Certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing

School cap icon Modality icon svg Modality: Onground
Program Modality
Work to learn fundamental skills for helping to promote, maintain, and restore patient health and independence. Start working toward tomorrow’s LPN opportunities today.


In our Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) certificate program, you’ll work to complete academic and clinical practice opportunities to build the knowledge and skills essential for the demands of today’s healthcare environment. The LPN program offers a challenging curriculum that cultivates your ability to apply knowledge, think critically, and communicate effectively. In our courses, you’ll focus on proper procedures to collect and organize healthcare data, coordinate with other nurses and healthcare providers to provide patient care, contribute to the care plan, and identify and understand common health problems in patients. Courses cover medical surgical, mental health, pediatric, geriatric, and maternal infant nursing, including hands-on practice in nursing simulation labs and clinical sites. As a graduate, you’ll be eligible to take the LPN licensure examination (NCLEX-PN).

Develop Essential Skills In
  • Evidence-based, patient-centered care
  • Critical thinking and clinical judgment
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Patient education
  • Cultural sensitivity and competence
See All Nursing Programs

South College Nursing

Bureau of Labor Statistics

View Statistics

Tuition and Fees

View Tuition

Available Locations

Examples of Scholarships and Grants That May Be Available (Check with Your Campus Financial Aid Office For More Information)

TN Promise

South College is proud to offer the TNP Scholarship for those that qualify helping to offset the first 2 years of tuition with required Community Service hours.

Yellow Ribbon

South College proudly participates in this program with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help pay for education for military members and Veterans.

Concentrations in this Program

Ready For Your Next Step?

Let us help YOUR dream find Direction! Learn more about this program and all of the opportunities waiting for you at South College!
Request Info

You May Enjoy This Line of Study If You…

  • Are caring, service-oriented, and focused on safe clinical practice
  • Apply critical thinking and nursing processes to plan and implement care
  • Practice confidentiality and accountability
  • Have strong interest in working in the healthcare field
  • Have strong communication and interpersonal skills

Student Learning Outcomes of the PN Program

Based on the National League for Nursing Practical/Vocational Nursing Program Outcomes (2014c), the student learning outcomes for the Practical Nursing program at South College are as follows:

  • Human flourishing – Promote the dignity, integrity, self-determination, and personal growth of diverse patients, their families, and oneself to provide individualized, culturally appropriate, relationship-centered nursing care (National League for Nursing, 2014d).
  • Nursing judgment – Make judgments in practice, substantiated with evidence, which integrate nursing science in the provision of safe, quality care for diverse patients and their families in collaboration with the healthcare team (National League for Nursing, 2014e).
  • Professional identity – Articulate a unique tole as a member of the healthcare team, committed to evidence-based practice, caring, advocacy, and safe quality care, to provide optimal care for diverse patients and their families (National League for Nursing, 2014f).
  • Spirit of inquiry – By collaborating with healthcare team members, utilize evidence, tradition, and patient preferences in predictable patient care situations to promote optimal health status (National League for Nursing, 2014g).


Upon completion of certificate requirements, each student enrolled in the PN program must make application to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN). Practical/Vocational nurses are prohibited in all states from practicing nursing until the examination is successfully completed and licensure has been granted. Specific information regarding licensure will be provided to the student during the last quarter of the nursing program. Background Check: Students are required to sign an acknowledgment form that they understand that our school background check may not revel potential barriers to licensure in each state. Each Board of Nursing conducts extensive background checks upon application for licensure with that state. Graduation from this program, does not specifically guarantee licensure in each state.

Minimum Academic Requirements for Admission

Cohorts will begin depending upon enrollment and approvals from the associated state board of nursing. All applicants must meet the requirements for general admission to South College. General admission to South College does not guarantee admission to the School of Nursing. Application deadlines are available in the School of Nursing and the Admissions Department.

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be admitted without stipulation:

  1. Submit a School of Nursing application by the applicable deadline.
  2. Achieve a minimum ATI TEAS Assessment score at the academic preparedness level of BASIC.

