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  FALL 2020 SEMESTER & CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE:   The SCC campus is open on a limited basis for in-person classes or those with an appointment. All other classes and student support services are available online. Students are encouraged to contact their instructors for additional information.

Practical Nursing

The Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Practical Nursing Program is available at seven of the Maricopa Community Colleges. Clinical experiences are provided in a variety of healthcare settings. Practical Nursing Program graduates are eligible to apply for the national exam for the practical nurse license. Licensing requirements are the exclusive responsibility of the State Board of Nursing.

The Certificate of Completion Practical Nursing Program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

Program offerings:
This program is offered at the following sites:
Chandler Gilbert Community College
Estrella Mountain Community College
GateWay Community College
Glendale Community College
Mesa Community College
Paradise Valley Community College
Scottsdale Community College

Waiver of Licensure/Certification Guarantee:
Admission or graduation from the Nursing Program does not guarantee obtaining a license to practice nursing. Licensure requirements and the subsequent procedures are the exclusive right and responsibility of the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Students must satisfy the requirements of the Nurse Practice Act: Statutes, Rules and Regulations, independently of any college or school requirements for graduation.

Pursuant to A.R.S. 32-1606(B)(17), an applicant for professional or practical nurse license by examination is not eligible for licensure if the applicant has any felony convictions and has not received an absolute discharge from the sentences for all felony convictions. The absolute discharge must be received five or more years before submitting this application. If you cannot prove that the absolute discharge date is five or more years, the Board cannot process your application.

Level One Fingerprint Clearance is required for admission into the program. Applicants must present a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card to be copied by the advisor or designee. For a Department of Public Safety Fingerprint Clearance Card application, contact MCCCD Healthcare/Nursing Advisor. If there is any question about eligibility for licensure or certification, contact the nursing education consultant at the Arizona State Board of Nursing (602.771.7800).

Health Declaration:
It is essential that nursing students be able to perform a number of physical activities in the clinical portion of the program. At a minimum, students will be required to lift patients, stand for several hours at a time and perform bending activities. Students who have a chronic illness or condition must be maintained on current treatment and be able to implement direct patient care. The clinical nursing experience also places students under considerable mental and emotional stress as they undertake responsibilities and duties impacting patients` lives. Students must be able to demonstrate rational and appropriate behavior under stressful conditions. Individuals should give careful consideration to the mental and physical demands of the program prior to making application. All must provide documentation of compliance with all health and safety requirements required to protect patient safety. Only students in compliance are permitted to enroll in nursing courses. Students will meet these requirements by providing the required documentation for the Health/Safety Requirements Documentation Checklist and the signed Health Declaration Form.

Health and Safety Requirements for the Nursing Program:
1. Students must submit a Health and Safety Documentation Checklist verifying completion of all requirements and maintain current status throughout the program.
2. Students must submit the Health Declaration Form signed by a licensed health care provider.
3. Students must test negative on a timed urine drug screen.
4. Admission to an Allied Health program requires that students be in compliance with the Maricopa County Community College District Supplemental Background Check policy. Program applications will not be accepted without a copy of an Arizona Department of Public Safety Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card. Upon conditional program admission, the student must comply with all requirements of the current MCCCD background check policy.

University Transfer Students:
Students who are planning to earn the Bachelor of Science in Nursing may obtain their prerequisite courses at the Maricopa Community Colleges. For information on courses that meet requirements for admission into a baccalaureate program, please contact a program advisor.

Following completion of the practical nurse level program of study, the student is eligible to apply for licensure as a practical nurse. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) may be employed in acute, long-term, and community-based health care settings under the direction of a registered nurse. Practical Nurses function within their legal scope of practice and use professional standards of care in illness care and health promotion activities for clients and families across the life span.

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Nursing Program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; (404.975.5000); email:


Details iconImportant information you’ll need when applying for admission:
Health Sciences
Academic Plan: 
Practical Nursing (CER)
Academic Plan Code: 
Total credits required: 
Effective term: 
2020 Spring
Award notes

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses within the program.

Course Fee Information:
Please see class schedule for information regarding course fees.

MaricopaNursing is aligned with Nurse of the Future Competencies: Patient-Centered Care, Professionalism, Leadership, Systems-Based Practice, Informatics and Technology, Communication, Teamwork and Collaboration, Safety, Quality Improvement, and Evidence-Based Practice. These competencies focus on key stakeholders of healthcare clients, colleagues and communities. Demonstration of the competencies will signify preparation for successful transition into nursing practice and further professional development.

Program prerequisites
Course #Course TitleCredits
The credit-hour range is subject to change depending on the student`s educational experience.
BIO156Introductory Biology for Allied Health (4) OR
BIO181General Biology (Majors) I (4) OR
One year of high school biology0-4
BIO201Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
CHM130Fundamental Chemistry (3) AND
CHM130LLFundamental Chemistry Laboratory (1) OR
CHM130AAFundamental Chemistry with Lab (4) OR
One year of high school chemistry0-4
ENG101First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG107First-Year Composition for ESL (3)3
MAT140College Mathematics (5) OR
MAT141College Mathematics (4) OR
MAT142College Mathematics (3) OR
Satisfactory completion of higher level mathematics course3-5
Students that are admitted into the MaricopaNursing Program for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, AND completed MAT120, MAT121, or MAT122 prior to Fall 2015 as an admission requirement, may complete the program without completing MAT140, MAT141, or MAT142 as a graduation requirement, by waiver of the program director.
Admission criteria

High School diploma or GED is required for the Certificate of Completion in Practical Nursing. Applicants must signify that they meet this requirement by providing high school diploma/transcripts or GED completion OR by signing the nursing application page containing the `Declaration of High School Graduation or GED completion`. In some instances, high school diploma/transcripts or proof of GED completion may be required.

Formal application and admission to the program is required; all program prerequisites must be completed prior to submission.
A passing score on a nursing program admission test is required to complete an application.

The Nursing Program Chair reserves the right to deny acceptance of an admission application if the applicant was previously dismissed for issues relating to academic integrity, unsafe patient care, and/or two (2) or more failures from any nursing program.

All applicants holding or receiving a certificate as a Nursing Assistant and/or license as a Practical Nurse must remain in good standing with the Board of Nursing. Once enrolled, students receiving any disciplinary actions against their certificate or license must notify the Nursing Program Chair within five (5) school days. The Nursing Program Chair reserves the right to restrict the student's participation in clinical experiences and involvement in patient care until the certificate and/or license is valid and unrestricted.

Required courses
Course #Course TitleCredits
BIO202Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
NUR152Nursing Theory and Science I9
NUR172Nursing Theory and Science II9
NUR191Practical Nursing Transition3
  • Define the most frequently used medical, diagnostic, clinical procedure, surgical, drug, laboratory, and pathological terms related to the human body. (BIO202)
  • Create an environment utilizing therapeutic communication and caring to achieve desired client outcomes. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills both verbally, behaviorally, and in writing with health team members, clients and their families. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Provide culturally competent care to a diverse population. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Demonstrate legal and ethical behaviors in all nursing activities. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Apply the nursing process to provide safe client care. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Apply scientific principles and clinical reasoning to safely provide evidence-based clinically competent care within the current healthcare environment. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Demonstrate accountability for quality improvement in the health care system. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Integrate technology to assist in providing safe, effective client care. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Manage information confidentially and effectively to insure positive client outcomes. (NUR152, NUR172, NUR191)
  • Provide nursing care individuals and families across the lifespan that addresses the needs of diverse clients by engaging them in their healthcare decisions. (NUR191)

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.