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The Nursing curriculum prepares students for beginning staff nurse positions in acute, long-term care and community-based facilities. Staff nurses plan, provide and evaluate nursing care for individual health maintenance or health promotion needs. Upon successful completion of the curriculum, students receive an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree and are eligible to sit for the state licensure examination to become a registered nurse (R.N.).

Nursing students attend classes at the College. Selected clinical laboratory learning experiences under the guidance of nursing faculty are provided at a variety of health care agencies in Philadelphia. These experiences provide students with the opportunity to apply classroom learning in client care situations. The availability of learning experiences may necessitate evening or weekend clinical laboratory assignments for students.

The Nursing curriculum is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 3343 Peachtree Road, NE Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000, www.acenursing.org and is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

The Department of Nursing is recognized by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education in the category of Enhancing the Professional Development of Students. This fourth designation is from 2016-202.

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing requires the disclosure of licensure pass rates for a 3 year period of time.

National Council of State Board of Nursing Licensure Examination Pass Rates for CP First Time Test Takers

Year Pass Rate 
2014 67.07% 
2015 83.17% 
2016  87.5% 

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate theories and concepts from science and liberal arts in the practice of nursing.
  • Collaborate with nurses and other members of the health care team to provide safe, culturally sensitive, effective nursing care to clients in a variety of settings.
  • Practice within the legal and ethical framework of nursing.

Program Entry Requirements:


  • High school diploma or GED
  • Biology 106 (or one year of high school biology)*
  • Chemistry 110 (or one year of high school chemistry)*
  • Two years of college preparatory math with a C or better
  • Placement in MATH 118
  • Placement in ENGL 101
  • GPA of 2.75 or higher

*Science courses must be less than 10 years old. For applicants holding a high school diploma, the 10-year requirement is calculated from the date of graduation. For all other applicants, the date is calculated from the semester and year the course was successfully completed.

STS 101 (there is only one course) may be substituted for BIO 106 and CHEM 110.

Admission Process:

  • Attend an information session facilitated by the Counseling Department for Nursing between October and December.
  • Applications are due by January 15.
  • All prerequisite courses must be complete and posted by January 31.
  • All transfer credits must be posted to the students Community College of Philadelphia record by January 31.
  • Kaplan Pre Nursing test must be completed by March 16, 2018.

Requirements Upon Admission:

Admission is considered conditional until all health and background information is received and reviewed.

Nursing Health Requirement:

A record of complete physical examination including required laboratory test results and immunizations must be in the Nursing department office before applicants can begin a Nursing course. A physical examination is also required of students prior to the beginning of the second year of the program. Immunizations may be supplemented with additional immunizations as clinical agencies require, such as but not limited to seasonal flu  vaccinations. Health requirements must be documented in English by a U.S. health care provider.

During College nursing skills laboratory and clinical agency experiences, physical activity is required. Standing and walking are required during the entire work day (6 to 12 hours). Students should be able to have full range of motion, push, pull, twist, lift and bend. Health problems that could interfere with the applicant's ability to meet program objectives will be considered individually. Students will be asked to complete the Essential Functions document.

Students who are registered with the Center on Disability must inform the instructor by the end of the first week of class if special accommodations are required. An accommodation is an adjustment in how a task is achieved, with out compromising the objective, integrity, or essential nature of the course of the program.

Background Checks:

Clinical experience in the Nursing program includes contact with children and older adults. This experience could be in hospitals, schools or other community agencies. In order to participate in these experiences, students must obtain a criminal record check and child abuse history clearance prior to entrance into the Nursing program. This Nursing program requirement is mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania per 24 P.S. 1-111 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code and 23 Pennsylvania C.S.A. 6355 of the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law. Any official change or the initiation of any governmental proceeding affecting the information revealed by the required criminal or child abuse background check must be reported immediately to the head of the Nursing program.

The Professional Nursing law permits the Nursing Board to consider the "moral character of any nursing candidate." The Pennsylvania Board of Nursing makes the final determination concerning an applicant's eligibility for R.N. licensure. The Pennsylvania Board of Nursing considers any and all prior convictions, including guilty plea, plea of nolo contendere, receiving probation without verdict, accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD), or any other disposition (excluding acquittal or dismissal) of any criminal charges, felony or misdemeanor, including DUI/DWI, drug law violations, pending and/or unresolved charges and expunged and juvenile records, when determining whether to allow an applicant to apply for R.N. licensure.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing reserves the right to deny a license to any candidate who has been convicted of any felonious act. Conviction includes a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere, probation without verdict, or incomplete ARD. Further, the board shall not issue a license to any applicant who has been:

  1. 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
  2. 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:

    a. at least 10 years have elapsed from the date of the conviction;
    b. the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the board significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure should not create a substantial risk of further violations; and
    c. the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in this act.

The College, in its admissions process, will consider information regarding criminal convictions and/or crimes of moral turpitude. Admission is conditional pending receipt and evaluation of a Pennsylvania State Police and F.B.I. criminal background check, child abuse check and drug screening test. A positive result in any of these areas may bar the student from being admitted into the Nursing program.

The following guidelines are used for making decisions about an applicant's criminal and child abuse background:

Child Abuse Clearance:

  • Any record results in denial of admission into the Nursing program.

Criminal Background Checks:

  • Any felony conviction within the past ten years results in denial of admission to the Nursing program.
  • Any felony conviction more than 10 years old will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense, and any explanatory letters/materials submitted by the applicant or student.
  • Any misdemeanor will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense, and explanatory letter/materials submitted by the applicant or student. (Any punishment over one year indicates a felony according to federal sentencing guidelines.)