In addition to the above academic requirements Atlanta LPN applicants must successfully complete MAT 1100 College AlgebraENG 1201 English CompositionPSY 1811 General Psychology, and AHS 1010 Medical Terminology with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and a minimum grade of C in each. Students may transfer one or more of these courses into South College if they meet the existing South College transfer requirements. The combined GPA of all four courses must be a 2.50 GPA. Courses may be in progress at time of application, but to be admitted without stipulation they must be completed.

Applicants who are not in good academic standing from a previous nursing or allied health program (e.g. Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, EMT, etc.) or who have been dismissed from such a program must submit the required School of Nursing Mitigating Circumstances form and provide supporting documentation of the mitigating circumstances to be considered eligible to apply to the South College School of Nursing. Admission is not guaranteed, and the School of Nursing may require a letter from the former program explaining the circumstances.

Applicants who are not in good academic standing from two previous nursing or allied health programs (e.g. Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, EMT, etc.) or who have been dismissed from two such programs will not be considered for admission or readmission to the South College Nursing program.

TEAS Assessment

TEAS Assessment requirements and procedures:

  • Applicants are required to take the ATI TEAS Assessment as part of the application process. The TEAS Assessment schedule and additional information is available in the Admissions Department, Student Services Department, and/or School of Nursing.
  • Applicants have two attempts to achieve the required score of BASIC for their desired cohort start date. Two weeks must lapse between the first and second attempt.
  • Applicants who have completed the TEAS Assessment within 12 months prior to the date of application, may opt to submit their TEAS Assessment transcript directly from ATI.
  • An applicant who has not achieved the required BASIC score on his/her first two attempts, may take the test one more time within a year from their first attempt, but he/she must wait and apply for the next available cohort start date.
  • If an applicant does not achieve the required score in three attempts, he/she may wait one year from the date of the first attempt and begin the application and testing process again.

Competitive Admissions and Ranking Criteria

Admission to the School of Nursing is competitive and dependent upon class size. Applicants will be ranked based on an approved ranking system that includes, but not limited to, GPA and TEAS score.

Transfer Credit from Previous Nursing Programs

For a nursing class (or classes) to be considered for transfer into a South College Nursing program, the class must have been completed within the past 18 months prior to the cohort start date. Only nursing courses with a grade of A or B are considered for transfer and a course description or syllabus may be required to evaluate equivalency. Please refer to the transfer timeframes on the South College website.


Prospective students must meet the following requirements to be admitted without stipulation. Stipulations must be met as described below or the offer of admission may be withdrawn:

  1. Take the required drug test before the 1st day of class*.
  2. Complete the background check application before the 1st day of class*.
  3. Attend the nursing orientation on the scheduled date in its entirety.

*Prospective students who fail either the drug test or background check will be cancelled.

In addition, each prospective student must provide proof of ability to perform the skills needed to practice nursing effectively. Health care facilities must meet federal guidelines, and students must also meet these requirements in order to be allowed to gain clinical experience. All nursing students must comply with communicable diseases/blood-borne pathogen requirements that the clinical agencies require. Therefore proof of the following are minimum requirements for the nursing applicant (additional requirements may apply depending on clinical agency requirements):

