Practical Nursing

Available: Shoals Campus and Phil Campbell Campus

J. Coman (6298)   
E. Davis (6270)
P. Ford (5306)
B. Humphres (6207)
C. Tidwell (5305)
M. Hester (6237)
D. Jaynes (6221)
M. Simpson (5435)
R. Stewart (6256)
N. Thompson (6249)
S. Thomas (6252)
C. Tice (6293)

This certificate is designed for training capable individuals who desire to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). The Practical Nursing program enables the student to obtain the skills and knowledge leading to employment in the health care field. Topics related to safe, knowledgeable, and efficient nursing care are included. The certificate is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the state licensing examination (NCLEX-PN) for licensure as Practical Nurses. Graduation from the program however, does not guarantee Board of Nursing approval to take the NCLEX-PN licensing examination.  See Standards of Conduct in the Registered Nursing Section of the catalog.

The Practical Nursing Program is three semesters in length and is also taught as the Practical Nursing portion of the 1+1 curriculum.

The Practical Nursing Program is developed as a combined sequence of nursing and general education courses, and students may take all required general education courses once admitted to nursing. The general education courses are offered on both the Shoals and Phil Campbell campuses at NWSCC. If you have major responsibilities such as family or work, or if you have been away from school for several years, or if you do not have a strong academic background, you are encouraged to complete as many general education courses as possible before attempting to enter the nursing program. Completion of certain courses prior to application results in a higher ranking score and improves the chances of being admitted. Therefore, students typically enter the nursing program with a minimum of two semesters of general education classes already completed. Otherwise, the general education courses must be taken no later than the semester specified in the curriculum. Prior credit for general education courses does not shorten the length of the curriculum due to the required sequence of nursing courses. Clinical, laboratory, simulation, theory, orientation, and testing may occur outside of the published class time/day.


The Practical Nursing Program is state approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing.

Alabama Board of Nursing
RSA Plaza, Ste. 250
770 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
phone: 334.242.4060, Fax: 334.242.4360

The practical nursing program at Northwest Shoals Community College at the Phil Campbell Campus, located in Phil Campbell, Alabama, and the Shoals Campus, located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is accredited by the:
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA  30326
(404) 975-5000

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the practical nursing program is Continuing Accreditation.  View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at

All agencies utilized for students’ clinical experiences are accredited or licensed by their governing body.


Minimum admission standards for Practical Nursing include:

  • Unconditional admission to the college and be in good standing with College.
  • Submission of a completed application for the Practical Nursing Program by December 15th for the summer admission, annually. (Applications must be hand delivered to the nursing office on the Phil Campbell Campus or postmarked by the application deadline.)
  • A minimum of 2.50 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale based on a required academic core courses for nursing and on clear academic status AND
    • Current or previous NWSCC students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA or higher at NWSCC
    • Transfer students must enter NWSCC on clear academic status (cumulative 2.0 GPA)
    • Students without prior college courses must have a minimum 2.50 cumulative high school GPA on all high school work attempted (including 12th grade)
  • Eligibility for English 101 and MTH 100 (Intermediate College Algebra) or higher as determined by college policy.
  • Submission of Official ACT score (national or residual) to the Admissions office.  The writing component is not required.  The ACT must have been taken by the application deadline. There is no minimum ACT composite score required (effective: fall 2024 application period).  There is no expiration date on ACT for the nursing application. The nursing program does not accept the ACT Superscore.
  • Meeting the Eligibility Criteria required for nursing.

Admission to the PN program is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. The College reserves the right to adjust requirements or use additional criteria to determine admission. The admission criteria is currently under review and is subject to change.

NOTICE: Your ability to comply with the ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA listed may be evaluated by the nursing faculty at anytime that your ability to do so is in question.

See ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA in the Registered Nursing section of the catalog.

See PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS in the Registered Nursing section of the catalog.

See TRANSFER POLICY in the Registered Nursing section of the catalog.

The following are specific policies for the PN Program for students wishing to transfer from another ACCS PN program:

  • You will receive no credit for any nursing education that was acquired more than one (1) year prior to the transfer.
  • You must complete two semesters of the program at NWSCC.
  • ACCS Nursing Curriculum courses will be transferred without review of course syllabus.



The tuition rate is the same as that for other NWSCC students, but nursing program students will incur other expenses, which are listed below. Note that the amounts listed are approximations and that they are subject to change without notice.

Textbooks and course outlines: $1,000.00
Professional liability insurance: $20.00
Drug Screening: $40.00
Laboratory kit: $70.00
Uniforms(s) and necessary equipment: $345.00
(stethoscope, watch with second hand, pen light, etc.)
Physical examination: $1,000.00
(Immunizations, if needed)
Standardized Exams: $250.00
Background Check: $60.00
Clinical ID Badge: $5.00 
Laptop and Webcam: $400.00 (No Chromebooks)

  • Windows-based laptop with a minimum of 64-bit versions of Windows 10 or Windows 11 or a MAC laptop (Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey) 64-bit operating system with a genuine version of the Mac Operating system.
    • 4 GB RAM, 4GB or higher of available space on the hard drive
    • Fully chargeable battery for testing

Computer Software: $400.00
Parking Decal: $20.00

Additional expenses anticipated during the final semester of the PN program are approximate. These are as follows:

ABN application: $88.50
NCLEX application: $200.00
Temporary permit (optional) ABN Only: $50.00
Nursing Pin (optional): $45.00
NCLEX review course (optional): $250.00

NOTICE: In addition to the expenses listed above, you are responsible for transportation, meals, health care expenses, any liability incurred during and while traveling to and/or from educational experiences.


NWSCC PN students are those who have been admitted to or reinstated into the PN program on the Muscle Shoals campus. After completion of the PN certificate, NWSCC PN students may apply for transfer into the last two semesters of the ADN program (to complete the 1+1 curriculum) without a LPN license based on the following conditions:

  • Meet all the ADN program progression requirements.
  • Apply to transfer into the ADN program within 7 days of the day grades are posted for the semester of the completion of the NWSCC PN program with PN certificate.
  • No more than one semester has lapsed since completion of the PN certificate at NWSCC.

If a student is a reinstated student in the PN Program, the reinstatement status continues in the ADN Program. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

Practical Nursing Career Certificate

* All non-nursing courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher before or during semesters noted below. 

Semester I

* The math courses which satisfy the nursing math requirement are those which are MTH 100 or higher (Examples: MTH 100, MTH 110, MTH 112, MTH 265).  MTH 116 will not satisfy the requirement for nursing.  Your selected MTH course and BIO 201 must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher before or during the semester noted above. All other general education courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher in order to graduate.

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Semester II

* ENG 101, BIO 201, PSY 210 must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher before or during the semester noted above. All other general education courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher in order to graduate.

**Keyboarding skills are essential for the successful completion of English 101.

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Semester III

* SPH must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher before or during the semester noted above. All other general education courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher in order to graduate.

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Total credits:




Career Certificate