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Practical Nurse Certificate (PN) Program

Practical Nurses are valued members of the health team who practice under the supervision of a Registered Nurses in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, community health clinics and physicians’ offices. LPNs provide direct care for stable individuals with acute and chronic illnesses.

North Central's PN-LPN certificate program prepares graduates to begin practice as entry-level Licensed Practical Nurses upon successful completion of the NCLEX-PN exam.

PN Program Information

The cohort-style program will admit 40 students per cohort, with one cohort starting every year in January. The program runs full time from January through December and includes three consecutive semesters of nursing coursework (Winter, Summer and Fall).

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The PN-LPN certificate does not have a competitive application process. The first 40 applicants who have met the requirements prior to program admission will be accepted into the program on a first-to-enroll basis. Students are not required to have all the course requirements prior to admission completed before applying to the program, however they must be completed prior to the start of the first PN course.

See the 2023-2024 PN Student Handbook.

PN Program Application

Application for the PN program must be submitted by October 31 of the year of the anticipated Winter semester entry. There is no waitlist for the PN program. Applicants who are not admitted must re-apply.

North Central students* can apply to the PN program from the NC Portal:

  1. Log in to the portal.
  2. Select "My North Central."
  3. Select the "Admissions" tab.
  4. Select the Health Science application.

*Prospective students must first complete North Central's general admission application before applying to the PN program.

PN Program Requirements Prior to Admission

Nursing requires a great understanding of science as a whole and how it works within the human body.  The following three courses are requirements prior to program admission*:

*Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher with no grade lower than a C (74%)

Anatomy and Physiology coursework must be completed within the last five years (waivers can be submitted to the academic dean). Requirements prior to program admission must be completed by the end of Fall semester of the application year.

Acceptance Into The PN Program

Acceptance emails are sent to the student's email account.

Students who have met all the requirements prior to program admission will be accepted on a first-to-enroll basis. Students who apply but have not yet met the requirements will be admitted and placed (in order of completed application) on a list to admit, pending completion of the requirements, with a maximum of 40 students.

Students accepted into the nursing program will be required to do the following:

1. Return your Letter of Acceptance to the Nursing Department by the deadline.

2. Authorize a background check.

You will be notified when it is time to authorize a background check. Accepted students must authorize Viewpoint Screening to perform a background check. Michigan Public Health Act 27, 28 and 29 of 2006 require that clinical agencies perform a background check on all employees, including students who participate in clinical experiences. Certain felonies and misdemeanors may exclude a student from participating in clinical experiences and thus being part of the North Central nursing program. For an interpretation of these laws, read the Michigan Workforce Background Check Program Legal Guide

A background check costs approximately $35.

3. Set up your health portal.

Once the background check is complete, students will receive another link from Viewpoint Screening to set up their health portal with the requirements listed in this document.

NOTE: It is the student's responsibility to keep all health records and immunizations up to date and provide copies to their Viewpoint Screening health portal.

4. Attend Program Orientation.

Students accepted into the PN program must attend the mandatory Practical Nursing Program Orientation Session, typically held in November. The exact date will be included in an information letter that students will receive in the fall.

Orientation is a one-day session for PN students learn about the specific expectations of the program. You will also learn helpful information about what equipment and uniforms you'll need to purchase prior to the start of the fall semester.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Program Requirements & Suggested Course Sequences


PN Program FAQs

Over the course of the three semesters of the nursing program, the number of days of the week range from three days a week to five days a week.  Clinical experiences are a variety of days and hours. The length of a clinical shift may vary from four hours to 12 hours depending on the rotation. 

The average number of contact hours per semester is 15 to 18. In addition to the time spent in theory and clinical courses, it is strongly recommended that students spend an additional 2 hours per contact hour each week reading, studying, researching and practicing clinical skills in order to safely care for patients. This would add up to another 30 to 36 hours in addition to the clinical and class time, so you could compare the effort invested into the nursing program to be equivalent to that needed to maintain a full-time job. 
We recommend that students do not work while enrolled in the program. However, if students absolutely must work, they should plan on working no more than 12 hours per week. 

North Central is fortunate to have clinical agreements in a variety of settings which allow students to see the full range of nursing experiences. Clinical sites are not only in Petoskey but at various agencies in Charlevoix, Cheboygan, East Jordan, Gaylord, Harbor Springs, Kalkaska, and St. Ignace. As a result, students are expected to have dependable transportation at all times. 

However, sites change semester to semester based on availability and need. 

You can not apply for the PN-LPN program if you currently applied for the ADN-RN program.