Nursing and Health Science program FAQs

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) about PTC's nursing programs


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Q: I want to be an LPN. What program do I enter?

A: LPN stands for Licensed Practical Nurse. Students wishing to enter the workforce with this title will need to enroll in the Practical Nursing Program. Upon successful completion (will be awarded a Diploma) the student is eligible to sit for the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN or also called PN Board exam). After successfully passing this national exam the student can be licensed in MN (or whichever state they have applied to) as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Q: I want to be an RN. What program do I enter?

A: If you are already an LPN then you may apply for the Associate Degree Nursing Mobility Program. This program will prepare you to sit for the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN or also called RN Board exam) If you are not a LPN then you are not eligible for this program. Please see an Student Affairs or an advisor to plan the best route for you to reach your goal. Pine Technical College currently does not have an entry level (generic) RN program.

Q: What does Mobility mean?

A: The Associate Degree Mobility Program is an Associate Degree program that only accepts Licensed Practical Nurses to enter the program. It is one year of nursing courses that will prepare the student to sit for the National Council License Exam for Registered Nurses (NLCEX-RN or RN boards). After successfully passing this national exam the student can be licensed in MN (or whichever state they have applied to) as a Registered Nurse.

Q: I have applied to PTC and been accepted. Can I register for the nursing courses?

A: Not yet….. The Practical and Associate Degree Nursing Mobility programs have internal applications. Once all the prerequisite courses have been completed or have been transferred into the college the student is eligible for the application process. Students may apply during the semester in which the final courses are completed. Please attend an info session to ensure you are ready to begin. You may also make an appointment with Student affairs or your academic advisor.

Q: What is the HESI?

A: The HESI is an admission exam that is used for entrance into the programs. The HESI LPN Comprehensive and Critical Thinking is used for the mobility program. The HESI A2 and critical thinking (plus medical dosages and medical terminology) is used for the PN programs. More information is available at the info sessions, online with the application or under the program website.  

Q: What is the Healthcare Pre-professional Certificate (HPPC) and why is everyone advising me to enroll in that program?

A: The Healthcare Pre-professional certificate is a foundational certificate for students wishing to explore health careers, undecided on nursing vs. Medical Assistant, or those wishing to build a foundation prior to sitting for the entrance exams. This certificate provides two points of employment upon completion, Nursing Assistant (with successful completion of the state test) or Trained Medication Aide.  This program also provides courses in which students will be prepped for the HESI exam. There are courses in this program which are also in the Practical Nursing program and the Medical Assistant program. Students completing this program will have lighter loads throughout their education journey at PTC. For more information or if this is a good fit for you, please contact Student Affairs or your academic advisor. Students wishing to take this certificate will need to add this to their majors. 

Q: Why are sciences good for only 5 years?

A: Science courses are the foundation to nursing curriculum. Information when not used on a regular basis is not as current and therefore students struggle in the course work. By having a time limit of 5 years, the students’ knowledge base has prepared them for the best chance of success in the programs. If a student has been working as an LPN the age expiration dates may be waived. Please fill out an academic petition and submit to Student Affairs requesting the program specific exception.

Q: When is the application window?

A: PN program starts a group of students each Fall and Spring. The application window opens up the first week of the semester and closes the first Friday in October and the first Friday in March. Students applying need to see the website for the application window dates specific for that semester. Each semester is slightly different. Mobility program starts each fall. The application window opens the first week of Spring semester and closes the first Friday of March.  Please see the application for exact closing dates as they vary from semester to semester. There are no applications accepted in the Fall for the Mobility program.

Q: My GPA is at 2.79 will I be accepted?

A: The minimum GPA for the PN program is 2.8. The minimum GPA for the Mobility program is 3.0. There are no exceptions to this requirement. GPA is calculated according to the application. Please reference the application for more information.

Q: I didn’t have to take Biology to take Anatomy and Physiology I or II at my other school. Do I have to take it before I enter the Mobility program?

A: Each student has a very unique educational journey, therefore each case is looked at to see how best to advise the student. Please see the transfer specialist in Student Affairs or your academic advisor to answer this question. In many cases course substitutions can occur, but this decision needs to be made with the academic advisor and a petition must be completed for all substitutions.

Q: Is there a wait list for the programs?

A: The PN program does not usually have a wait list. If they do students only have to wait one semester until there is a spot available. The Mobility program holds a 10 seat wait list only until the semester starts. After this point the waitlist is done and students must reapply for entrance the following year. Each application window is treated as a fresh start. For more information on this process, please attend an information session during the application windows.

Q: I have a felony in my past. Can I still enter the program?

A: Each case is very different, please set up a meeting with Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences to review your options.

Q: How many days per week is the program?

A: The PN program runs 5 days per week. It is 16 credits and a full load. The department recommends students to consider this when choosing their work and personal schedule. The Mobility program is 3-5 days per week depending on the semester and clinical. The program is 12 credits if no general education courses are added.

Q: Is the nursing programs accredited?

A: The Practical and Associate Degree Nursing Mobility programs are approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. We are currently working on accreditation but have not completed the process. At this point we do not have a timeline for its completion. The college is nationally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students graduating from our program are able to find valuable employment in our communities. Employment or further education may be hindered by our not having the accreditation. Please check with the school you are transferring to (for Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees) to ensure they will accept your credits. We have partnerships for Bachelor’s programs (degree completion programs) with Bethel University and Moorhead State University which are not affected by our accreditation status.