 Drug Screening Clearance

  • The Nursing program requires participation in clinical education. Clinical affiliates of the Nursing program require evidence of a negative drug screening test in order for a student to participate in the clinical education part of the nursing program at their facility. Therefore any student with a positive drug screening test cannot be admitted into the Nursing program.

Additional Requirements:

  • CPR Certification - health care provider
  • Health Insurance
  • Professional Liability insurance
  • Transportation to clinical facilities
  • Purchase of uniforms and supplies
  • Meet essential functions requirements


An applicant who believes that an error of fact has been made in terms of the information provided to the decision-making committee can request reconsideration by the committee. This request must be made in writing within 10 days from the date of the letter notifying the applicant of the decision. The reconsideration should address what the applicant considers to be errors of fact.

Following reconsideration by the decision-making committee, the applicant can appeal the committee's decision to the vice president for Academic and Student Success, whose decision is final. 

Disciplinary Action:

Involvement in any incident which resulted in disciplinary action against a student at the Community College of Philadelphia or any postsecondary institution is considered in the admissions process. The Nursing program reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant who has a documented history of violating College rules and regulations or who has been previously suspended or expelled from the College or any other post-secondary educational institution.


To remain in the Nursing curriculum, students must maintain a grade of C or better in all nursing and required pre- and corequisite courses. During all clinical laboratory experiences, students must maintain client safety. Violation of safety may result in an immediate clinical failure, an administrative withdrawal and a grade of "F" for the course. Students whose attitudes and behavior are viewed as inconsistent with professional standards may be dropped from the curriculum pending the results of a departmental hearing. A nursing student must inform the Head of the Department of Nursing immediately if there is a change in the student's criminal background or child abuse clearance while the student is enrolled in the nursing program. If changes occur in the student's criminal background or child abuse clearance during enrollment in the nursing program, the student's situation will be reevaluated and this may lead to termination from the Nursing program.


Students requesting readmission to the Nursing program must meet program entry requirements and conditions for acceptance. Students requesting readmission are selected on a competitive basis as space permits. The program must be completed within four years of initial enrollment. Students who were dropped from the program for unprofessional conduct or violation of patient safety issues may not be considered for readmission.

Students applying for readmission must have a college GPA of 2.75 by July 1 for September enrollment or by September 1 for January enrollment.  Additional requirements apply. Applications for readmission can be obtained through the Counseling department.

Advanced Placement Option:

Licensed practical nurses, corpsmen, and candidates who have had one year of successful previous nursing school experience in the U.S. may apply for advanced placement through Credit by Prior Learning Assessment for Nursing 101. Advanced placement candidates must complete all admission requirements for consideration by the department. Successful completion of Health B9026, the noncredit transition course, is required before advanced placement is granted. Students who meet these criteria are admitted on a space-available basis. Applications are due by May 15. Application does not ensure admissions.

All Advance Placement Option applicants must complete the following courses, with a C or higher, by  May 31 prior to the anticipated September transition course and January enrollment. Transfer credits must be posted on the student record by June 30.

Documentation of Prior Learning is required. LPNs must submit a current, active LPN license in good standing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a transcript from the LPN school. Medics/corpsmen must submit evidence of honorable discharge from a branch of the U.S. military indicating training and service as a medic/corpsman.

Students who plan to transfer from another school of nursing in the United States must provide a transcript showing a GPA of 2.75 or higher, at least one year of clinical courses with satisfactory performance (provide course descriptions) and a letter of reference from the school.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the A.A.S. degree in Nursing, students must complete 64 credit hours as prescribed, attain a grade point average of 2.0 or better and no grade below C in any course. All students must complete the nursing course sequence within four academic years of the date of admission to the first nursing course.

Nursing Course Sequence

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.

First Semester

NURS 101 – Nursing I BIOL 109, DIET 111, ENGL 101 (must be taken prior to or concurrently) 7  
BIOL 109 – Anatomy and Physiology   4 Natural Science
DIET 111 – Introduction to Nutrition BIOL 109 with a grade of "C" or better 3  
ENGL 101 – English Composition I   3 ENGL 101

Second Semester

NURS 132 – Nursing II NURS 101 must be taken prior; BIOL 110, ENGL 102, MATH 118 or above (must be taken prior to or concurrently) 7 Writing Intensive
BIOL 110 – Anatomy and Physiology BIOL 109 4  
ENGL 102 – The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better 3 ENGL 102, Info Lit
FNMT 118 or higher   3 Mathematics

Third Semester

NURS 231 – Nursing III NURS 132 must be taken prior; BIOL 241, SOC 101, CIS 103(must be taken prior to or concurrently) 7  
BIOL 241 – Principles of Microbiology BIOL 106, BIOL 107, BIOL 109 or BIOL 123 4  
SOC 101 – Introduction to Sociology   3 Social Sciences, Am/Global Diversity, Interpretive
CIS 103 – Applied Computer Technology   3 Tech Comp

Fourth Semester

NURS 232 – Nursing IV NURS 231 7
Humanities Elective (excluding ENGL 108)   3  
General Elective   3  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate: 64

General Education Requirements:

All General Education requirements are met through required courses as indicated above. A more detailed explanation of the College’s general education requirements can be found on the following degree requirements Web page.

1 MATH 251: Statistics for Science fulfills the General Elective requirement. It is recommended because it is required for all RN-BSN programs. Students may substitute another course for the General Elective requirement.
2 PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy, PHIL 111: Critical Thinking, PHIL 211: Ethical Problems and ENGL 115: Public Speaking are suggested Humanities electives that are generally required by RN-BSN programs.  Students may substitute another Humanities course for the Humanities Elective requirement.

For More Information Contact:

The Division of Math, Science and Health Careers, Room W2-7, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8430; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.