Jan 25, 2021  
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2008-2009 
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2008-2009 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, R.N., A.A.S.

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The Nursing Program at Butler County Community College is a two-year academically-based program that prepares the graduate to provide and manage direct care to individual clients and their families, and to function as an effective member of the health care team. The program prepares the graduate for employment in the role of registered nurse. The graduate is also educated to be a contributing member of the discipline of nursing, committed to professional growth, continuous learning, and self-development. Graduates are eligible to take the licensing examination for registered nurse (RN). The program is fully approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), 61 Broadway, 33rd Floor , New York, New York, 10006 Telephone: 800-669-1656.

Employment Opportunities: Employment is available in a variety of community-based health care settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other comparable agencies.

Criteria For Admission

Admission to the Nursing Program is selective. A special application packet, available from the Admissions Office or the BC3 website, is required. Applications are accepted beginning June 15 of the year prior to actual admission. Applicants are urged to apply early before the November deadline.

All applicants are considered equally regardless of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, or gender.

LPNs and other individuals with prior nursing education and/or experience may be eligible for advanced standing. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Nursing and Allied Health Division Office.

Pennsylvania law prohibits the State Board of Nursing from issuing a license to anyone who has been convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance, unless at least ten years have elapsed from the date of conviction, and the applicant satisfies other criteria of personal rehabilitation. At the time of application for licensure, the State Board also requires reporting of  any crime, felony, misdemeanor , or pending criminal charges.

The Nursing Program Admissions Committee assumes the responsibility to review the data of all applicants and has the right to select the best qualified individuals.

A. High School Requirements:

  • High school diploma from an accredited secondary school program, or successful completion of the G.E.D. Exam. High school seniors may apply.
  • High school course requirements for all applicants include the completion of the following with a 2.5 GPA or better:
    • 4 units of English
    • 3 units of Social Studies
    • 2 units of Math (one must be algebra)
    • 1 unit of Biology (with lab) with a final grade of “C” or better*
    • 1 unit of Chemistry (with lab) with a final grade of “C” or better.*

* If Biology and/or Chemistry has been taken more than five years ago, College level Biology and/or Chemistry courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.

  • Courses not taken in high school may be taken at Butler County Community College or at another college. (Comparable courses may be substituted with permission of the Dean for Nursing and Allied Health) Individuals with less than a 2.5 GPA in required high school courses may be considered for admission following completion of 12 credits (either nursing program prerequisites or general studies credits), with a College Level cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better.

B. Testing

  • New students to BC3 are required to take the College placement tests for appropriate initial placement in courses, i.e. English, Reading and Math. If it is determined that placement tests are needed, you will be notified. If placement test scores indicate a need for skill building classes in English, Reading and/or Mathematics, students
    will be required to enroll in those courses. All preparatory classes must be completed before acceptance to the program with a minimum grade of “C”.
  • Licensed practical nurses (LPN) must successfully complete two examinations in order to be eligible for advanced standing in the nursing program. To be eligible, the LPN must successfully complete NURS 135, score 75% or higher on the final comprehensive examination for NURS 111 Introduction to Nursing Process: Fundamental of Nursing and 80% or better on the math competency examination, which relates to medication administration. Both examinations are administered during the fall semester only. College credit-by-examination fees apply and must be paid prior tocompleting the examinations.
  • Students may receive credit for past experiences in another registered nursing education program and be eligible for advanced standing in the BC3 Nursing Program. As part of placement validation, students must pass the final examination of the most recent exempted course with a 75% or higher . They must also pass a math competency examination, which relates to medication administration. Passing scores for the math examination are 80% for NURS 111, 85% for NURS 114, 90% for NURS 214/215, and 95% for NURS 216/217. College credit-by-examination fees apply and must be paid prior to completing the examinations.

C. College

  • Cumulative College GPA of 2.5 or better , if applicable.
  • In order to meet degree requirements, if A&P I, A&P II and/or Microbiology are taken prior to admission to the Nursing Program, these courses must have been completed within the last 10 years with a minimum grade of “C”.
  • Grade of “C” or better in any course required in the Nursing Program.
  • All applicants are notified as to acceptance, placement on standby, or rejection.

Special Requirements*

Nursing students are required to:

  1. Complete Act 33/34 Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance and Criminal Record Check prior to beginning NURS 111 and again if readmitted to the program. An FBI Background Check is required for individuals who were not PA residents for the past two years and for all students prior to starting clinical with children in the community.
    • In order for a student to participate in clinical coursework, clearance results must be in compliance with PA State Board of Nursing regulations, Act 169 Older Adult Protective Services Act, and Act 33/34. A student who fails to obtain the requisite Act 169 and Act 33/34 clearances will be unable to attend the required clinical experiences and meet course objectives.
  2. Have a satisfactory annual physical examination, tuberculin skin test, and immunizations.
    • Students must have the physical and emotional ability to provide all aspects of safe nursing care. A list of required nursing abilities is available with the admission packet.
  3. Provide evidence of successful completion of a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for the health care professional.
  4. Provide proof of health insurance coverage and sign a health insurance waiver .
  5. Purchase malpractice liability insurance (paid with tuition).
  6. Purchase uniforms.
  7. Assume all responsibilities for transportation to and from clinical agencies to which they are assigned for clinical practice. These agencies may include, but are not limited to, Butler Memorial Hospital, Armstrong County Memorial Hospital, Allegheny-Kiski Medical Center , Allegheny General Hospital, Slippery-Rock University, Grove City Medical Center and various home care agencies and physician offices in the region.
  8. Be  available  for  occasional  variations  in  clinical  hours (afternoons - evenings) which may be scheduled during certain rotations.

* Information will be provided following acceptance  to the program.

The most current information is listed above. The college reserves the right to amend requirements at any time.

Course Curriculum

Minimum 65 credits


* Course has a prerequisite.

a Must be taken before or with NURS 111

b Must be taken before or with NURS 114

c College Mathematics, Calculus and Analytic Geometry may be substituted.

d Must be taken before or with NURS 214 and 215

+ Courses that can be taken in advance of acceptance into the Nursing Program, as a General Studies Student.

NURS 214 must be followed by NURS 216

NURS 215 must be followed by NURS 217

Students with less than 12 College Credits

For students who will have earned fewer than 12 college credits prior to enrolling in the Nursing Program, it is highly recommended that one of the following curricula options be selected: 1)a three-year curriculum or 2) the standard two-year curriculum plus summer terms. By reducing both credit load and contact hours per semester , the likelihood of academic success may be increased.

Optional Three-Year Curriculum

After being accepted to the Nursing Program, if the student chooses the three-year curriculum and maintains a 2.5 GPA or better during the first two semesters, the student may enroll in the first nursing course (NURS 111) in the third semester.

A recommended three-year curriculum plan is shown below:


* Course has a prerequisite

a Must be taken before or with NURS 111

b Must be taken before or with NURS 114

c Must be taken before or with NURS 214 and 215

d MATH 101, MATH 102, or MATH 221 may be substituted

** Courses suggested to maintain a minimum of 12 credits for those students required to be full-time. (Other courses may be substituted or a part-time schedule may be taken.)

NURS 214 must be followed by NURS 216

NURS 215 must be followed by NURS 217

Suggested Summer Terms

(to be taken with the standard two-year curriculum)

Students enrolling in the Nursing Program with fewer than 12 credits who do not choose the three-year curriculum are encouraged to take the courses in the Summer terms: 1) prior to enrolling in the Nursing Program and 2) between the first and second years, e.g.

Summer between first and second years (choose two)


* Course has a prerequisite

** Highly recommended

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