Mercyhurst has a reputation for producing skilled and dedicated nurses. The combination of experienced faculty and state-of-the art facilities makes us one of the most trusted providers of nursing education in the region. Our one-year certificate program prepares students for licensure as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Because registered nursing is one of today's most in-demand careers, our LPN alumni often return to work towards their associate degree in our two-year LPN to RN Bridge program. Start the next chapter of your life and career with Mercyhurst and become the qualified, dedicated nurse you were meant to be. Upon completion, graduates are eligible to write the PN National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) for licensure as a practical nurse and begin their satisfying and successful career.

Program Overview

Practical nursing involves the performance of selected nursing acts in the care of the ill, injured, or infirmed to clients across the life span. Our curriculum is based on well-defined behavioral objectives, with individual course objectives contributing to the total program objectives. Students entering the practical nursing program bring their life experiences with them, take responsibility for self-directed learning, and learn by actively participating in partnership with their faculty to achieve the program goals and objectives. Learning is best achieved in a democratic atmosphere, which remains sensitive and adaptive to student needs and input. Learners are accountable for their accomplishments and failures. 

Upon satisfactory completion of this program, the graduate will have knowledge, insights, skills, and vision necessary to lead a fulfilling and productive life as a health care provider. The program is approved by the PA State Board of Nursing and consists of a minimum of 30 credits. 

Fast Facts

  • Graduates are prepared for employment in multiple heath care settings such as hospitals, private medical practices, home hospice care, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities.
  • Upon completion graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) for licensure as a practical nurse and begin their satisfying and successful career.

  • Mercyhurst has a reputation for producing skilled, qualified, and hard working nurses, which is why we have nearly a 100% job placement rate for our graduates.

Learning Outcomes

  • Incorporate theory from the physical, biological, social, and behavioral sciences when providing nursing care. 
  • Communicate effectively with clients, families, significant others, and members of the health care team.
  • Prioritize biopsychosocial needs of clients. 
  • Utilize the nursing process when providing care to meet identified needs. 
  • Apply ethical, moral, and legal standards in keeping with the Practical Nurses Code of Ethics and applicable nursing law. 

Course Requirements

Fall Semester

  • NURS 103: Nursing Principles (6 credits)
  • NURS 105: Clinical Experience I (2 credits)
  • NURS 106: Pharmacology I (2 credits)
  • NURS 107: Anatomy (2 credits)

Spring Semester

  • NURS 110: Clinical Experience II (3 credits)
  • NURS 111: Pharmacology II (2 credits) 
  • NURS 112: Med/Surg w/ Cardio & Endo Focus (2 credits)
  • NURS 113: Adult Conditions of Illness I (2 credits) 
  • NURS 114: Practical Nursing Leadership (1 credit) 
  • NURS 116: Maternity, Newborns, & Pediatrics (2 credits) 

Summer Semester

  • NURS 115: Clinical Experience III (2 credits) 
  • NURS 118: Adult Conditions Of Illness II (2 credits) 
  • NURS 119: Practical Nursing Capstone (2 credits)

Admissions Requirements

Requirements for admission include a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants must have completed coursework equal to a standard high school course with a minimum of 16 units. These must include four units of English, three units of social studies, two units of mathematics (one of which is algebra), and two units of science (including a laboratory or the equivalent). 

An assessment test to evaluate basic academic skills and the potential for success in the program will be administered by the university. Acceptance into the certificate program is conditional until receipt and review of required physical examination records, drug testing, federal, state, and child abuse clearances. 


Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination-PN (NCLEX-PN) for licensure as a licensed practical nurse. Graduates will be prepared to work in various health care settings such as acute care hospitals, long term care centers, ambulatory clinics, and home health care. 


The Master’s Degree in Nursing program delivered via distance education at Mercyhurst University is accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA) located at 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037. 202-909-2487.

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Contact Us

Karyn Hodgins, MSN, R.N.
Program Director, Practical Nursing
Phone: 814-824-2994
Office: Motherhouse 491

Steven Gregg
Director, Graduate and Professional Admissions
Phone: 814-824-3696

Meet the Faculty

Practical Nursing (LPN)
Dyan Jones, Ph.D.
Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences
Jan Haas, M.S.
Associate Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences, Program Director, Physical Therapist Assistant, Assistant Professor
Nicole Moore, MSN, RN, CNE, PMH-C
Chair, Department of Nursing, Program Director, BSN, Assistant Professor
Karyn Hodgins, MSN, R.N.
Program Director, Practical Nursing, Instructor