Introduction to the Practical Nursing Vocational Certificate (VC) Program

Prepares the students to perform safe nursing care as a practical nurse under the direction of a Registered Nurse or a licensed physician. Entry-level skills are acquired through classroom instruction and supervised experience in the laboratory and hospital. The program completers are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

Special Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is limited by student/faculty ratios and availability of clinical resources; therefore, students seeking admission to the program must complete application to both the College and the program. All application requirements must be completed before a student will be considered for admission to the practical nursing program. Admission is based on a first qualified, first accepted. Students are required to pass a criminal background check and urine drug screen prior to clinical experiences. Also required are a satisfactory physical examination and immunization forms. Current CPR certification at the Health Care Provider level (American Heart Association) is required for all students who hold an active CNA license and matriculate into the program.

Eligibility for Admission Requirements

  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average
  • Minimum score of 65% on each the HESI A² components (reading, vocabulary, and math) in sitting.

Requirements for Progression

  • 2.0 cumulative vocation GPA
  • Minimum grade of “C” in all courses required in the curriculum
  • Fulfillment of all program prerequisites
  • Satisfactory level of mental and physical health, including current immunizations, Hepatitis B vaccinations, yearly TB testing and ability to meet Technical Standards/Physical Abilities
  • Current CPR certification at the Health Care Provider level (American Heart Association) is required for all students who hold an active CNA license and matriculate into the program
  • Satisfactory urine drug screen and a criminal background check

Students who do not meet progression requirements must withdraw from the Practical Nursing Program and apply for readmission. Requirements for readmission will be discussed with the student at the time of the exit interview by the Director or Assistant Director of Nursing.

Is This For You?

People who enjoy working with people, are cooperative and patient, and like to work in duties that often change will be suited to this career. Persons in this occupation must have social skills and an interest in human relationships.

A PN program applicant should possess the following capabilities:
1. Sufficient physical, motor, sensory, intellectual, emotional, and social/ communication skills to provide safe patient care utilizing a variety of equipment in different healthcare environments. Examples of performance standards for nursing practice are outlined below.
2. Be of sound mind and body to perform the professional duties of a nursing student without becoming injurious to self or others.



Standards/ Physical

Abilities & Skills




Physical abilities sufficient to move independently from room to room, walk in hallways, maneuver in small places such as patient rooms, medication rooms.

Walking independently with patients from department to department, around the patient room, down the corridor, from one patient room to another to take care of all patients on a team and to assist in the transport of all patients from bed to bed, bed to chair. Walking, standing, sitting for long periods of time, stooping, lifting patients weighing, squatting, reaching, twisting, bending, pushing, pulling, dragging, climbing.



Gross and fine motor skills to practice safe and efficient patient care. Sufficient manual dexterity to manipulate equipment in the patient care setting.

Manual dexterity to start a patient’s intravenous line, set alarms on monitors, draw up and give injections to patients without extraneous movement.


Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.

Auscultation of breath sounds, heart sounds, blood pressure, bowel sounds, hearing alarms, call bells telephones in patient care, converse with patients, family and staff from varying distances with varying audible sounds.


Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary to provide safe patient care.

Reading patient charts/flow sheets/monitors, drawing up and administering medications, assessing patient skin tones, reading thermometers, assessing wound status, non-verbal behaviors.


Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment and to provide safe patient care.

Performing palpation, giving injections, starting IV’s, sterile

and non-sterile dressing changes, urinary catheterization, assess skin temperature and texture and assist with patient care activities


Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others incoherent and concise oral and written form.

Following spontaneous verbal and/or written instructions. Is able to effectively communicate in English. Must be able to communicate the patient’s response to therapy to other members of the healthcare team, document patient responses to therapy on health care forms utilizing various forms of media, consult with healthcare team members/workers in a professional manner.


Interpersonal skills sufficient for interaction with patients, families, and groups from diverse backgrounds (cultural, emotional, intellectual) in a variety of healthcare settings

Conversing effectively with patients, families, and groups and in stressful patient care situations such as emergencies.


Critical thinking sufficient for clinical decision-making

Competent assessing a patient in a timely manner and correctly interpreting assessment. Readily responding with appropriate nursing/medical interventions and treatment plans. Can work in isolation independently for positive patient outcome.


Beyond Graduation . . .

Graduates from the Practical Nursing program are eligible to take the State Board Licensure examination. Graduates may choose to continue their education to obtain the Associate degree in Registered Nursing at Pensacola State College.

Related Career Opportunities

Primary Employers

Graduates from the Practical Nursing program work in hospitals, nursing, and personal care facilities, and offices and clinics of doctors of medicine.


Licensed Practical Nurses
Care for the sick, injured, convalescing, and handicapped, under the direction of physicians and registered nurses. Most L.P.N.s provide basic bedside care. They take patients’ vital signs, help patients with bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene, and care for their emotional needs. Some experienced L.P.N.’s supervise nursing assistants and aides. In nursing homes, L.P.N.s may help evaluate residents’ needs, develop care plans, and supervise nursing aides in addition to providing routine bedside care. In doctors’ offices and clinics, including health maintenance organizations, they may also make appointments, keep records, and perform other clerical duties. L.P.N.s who work in home health may also prepare meals and teach family members simple nursing tasks.

Employment Trends

For more information regarding first-year earnings for degree completers and student debt accumulation download or view the Economic Security Report of Employment and Earning Outcomes Click Here, published by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Escambia/Santa Rosa Counties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
2015 Cur. Openings
2023 Prj. Openings
Est. Annual Openings
2015 Avg. Median Salary
Okaloosa / Walton Counties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
2015 Cur. Openings
2023 Prj. Openings
Est. Annual Openings
2015 Avg. Median Salary
All Florida Counties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
2015 Cur. Openings
2023 Prj. Openings
Est. Annual Openings
2015 Avg. Median Salary

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