The GACTC has institutional accreditation through Middle States Association of Secondary Schools

The Practical Nursing Program is a comprehensive, one year educational program that prepares graduates for employment as Licensed Practical Nurses in a wide variety of health-care settings. There is also a two-year part-time program.

The full-time program, which operates from August to August encompasses classroom and clinical instruction in all phases of direct patient care, including dispensing medication and IV Therapy. At the program’s, completion, graduates are equipped to take the National Exam for Licensure. The Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center’s Practical Nursing Program currently has a 94%-100% pass rate on this exam.

The part-time program, which operates from August to August for two years encompasses classroom and clinical instruction in all phases of direct patient care, including dispensing medication and IV Therapy. At the programs, completion, graduates are equipped to take the National Exam for Licensure. The Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center’s Practical Nursing Program currently has a 94%-100% pass rate on this exam.

Applicants are accepted into the Fall Full-time Program from January through July of each year and the Part-time program from January through July every other year. Applications can be obtained through the Practical Nursing Office, or by calling 814-946-8490.

Financial Aid is available to help meet tuition and other course fees.

REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Graduate of an approved high school or G.E.D. equivalent. (An official copy of high school transcript and/or GED test scores required).
  2. Satisfactory completion of pre-admission aptitude test; the GACTC uses the TEAS exam. This test is given on an as-needed basis each year in the Practical Nursing Department. Scores are valid for a period of 2 years.
  3. Submission of three confidential references. (Forms will be supplied at the time of aptitude testing). It is required that the evaluator send the reference directly to the school in an effort to maintain confidentiality.
  4. Personal interview with faculty member.
  5. Evidence of good physical and mental health. (Determined by pre-admission examination by a physician, laboratory testing, drug screening and current immunization status). (The student shall be required to perform the essential functions of the employment position. Please call the school if more information is needed).
  6. American heart Association BLS CPR Course Completion Card current through enrollment. (No exceptions). (Does not need to be submitted until after acceptance in the program).
  7. An acceptable PA and Federal Criminal Record Check and a PA Child Abuse History Clearance, current within 60 days of the first day of class. Certain instances prohibit the State Board of Nursing from issuing a license to individuals convicted of a felony. The Board shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act,” or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless certain criterion have been met. Please call the school for more information.
  8. Student must have evidence of U. S. Citizenship or legal immigration status. We do not enroll students with F-1 immigration status.

* The faculty reserves the right to determine the standards to which requirements are met.

Each student assumes complete responsibility for HOUSING and TRANSPORTATION. Students must abide by the school dress code. See student handbook for further information.

One class is admitted each August to the full-tme one-year program, and one class is admitted every two years to the part-time, two year program with the program starting on even numbered years. The full-time program is predominantly Monday through Friday, daytime hours. The part-time program is predominantly evening and weekend hours, and on rare occasions, a day rotation is required.

Contact the Practical Nursing Department for an application packet.

Applicants who have successfully completed courses in Anatomy & Physiology, Fundamentals of Nursing, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and/or Medical-Surgical Nursing I, and meet select admission requirements may qualify for advanced placement through challenge exams. Such courses must have been taken within the past two years and a grade of C or better attained.

Further information can be obtained from the Practical Nursing department.

PRE-ADMISSION:  A complete physical examination are required, including 2-Step P.P.D. testing, complete blood count, urinalysis, and documentation of immunity to Rubella. Immunizations are recommended against tetanus, and Hepatitis B.

SCHOOL YEAR: Students must maintain good health in order to meet the objectives of the program. The Practical Nursing Program supports health promotion and a smoke-free environment both in the school and clinical areas. In order to meet the program competencies, and for the successful completion of the objectives for each course, a student must be able to perform essential cognitive and physical functions. The faculty reserves the right to dismiss at anytime a student whose health, work, or conduct demonstrates a lack of ability to maintain satisfactory achievement of course/program objectives.

Students must attend and be punctual for all planned classes and clinical experiences in order to attain program objectives. An attendance policy is strongly adhered to. Students must complete 1,500 program hours.

The full-time Practical Nursing Program Consists of 12 consecutive months of classroom and clinical preparation. Classes begin in August and run through August of the following year, with four weeks of vacation and approximately ten holidays scheduled throughout the school calendar.

The part-time Practical Nursing Program consists of 24 consecutive months of classroom and clinical preparation. Classes begin in August and run through August at the conclusion of two years, with eight weeks of vacation and approximately twenty holidays scheduled throughout the school calendar.

The full-time program is divided into four, 12-week Levels. The part-time program is divided into eight, 12-week levels. Each level combines classroom education with appropriate clinical experience for a total of 1,564 program hours.

Course grades are calculated on a percentage basis. All courses must be completed with a 75% test average or higher in order to advance to the next level. Clinical performance is evaluated on satisfactory/unsatisfactory scale. Students must receive a satisfactory clinical evaluation by the end of each level in order to advance to the next level. The curriculum must be completed within a 2-year frame or the entire curriculum must be repeated. Further information related to promotion may be found in the student handbook.

Tuition is determined annually based on the operational cost of the Practical Nursing program and on state reimbursement and guidelines. The Commonwealth presently contributes a pre-determined portion of each student’s tuition. Tuition for the full-time 2020-2021 Program was $14,285. There is an additional estimated cost of $3,152 for books, uniforms, shoes, liability and accident insurance, graduation costs and other miscellaneous expenses associated with the program. Tuition for the part-time 2020-2022 Program was $14,765. There is an additional estimated cost of $4,062 for books, uniforms, shoes, liability and accident insurance, graduation costs and other miscellaneous expenses associated with the program. The cost for subsequent school years may be obtained by contacting the school.

A diploma is presented at graduation.  In order to graduate from the Practical Nursing Program, the student must:

  1. achieve a minimum of 75% exam average in all theory courses
  2. satisfactorily meet all clinical objectives
  3. pay all graduation fees and outstanding debts
  4. complete 1,500 program hours

Graduates are eligible to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

Certain instances prohibit the State Board of Nursing from issuing a license to individuals convicted of a felony. The Board shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act,” or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory, or country, unless:

  1. at least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of conviction;
  2. the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the Board that he/she has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations; and
  3. the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act

As used in this section, the term “convicted” shall include a judgment, an admission of guilt, or a plea of nolo contendere. An applicant’s statement on the application declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction, unless the Board ha some evidence to the contrary.

For further information or to obtain a copy of this law, contact the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

Student support services help students adjust to and succeed in training by providing comprehensive academic assistance and advice through the following services:

  • Counseling on concerns affecting academic performance
  • Tutorial Assistance
  • Assistance for students with disabilities

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), identify a person with a disability as anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, working, or learning. Persons who have a history of a disability are also covered by the regulations.

It is the student’s responsibility to identify his/her disability to the Director of Continuing Education and Request Accommodations. Any student request or inquiry regarding program accommodations for disabilities should be made as early as possible after admission into the program, or even before a student contemplates enrollment. If a student does not seek an accommodation for a disability, the Director of Continuing Education and instructors will assume the student is able to complete the program requirement without the need for accommodations.

File Library