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Practical Nursing Certificate

Certificate & Course Information

The Practical Nursing Certificate exit option is designed to provide education to prepare the student for practice as a licensed practical nurse after completion of the first two semesters of the ADN RN program. Upon admission to the nursing program the student may opt to stop after the first two semesters and take the optional Transition into Practical Nursing course and receive a Certificate of Practical Nursing. The curriculum follows the criteria for the Colorado Nursing Articulation Model and is specifically constructed to promote career mobility between Nursing educational levels.

Successful completion of the Practical Nursing Certificate requirements for graduation also entitles the graduate to submit an application to the State Board of Nursing for the State Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing.

Admission Procedure

1. The student must apply for general college admission to Otero College. Applying to Otero is free and can be completed online. Student must be a high school graduate or have a GED certificate.

2. Complete required pre-admission courses (Pre-requisite Courses) with a grade of C or higher for each course and a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher for the required pre-admission courses listed below. A higher GPA will receive a higher admission score. The science courses must be completed within seven years of the application date of the program.

Required Pre-Admission Courses (Pre-requisite Courses)

  • English Composition I (3 credits)
  • Human Growth & Development (3 credits)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I (4 credits)

Co-requisite Courses

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II (4 credits) *
  • * BIO 2102 / Human Anatomy & Physiology II can be completed in first semester of your Nursing courses with prior approval and if not taking compressed BIO 2101/2102 course.

3. Apply to the nursing program at Otero using the Online Application available here

4. Provide official transcripts confirming completion of Pre-requisite courses and GPA to the Otero Nursing Department.

5. Complete the Accuplacer Reading and Math tests within six months of application to the Nursing Program. The minimum Reading score is 80. Minimum Math score is Elementary Algebra (EA) 61. Higher scores on each test will receive a higher admission score. To schedule contact the Student Services Office at 719-384-6831.

6. Evidence of permanent residence in the Otero Service area of Bent, Otero and Crowley counties is not required but will receive points toward admission.

7. A clear criminal background check and urine drug screen (information will be provided upon application). See the Disqualifying Offenses document

8. Evidence of State Nurse Aide Certification or honorable military service is not required but will receive points toward admission score.

9. Attendance at a Pre-Nursing Information session with the Nursing Office. Call 719-384-6898 to schedule.

10. All admission criteria must be submitted to Otero or the Nursing Office by the Nursing admission deadlines. For the full admission criteria and admission deadlines go to Nursing page.

11. A deadline will be set and students who have completed all of the admission criteria will be admitted from the top score down until all slots are filled. To fill any vacant slots, a second and third deadline will be set and remaining and newly qualified applicants will be considered and admitted from the top scores again until slots are filled. Admission deadlines are posted on the Otero website Nursing page.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Students must fulfill all requirements of the College for receiving a certificate of completion.
  2. The graduate of nursing must pass all courses with a minimum grade of “C”
  3. Graduates must be competent in calculations of medications. Students are required to pass a medication proficiency examination at 100% mastery in order to progress to the summer semester of the program. (See the Nursing Student manual for further information).

For more information contact the Otero Nursing Department at 719-384-6898. Legal Requirements for Practical Nursing Licensure

Before becoming licensed, students must answer the following questions:

  1. “Have you ever been convicted of a crime or have you ever accepted a court plea of guilty or nolo contendre? Have you received a deferred judgment or deferred prosecution?”
  2. “Are you now, or were you for the 12 months preceding the date of this application, addicted to any controlled substance; a regular user of any controlled substance without a prescription; and/or habitually intemperate in the use of intoxicating liquor?”

If any question is answered “yes,” students need to meet with the director of the Nursing Department for counseling because the Colorado State Board of Nursing has specific requirements for licensure.

Practical Nursing Course Curriculum

PN Certificate Pathway to LPN Course Curriculum
Prerequisite Semester
BIO 2101* - Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO 2102** - Anatomy and Physiology II4
ENG 1021* - English Composition3
PSY 2440* - Human Growth and Development (Instructor request for waiver for PSY101 or use as elective)3
*BIO 2101, ENG 1021, and PSY 2440: Prerequisite courses need to be completed prior to the start of your fist semester of nusing courses. **BIO 2102 can be completed in first semester of your Nursing courses with prior approval and if not taking compressed BIO 2101/2102 course
First Semester (Fall)
NUR 1009 - Fundamentals of Nursing6
NUR 1012 - Basic Concepts of Pharmacology2
MAT 1120 - Math For Clinical Calculations (Must be completed by 1st semester with
passing grade)
HWE 1050 - Nutrition or HPR 108 (1)1 or 3
Second Semester (Spring)
NUR 1006 - Medical Surgical Nursing Concepts7
NUR 1050 - Maternal-Child Nursing6
NUR 1069 - Transition to LPN5
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