transfer courses are calculated using the tenths decimal place rather than the hundredths. (Example: If course transfers in at 3.35 credits the GPA will be calculated using 3.3 credits earned rather than 3.35 credits earned).

Examples Only

Course X Transfers to NIC at X Credits NIC Program Will Award
Biol-227 & Lab = 5 Credits 4 Credits
Bact-250 & Lab = 3.35 Credits 3.3 Credits
Comm-101 = 2.68 Credits 2.6 Credits
Engl-101 = 3.35 Credits 3 Credits

Program Snapshot

Degree Type Duration Path Credits
Intermediate Technical Certificate 4/5 Semesters Full-time / Part-time 48-52 Degree requirements

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