  1. Health history and physical exam certifying ability to function in the required capacity prior to admission to upper level
  2. Common communicable disease immunization or immunity, including MMR (2 in series if born after 1957), TDaP (booster required every 10 years) and varicella vaccine (2 in series). Some clinical facilities may require titers for MMR, HBV, and Varicella even though you have proof of previous immunization
  3. Hepatitis B immunization (3 in series) or the HEPLISAV-B, (2 in a series one month apart) or completed Declination Form for Hepatitis B Vaccination depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. The Declination Form must only be used for medical reasons and must be documented by student’s primary care provider. A vaccine titer test showing immunity is also acceptable.
  4. Annual Flu immunization or completed Declination Form for Influenza Vaccination depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. The Declination Form must only be used for medical reasons and must be documented by student’s primary care provider.
  5. Annual screening for tuberculosis.
  6. Acceptable drug screen. Students may be required to obtain more than one acceptance drug screen per year depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. In any case where a drug screen is positive and no authorized prescription is produced to validate the presence of the drug in the individual’s system, continuation in the program will be denied. Upon notification of the drug screen results, the student will have 5 working days to provide prescription validation. Students are responsible for costs associated with any required testing.
  7. Acceptable criminal background check for a minimum of past 15 years. Students may be required to obtain more than one acceptance criminal background check per year depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. If the background check reveals previous criminal convictions, admittance into the program will be made on a case by case basis. Students who are denied clinical experiences due to past convictions may be unable to progress in the program which will result in failure to complete the required courses for the program.
  8. Proof of health insurance coverage throughout the entire nursing program.
  9. Annual training on blood-borne pathogens.
  10. Valid American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers Course Completion Card or Certificate.

Prospective Students or Students who do not comply with all communicable disease/bloodborne pathogen requirements and accurately maintain their records in the institution’s clinical tracking portal will be cancelled or withdrawn.

Prospective students must demonstrate the following functional capacities.  Prospective students who believe that they will not be able to meet one or more of these requirements without accommodation or modification must notify the PN Program Director, and a determination will be made on a case by case basis whether reasonable accommodation may be made.  In no instance will an accommodation be made which will compromise nursing care, or that will put patients or other students at risk.  Accommodation granted when a student is generally admitted to South College does not guarantee that this modification will apply to admission to the nursing program.

** Additional immunizations/titers may be required per clinical facility requirements.

VisionAdequate to ensure safety of self and others in classroom and clinical settings.Patient assessment; response to treatment; medication preparation and administration; reading of patient charts and physician orders.
HearingAdequate to allow effective communication with patients and others in person and by electronic means, and to ensure safety of self and patients.Face-to-face communication with patients, families and the healthcare team; telephone consultations; heart tones; breath sounds; bowel sounds and other assessments.
Tactile SensoryAdequate to allow effective evaluation and therapeutic intervention related to nursing care, and to ensure safety of self and others in providing care.Palpation used in assessment; vital signs; medication administration, IV starts.
Gross motor strength and coordinationAdequate to ensure safety of self and others in class and lab sessions and clinical activities.Patient positioning and transfer; walking, standing, bending, and/or stopping for extended periods involving patient care; moving of equipment/beds.
Fine motor strength and coordinationAdequate to allow mastery of activities requiring detailed movements.Multiple skills in patient care; treatments; medication preparation and administration.
Critical thinking abilityAdequate to allow mastery of basic course content and to demonstrate sound judgment in simulated and real-life nursing situations.Effective use of nursing process; planning and implementation of the nursing care plan; identification of cause and effect relationship in order to modify nursing care plan; determination of unsafe situations; planning course of actions to meet needs of patient, family, community and nursing profession.
Interpersonal SkillsAdequate to allow establishment of effective working and/or therapeutic relationship with patients, families and professionals.Establishing therapeutic relationship with patients and families; working with health care team; collaboration with other disciplines.
CommunicationAdequate to allow completion of coursework and effective verbal and written communication with patients, families, communities, peers, and others.Class activities; therapeutic communication; writing/research at the bachelor’s level; documentation of patient care; education of patient/family/community.



State Authorization (Asheville, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Nashville, Orlando, & Pittsburgh)
The South College Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Parkside Learning Site (Knoxville) received initial approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in December 2003, with full approval granted in September 2008. Approval for the addition of the Nashville Learning Site was granted in November 2016. The Master of Science in Nursing program received approval in November 2016. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program received approval in February 2020.  The Post-Graduate Certificate programs received approval in August 2021.  The South College Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Asheville Learning Site received initial approval from the North Carolina Board of Nursing in February 2016, with full approval granted in May 2019. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Atlanta Learning Site received initial approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing in September 2018.  The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Orlando Learning Site received initial approval from the Florida Board of Nursing in November 2021. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Indianapolis campus received initial approval from the Indiana Board of Nursing in July 2022. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Pittsburgh campus received initial approval from the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing in April 2023.

