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Nursing - Practical Program Requirements

Certificate of Achievement (Level II) – NMC Code 010

Northwestern Michigan College’s Practical Nursing program is a two-semester certificate program after prerequisites are met. It is designed to give the student basic health care provider skills which will enable them to become eligible to take the National Council License Exam (NCLEX-PN). After successfully completing the NCLEX-PN exam, students are able to enter the work force in various healthcare settings. License Practical Nurses often work in offices, long-term care, and home healthcare facilities.

The program is approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Admission Requirements:

  • Complete the admission process for the pre-Practical Nursing AGS Degree for NMC.
  • Transfer students must submit official transcripts to determine eligibility (please allow 2-4 weeks for processing).
  • Current NMC students must update their program of study to pre-Practical Nursing AGS Degree (code 951) by filling out the Program Change Form and submitting it to Student Enrollment Services.
  • Create a plan to complete prerequisite requirements with the Advising Department – (231) 995-1040.
  • Monitor your NMC email for communication from the Nursing Department.

Admission Process:

  • Complete prerequisite requirements (listed below).
  • Students are notified via email when they have met eligibility.
  • Students who meet eligibility are placed on a wait list and are admitted in order of eligibility completion.
  • Student wait list positions can be viewed through MyNMC accounts by clicking on Self Service, Admissions, and View Your: Membership on an Admissions Eligibility List.
  • Admission for first consideration is processed:
    • Fall Semester (August start) – February 1st
    • Spring Semester (January start) – August 30th
  • Students are notified via email of admission decisions by mid-March for Fall and mid-September for Spring.
  • Students must maintain the required GPA throughout the application process.
  • Students must maintain the five year math and biology requirements (listed below) throughout the application process.

Prerequisite Requirements:

The following must be complete to be eligible to be placed on the PN program wait list.

Students must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. (The Nursing GPA includes all NMC courses and transfer courses that count toward the PN certificate.)

Required Classes


Minimum Grade

Time Limit

ENG 111 English Composition



BIO 227 Human Anatomy & Physiology I


Must have been completed within 5 years

MTH 111 Intermediate Algebra
(Higher level coursework or qualifying test scores* may meet this requirement)


Must have been completed within 5 years

*Qualifying test scores must place students into MTH 121 – Intermediate Algebra

  • Next Generation Accuplacer - 275 or above for QAS or 240 or above for AAF.
  • SAT – 580 or above for Math.
  • ACT – 24 or above for Math.

Courses Recommended Prior to Starting the PN program:

Additional Classes


Minimum Grade

Time Limit

BIO 228 Human Anatomy & Physiology II


Must have been completed within 5 years

HPD 110 BLS for Healthcare Providers (CPR)*


Must recertify every 2 years

*Equivalent classes include:

  • American Heart Association: HeartCode ® BLS (CPR and AED).
  • American Red Cross: Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers or CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Healthcare Providers.

Other Important Notes
Please Read Carefully!

  • Repeat Policy: Any math and/or science class may only be repeated once. This includes fails, drops, withdrawals, or transferred classes (effective June 1, 2012).
  • If Anatomy & Physiology classes are older than five years, students may update their skills by taking Pathophysiology, retaking Anatomy & Physiology, or by scoring 60% or higher on the competency exam. The competency exam may be taken a maximum of two times. There must be a minimum of three months between attempts. Contact Student Financial Services to determine if these courses are eligible for financial aid.
  • Although Students may take BIO 228 during their first semester of nursing courses, it is not recommended. The course load is very demanding and may be more than some students can handle successfully (14 credits, 24 contacts). Students who choose this schedule must have excellent time management and study skills to be successful.
  • There is no part time or online Practical Nursing option available.
  • The Nursing Department has partnered with Castlebranch to assist with compliance tracking and clinical requirements. The following will be uploaded to the Castlebranch account:
    • Current CPR certification, a physical examination documenting good mental and physical health, immunization records, and criminal background checks.
  • A five panel drug screen is required. Alcohol and Drug Policy and Procedures can be found in Appendix A of the Nursing Program Policy Manual.
  • A 2.5 grade or higher is required in all Nursing (HNR) courses. Nursing course completion with a grade less than 2.5 is considered a program fail and requires readmission. A withdrawal from a nursing class after 25% of the class has been completed is considered a program fail. A program fail after readmission will result in nursing program dismissal.
  • Clinical facilities have the right to accept or reject a student. This action could result in a student being delayed or unable to complete the nursing program. This decision may be made just prior to the clinical rotation.
  • All nursing courses must be completed within five years of taking the first nursing class.
  • For further information on NMC’s Nursing Programs see Frequently Asked Questions and the Nursing Program Policy Manual.

Program Map (PDF) »

Updated July 26, 2019
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