Practical Nursing Certificate Requirements

Nursing Students at GRCC

If you have not yet applied to GRCC, you may apply for free online at (select Health and Exercise Sciences as your Academic Pathway), or by contacting the Admissions Department, (616) 234-3300. Admissions is located on the first floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, formerly Main Building. If you are already a degree seeking student, you may apply to the health program of your choice online: Health Admissions Application. If you are not a degree seeking student, please contact the Admissions Department for assistance.

Questions regarding the process to get on the wait list, as well as any documentation for acceptance, should be directed to the Health Admissions Coordinator. The Health Admissions office is located on the 6th floor of the College Park Plaza Building, corner of Lyon & Division, room 600. You may also email,, fax to (616) 234-4317, or mail to: Health Admissions, GRCC, 143 Bostwick Ave, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

If you have taken courses at another college or university, you may be eligible for transfer credit. You must first apply to GRCC and then submit official transcripts for evaluation.

Students pursuing our PN program are encouraged to focus first on completing the requirements for admission to the program. The date you complete your last admissions requirement, you are placed on the wait list and that is your ‘ready date’. Students enter the program based on their ‘ready date’. Some students may need to take a class or classes to prepare for successful completion of these admission requirements. If that is true for you, it is strongly recommended that you make those classes your first priority.

The checklist below will help you track your progress from completing the admissions requirements for placement on the wait list, to completing the general education classes that must be taken prior to entering the nursing program.

Upon successful completion of the PN Admission Requirements listed below, the student’s name will be placed on the wait list:

Practical Nursing Admission Requirements

  • High school GPA of 2.0 (or GED equivalent) or a College GPA of at least 2.0 for students with 12 or more college credits. Students may apply after completion of their junior year in high school.
  • HESI Exam (scored subtests: math, reading comprehension, vocabulary & general knowledge, grammar). There is a fee for this exam. Passing score on each subtest must be 75% or higher. Scores are valid for 8 years. For more info:
  • Background Check Form and ICHAT
  • Students may conduct their own ICHAT online and print off the results and bring that evidence, along with the Preliminary Background Check Form, to GRCC Police or Health Admissions.
  • OR
  • Bring the Preliminary Background Check Form, with $10, to GRCC Police or Health Admissions
  • Form available here: Preliminary Background Check Form
  • All students must demonstrate competency in math within the last 5 years to be eligible. Math competency can be demonstrated through any one of the following ways: SAT Math subsection score of 25 or higher, ACT Math score of 18 or higher, Math Placement Test (ALEKS PPL) with a score fo 30 or higher, completion of MA 098 or higher with a grade of C or better.  Contact the Health Admissions Department for details at or 616 234-4348.
  • Drug Screen: Must have a negative 7-panel urine drug screen. May be able to use a drug screen done within the past 12 months. Results should be submitted to the Health Admissions Office, 600 College Park Plaza.

Foundational Courses & Academic Probation/Suspension

  • In order to be eligible for admission into the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) or Practical Nursing program, students must have successfully completed any required AFP courses with a grade of at least C and be in good academic standing.
  • Any student placed on Academic Probation/Suspension while on the waitlist or while enrolled in either nursing program will be withdrawn. Students wishing to pursue nursing after this may re-apply after following GRCC’s academic suspension policy and returning to good academic standing.

Upon successful completion of all the above requirements, the student’s name will be placed on the wait list.

Courses that must be successfully completed prior to entering the clinical portion of the PN Program (these do NOT have to be completed to be placed on the list):

EN101, PY201, GH125* and NUR100

*To meet the science prerequisite for Practical Nursing, students must take GH 125 OR BI 117. Students who are planning to continue to our ADN (Associates Degree in Nursing) program, who have strong science skills, may take BI 121 & BI 122 in place of GH 125 (must have both BI 121 AND BI 122). Microbiology is not required, although students pursuing a BSN are strongly recommended to take BI 127.

NOTE: Life science courses (GH 125, BI 117, BI 121, & BI 122) must have been completed within eight years of graduation/completion of the Nursing Program at GRCC (This includes Life Science courses that are transferred in from other institutions regardless of the date on which they are transferred). Practical Nursing Students must pass GH 125 or BI 117 with a grade of C or higher within 2 attempts total (this is not 2 attempts at each course).  In lieu of taking BI 117 or GH 125, Practical Nursing students may take BI 121 and BI 122.  Students taking BI 121 and BI 122 for entry in to the Practical Nursing Program are permitted 2 attempts at each course to achieve a grade of C or higher. Please see Biology/Life Science Course Attempts (link on left) for more information.

To be eligible for graduation from the PN program, students must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. A minimum grade of C is required in all general education courses in both the ADN and PN programs. As with all nursing courses, a grade of "B-" or higher is required in NUR 100.

Students who wish to pursue their ADN upon completion of our PN program are encouraged to speak to their counselor/advisor about additional classes they may be able to complete (while on the PN wait list) in preparation for the ADN program.

Requirements for degree and certificate programs are based on the catalog year that you begin the first clinical course of the nursing program and are subject to change. Please refer to My Degree Path from your online center for current requirements.

** IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Students receiving financial aid (PELL or TIP) who have completed several classes beyond those on this list, including any transfer credit, or who are planning to take additional classes while waiting to enter the program, are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss how many additional classes may be taken without exceeding the eligibility limit.