The South College Associate of Science in Nursing program (Knoxville & Nashville Learning Site) was approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing in November 2022. The Associate of Science in Nursing program offered at the Orlando Learning Site was approved by the Florida Board of Nursing in January 2023.  The Associate of Science in Nursing program offered at the Atlanta Learning Site was approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing in March 2023. The Associate of Science in Nursing program offered at the Pittsburgh Learning Site was approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing in November 2023.

The South College Certificate program in Practical Nursing offered at the Parkside Learning Site (Knoxville) received approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in February 2018. Approval for the addition of the Nashville Learning Site was granted in November 2018. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing was approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing for the Atlanta Learning Site in May 2019 to begin the first class in June 2020. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing was approved by the Florida Board of Nursing for the Orlando Learning Site in November 2021. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing was approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing for the Pittsburgh Learning Site in March 2023. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing was approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing for the Asheville Learning Site in May 2023. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing at the Indianapolis campus received initial approval from the Indiana Board of Nursing in July 2023.

Programmatic Accreditation

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Post-Graduate APRN Certificate programs offered at South College are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791 (

The South College DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program was granted initial accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) effective October 13, 2021. The address for COA is: 10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906, Rosemont, IL 60018-5603, Phone number: 224-275-9130, website address: Additionally, during the same October 2021 accreditation meeting, the COA granted the following two items for the South College DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program: (1) Approval of Distance Education Courses, and (2) Approval of Waiver of Graduate Degree Requirement.

Got A Question? South College Frequently Asked Questions
Tuition & FeesFinancial AidAccreditationApplications & AcceptanceHousingSouth College Consumer InformationTransferCertificates & DegreesOnline vs. On CampusMilitary Programs
Tuition & Fees
What is the tuition for South College?

Tuition and fees for South College students vary by program, and tuition rates are tiered based on the number of credits taken each quarter. For example, in our undergraduate programs, students taking 10-20 credits per quarter are charged one quarterly tuition rate based on their program, while students in the same program taking 1-5 or 6-9 credits are charged different tuition rates. Our tuition rates are designed such that South College students who take a high number of credits per quarter may be able to complete their program at a lower total cost than students who take fewer credits per quarter. Contact our admissions team who can help you prepare the budget for the field of study you want to pursue. And don’t forget we also offer numerous grants, scholarships, and financial aid packages to those that qualify.

More Info
Financial Aid
Does South College offer Financial Aid?

Yes! Financial aid for South College is available to those who qualify. Students at South College have access to a range of financial aid to provide the economic assistance they need to pay for college. Aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants and awards, work-study programs, and loans. We’re happy to participate in numerous federal, state, and private student aid programs, and to offer funding directly. In addition to federal and state financial aid, South College institutional grants can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for qualified military-affiliated students, first responders, and recent high school graduates. Visit our financial page or contact our admissions team. We want you to succeed! Let us help you give your dream direction and address your financial aid questions.

More Info
Is South College Accredited?

Yes! South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master's, baccalaureate, and associate levels, as well as certificates. With over 100 programs and concentrations and campuses on multiple states the state authorizations have been obtained. Visit the link to see the full listing. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the appropriate licensing board to confirm whether a South College program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in that state. South College will assist with this information for fully online programs. For onground/hybrid programs, the institution ensures that the program meets requirements for the state in which the campus is located.

More Info
Applications & Acceptance
How do I apply to South College?

