Sep 27, 2022  
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2012-2013 
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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

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Nursing, R.N. (208)
Associate in Applied Science Degree

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 Inc. (NLNAC), 3343 Peachtree Road, NE Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; Phone: 404-975-5000; 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 is required and available on July 1 in the Admissions Office or on Applicants are urged to apply early before the October 31 deadline.  Applications are accepted beginning July 1 of the year prior to actual admission. Please note that acceptance into Pre-Nursing DOES NOT guarantee acceptance into the Nursing Program.  A separate application for the RN program is required.  Please check to learn the specifics.  There is a limited time period each year that applications are available and are accepted.

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

Licensed Practical Nurses in Pennsylvania and other individuals previously enrolled in Registered Nursing education programs may be eligible for advanced standing. A special application packet for advanced standing is available on February 1 with a priority selection due date of March 31. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Admissions 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. Examination. High school seniors may apply.
  • High school course requirements for all applicants include the completion of the following with a 2.8 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 high school 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. College level biology and/or chemistry courses used for prerequisites must have been completed within the last 5 years.  The exact acceptable time frame is detailed in the Nursing Program application packet. 

  • 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 2.8 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 2.8 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”.

C. Advanced Standing

  • Licensed practical nurses (LPN) or individuals previously enrolled in R.N. education programs who are accepted must successfully complete the following requirements in order to be eligible for advanced standing in the nursing program. To be eligible, the LPN must successfully complete NURS 135, and score 75% or higher on the final comprehensive examination for NURS 101: Nursing 1: Introduction to Nursing Care.  In addition, the LPN must successfully complete NURS 141: Pharmacology for Nurses I.  College credit-by-examination fees apply and must be paid prior to completing the examinations.
  • Students with credits from another registered nursing education program may be eligible for advanced standing in the BC3 Nursing Program into the second semester of the program.  Students who have successfully completed a fundamentals of nursing course (with a “C” grade or greater) at another registered nursing education program may enter the BC3 Nursing Program in the second semester, under the same criteria as listed above for LPN applicants. College credit-by-examination fees apply and must be paid prior to completing the examinations.

D. College 

  • Cumulative College GPA of 2.8 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 5 years with a minimum grade of “C”. The exact acceptable time frame is detailed in the Nursing Program application packet. 
  • 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 *

  1. Criminal Background Clearances including a FBI fingerprint are required prior to beginning the first clinical Nursing course and annually therafter for all subsequent years of program enrollment.
    • 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 34/151. A student who fails to obtain the requisite Act 169 and Act 34/151 clearances will be unable to attend the required clinical experiences and meet course objectives.
  2. Satisfactory annual physical examination, tuberculin skin test, immunizations, and negative urine drug screen.
    • 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. Evidence of successful completion of an American Heart Association course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for the healthcare provider.
  4. Proof of health insurance coverage.
  5. Malpractice liability insurance (paid with tuition).
  6. Uniforms.
  7. Transportation to and from clinical agencies is the responsibility of the student. 
  8. Clinical hours and locations vary by course and semester.

* 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.


Minimum - 70 credits


1 Must be taken before or with NURS 101 (Nursing I)

2 Must be taken before or with NURS 102  (Nursing II)

3 Must be taken before or with NURS 103 (Nursing III)

4 Must be taken before or with NURS 104  (Nursing IV)

5Must be taken before NURS 105 (Nursing V)

College Algebra (Math 101) or higher may be substituted.

Courses that can be taken in advance of acceptance into the Nursing Program.


Applicants to the Two Year Nursing Program

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

For students accepted into the two year nursing program, credit load can also be reduced by completing some courses prior to admission into the Nursing Program and/or during the summer between the two years of the Nursing Program.

Optional Three-Year Curriculum Plan

For students who are applying to the Nursing Program directly from high school or with fewer than 12 earned college credits, it is highly recommended that the Optional Three Year Curriculum Plan is selected. By reducing both credit load and contact hours each semester, the likelihood of academic success might be increased. Seek advisement regarding course selection as needed.

After being accepted into the Nursing Program for the Optional Three Year Curriculum plan, the student must maintain a 2.5 GPA and earn a “C” or better in all courses completed during the first two semesters of enrollment. If these requirements are met, the student will be eligible for enrollment in NURS 101 in the third semester of the Optional Three Year Curriculum plan.

A recommended three-year curriculum plan is shown below:


1 Must be taken before or with NURS 101

Must be taken before or with NURS 102

Must be taken before or with NURS 103

4 Must be taken before or with NURS 104

5Must be taken before NURS 105

College Algebra (MATH 101 or higher may be substituted)

Courses that can be taken in advance of acceptance into the Nursing Program.

8 Courses suggested for 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.)

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