Practical Nursing

  • Credits: 44
  • Degree Type: Diploma
  • Campus: East Grand Forks, Thief River Falls, Online



Determine if you completed courses indicated by your Accuplacer scores. Please see an advisor if you are unsure which courses you tested into. If the Accuplacer scores achieved indicated placement in any of the following developmental courses, the course's must be completed with a "C" or higher:

  • Math Foundations/Introduction to Algebra/Intermediate Algebra
  • Reading & Writing I, II, III

Nursing Assistant Competency

Students must submit evidence of competency as a nursing assistant within the past 5 years. This can be satisfied by one of the following:

  • Successful completion of HLTH 1110 Nursing Assistant (NA) course.
  • A current Certified Nursing Assistant (NA) certificate/registration card.

Competency as a nursing assistant is a program prerequisite. This course is not available online. Click here to locate Minnesota's Nursing Assistant training and testing sites .

  • If evidence of nursing assistant course completion is not listed on your NCTC transcript, you need to submit documentation verifying nursing assistant competency.

EGF & Distance PN Students Submit Your NA Documentation By:

  • scan your documentation and send it via email to OR
  • fax your documentation to 218-793-2827 OR
  • send a copy of your documentation by US mail to:
    Northland Community & Technical College-EGF
    2022 Central Ave NE
    East Grand Forks, MN 56721

TRF PN Students Submit Your NA Documentation By:

  • scanning your documentation and send it via email to OR
  • fax your documentation to 218-683-8979 OR
  • send a copy of your documentation by US mail to:
    Northland Community & Technical College-TRF
    1101 Highway One East
    Thief River Falls, MN 56701

Please note that training and experience in other health care professions is NOT equivalent to nursing assistant skills. This includes but is not limited to certification in: Home Health Aid, Health Aid Worker, Social Work, EMT--Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedicine, Phlebotomy, Medical Assisting, Massage Therapy, Social Work, Occupational and Physical Therapy.

HLTH 1106 Medical Terminology

Students must complete a 2 credit medical terminology course such as HLTH 1106 Medical Terminology with a "C" or higher grade OR test-out of the course. If you are a program candidate with a health background and believe you are competent in medical terminology, you may request to test out of this prerequisite. For information on the college policy regarding test-out please contact the college registrar (reference policy 3150P Credit for prior learning procedure Part F: Test Out).

CPR Certification

As a nursing student, you will come in contact with patients that range from infants to the elderly. Because of this, you must certify in a CPR/Basic Life Support course that includes all of the following:

  • 1 and 2-Rescuer CPR (adult, child, infant)
  • AED use (adult, child)
  • Bag-mask use (adult, child, infant)
  • Rescue breathing and choking (adult, child, infant)

Additionally CPR certifications must include both a test and HANDS-ON verification of competency.
Current CPR certifications accepted include: Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers (American Heart Assn) or CPR for the Professional Rescuer (Red Cross.)

Background Studies

To become program and patient care clinical eligible, students must receive clearance by both a State and National background study. The two separate studies are:

  • 1) Minnesota Department of Human Services Licensing Division Background Study and Fingerprinting. The cost of this study is included in the cost of program course tuition and fingerprinting costs approximately $10.
  • And
  • 2) National Background Study through Castle Branch. The cost of this study is $45.75 the first year ($26 the second year if needed), which the student will pay by credit card at the time they submit the required information online.

Instructions on how to complete these two studies is sent through NCTC student email from the PN Advisor each semester. Students will receive the instructions for the background studies upon acceptance into the program. If you cannot find your instructions email your PN Advisor for assistance. EGF and Distance PN students email TRF PN Students email

What is the ATI TEAS® Examination?

Students who have met other program specific requirements must also take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS®) to determine if they have the entry-level academic skills and abilities to be successful in the nursing program. NOTE: The ATI TEAS® is for both Nursing students and Allied Health students.

The ATI TEAS® measures basic essential skills in the academic content area domains of reading, mathematics, science and English language usage. These entry level skills were deemed important for health science program applicants by a panel of subject matter experts. The previous TEAS version V will be accepted at Northland Community & Technical College, if it was taken within 2 years from the time of application to the PN Program. The ATI TEAS® score will be good for 2 years from the test date. Further information on the ATI TEAS®, including a student study guide, is available at

If a student has taken The ATI TEAS® at another college/testing center, the student must have ATI email the official results to PN Advisor or TRF PN. There is a fee for this request. See the ATI web page and click on ATI TEAS®/Discover Transcript.

PNSG Eligibility & ATI TEAS® exam results
Students must achieve a minimum cumulative ATI TEAS® score of 50 to be considered for eligibility to enter PNSG practical nursing courses. If a student's ATI TEAS® scores indicate that they are at-risk for success in the program, they may be declined program entry. Guidelines for determination of program eligibility, including the interpretation of ATI TEAS® exam scores, are subject to change.

How do I register and pay for the ATI TEAS® exam? Where can I take the test?
The ATI TEAS® will be administered 3-5 times per semester on the EGF and TRF campus in a proctored computer lab. Applicants are allowed to take the ATI TEAS® once per semester (Fall semester: Sept.--Dec. Spring semester: Jan.--May. Summer semester: June--Aug).
Registration for the ATI TEAS® is conducted through an on-line registration system. Students not only register, but must make their appointments through the ATI website. Follow these instructions to create an ATI account and to register for the ATI TEAS® exam at NCTC.

Visit the ATI website to register for and schedule the ATI TEAS®:
Click on 'online store' in the upper right corner. On the left side of the next page, click on 'TEAS' under 'Register for …' Follow the prompts to register. NOTE: The ATI TEAS® test is for both Nursing students and Allied Health students.