Visit South College and see for yourself what the college has to offer. Campus tours include a personal admissions consultation, campus facility tour and more! When you are ready to start your journey at South College, submit an online application or speak with an admissions representative. Once your application is received, we will begin building your personalized plan to pursue the chosen degree or certificate program based on your interest. We want you to have the best possible educational experience. To learn more about the educational opportunities available for your future, Apply today!

Apply Now
Do you Offer Housing?

South College offers a wide range of degree and certificate programs in areas such as business, healthcare, legal studies, education, criminal justice, and technology. At this time, we do not currently offer housing options. Our expansive online study and hybrid options allow our students to learn wherever they are located, and often with the flexibility of their own convenient time. With academic advisors that support the students throughout their tenure at South College, along with tutors, study groups, and a student success team, students at South College have resources at their fingertips to assist them in their educational pursuits and may be able to guide towards housing areas close to the campus of their choice. The individual attention and support provided by our faculty and staff helps to set us apart. Students interested in a more personalized learning experience are often attracted to South College over other larger universities and colleges in our campus locations. Request more information about South College today!

More Info
South College Consumer Information
Looking for South College Consumer Information?

South College was founded in 1882 and focused on serving students who want a hands-on, relevant education that can have a meaningful impact on their lives. South College strives to provide quality instruction, resources, and support services based on systematic and ongoing assessment and evaluation of objectives/outcomes to ensure the development of student abilities necessary for the achievement of positive student outcomes and the mission/vision of the college. The institution establishes policies and procedures to maintain compliance with applicable federal, state, and accrediting requirements. Click below to learn all about South College’s history, and who we are as an institution today.

More Info
Does South College accept Transfer Students?

Yes! Credit for transfer work may be given if it was taken at an accredited collegiate institution, if it is equivalent to courses offered at South College, and if it carries a grade of C or better. Any coursework taken over seven years ago may be denied transfer credit if the material is outdated. Policies for the acceptance of any graduate level transfer credit are determined by the associated program faculty within guidelines determined by the institution. We want students to succeed and will do our best to help you in your journey to apply transfer credits to those who qualify. Contact admissions for assistance for your transfer individualized plan and consideration and learn about transfer specifications and time limits by course here:

More Info
Certificates & Degrees
What Kind of Certificate & Degrees does South College Offer?

South College is a regionally accredited private co-educational, institution with non-residential campuses in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Orlando, Florida. Students can pursue academic programs at all levels, including professional certificates and associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. New academic programs are added frequently in response to local, regional, and national employment trends, and South College is committed to providing programs at all levels with innovative course content and teaching platforms. Explore all the programs and come back often as we regularly add new programs that may spark your interest!

More Info
Online vs. On Campus
Online vs On-Campus – What Is Best?

Since its founding 140 years ago, South College‘s mission has been to serve students who want a hands-on, professional focused education. Today this means offering traditional classroom experiences along with accelerated, hybrid, and online learning options. It means small class sizes, modern labs, and campuses that are convenient to large numbers of students. Most of all, it means experienced instructors who provide real world experiences in their classes and lead in-depth discussions on the concepts taught. South College also offers non-traditional distance-learning programs, allowing students to earn a college degree online providing more flexibility with the same level of quality education and experience from all academic programs offered. This option is great for potential students who are working a full-time job or are not in travel distance to one of the learning sites. Online vs. campus? You decide. Get the student experience you desire in the program that fits your style best on your road to success!

More Info
Military Programs
Does South College Have Programs for Active or Retired Military?

As an institution of higher education, South College recognizes its responsibility to society and supports both institutional and individual commitments to service. South College encourages its administration, faculty, and staff to invest their knowledge, experience, and expertise in community, professional, and institutional service. South College’s core values of excellence, responsibility, and integrity serve as the foundation for assessing the quality of institutional, school/departmental, and individual performance in achieving this mission. South College is grateful for the service and sacrifice of our military and their families. We are happy to provide the South College Military Grant to support our military – past and present – in the pursuit of their education and skill development. The South College Application Fee is waived for all active-duty military members, veterans, their spouses, and their dependent children who receive this Grant.

More Info