Practical Nursing Admission Criteria

The Practical Nursing (PN) program prepares students for employment in the health care field and the national licensure exam for practical nurses. This is a 12 month program that admits twice a year, January with classes held in the Spring, Summer and Fall and May with classes held in Summer, Fall and Spring. Class size is limited with 50 students accepted in the spring and summer semesters.

Students spend time in the classroom and in clinical experiences. Practical Nursing students are prepared for giving direct and primary care under the immediate supervision of the clinical instructor, staff RN, and/or physicians in the cooperating clinical facilities. Clinical labs are completed in nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care facilities.

Students who complete the program will be eligible to sit for the National Licensure Exam for Practical Nursing. This program has specific program entrance/admission requirements.

Entrance Examination:  

Step 1: Compass/Accuplacer Test: Students can take Compass/Accuplacer test more than once.

  • All potential applicants must take the COMPASS/ACCUPLACER test at any certified testing center. (Scores are good for 1 year.)
  • If potential applicant needs to schedule a COMPASS/ACCUPLACER test, please visit www.coto.edu/pages/testing_services for more information.
  • Prospective students must bring photo identification and must pay $10.00 the day of the COMPASS test to the Business Office (cash, check, money order, or credit/debit card)
  • The College strongly suggests that prospective students begin planning their finances for school (grants, loans, etc.) as early as possible. Visit http://www.coto.edu/pages/financial_aid for further information.

Note: Starting May 2018 only ACCUPLACER scores will be accepted.

 

Classes that Start in May

Classes that Start in January

  • The ACCUPLACER test scores are good for one year.
  • If a prospective student needs to take the ACCUPLACER test, it must be completed by 4:30 pm the 2nd Friday in March at College of the Ouachitas. 
  • Scores must be turned into the Administrative Assistant in the nursing department by the deadline. The following scores have to be obtained in order to be considered for admittance to the PN Program:  Accuplacer Scores: Reading 78 minimum and Sentence Skills 83 minimum. The reading and writing scores will be averaged together and we will select from the top score down until all available slots are filled.  The math score will be used as a tie breaker.
  • Mandatory Meeting: For classes that start in May, ACCUPLACER test must be completed and scores must be turned into the Nursing Department by the 2nd Friday in March by 4:30 pm. If score requirements are met, you must attend the mandatory meeting the 3rd Friday in March times will be provided when scores are turned in.
  • The COMPASS/ACCUPLACER test scores are good for one year.
  • If a prospective student needs to take the COMPASS/ACCUPLACER test, it must be completed by the 4:30 pm the 2nd Friday of October at College of the Ouachitas.
  • Scores must be turned into the Administrative Assistant in the nursing department by the deadline. The following scores have to be obtained in order to be considered for admittance to the PN Program:  Compass Scores: Reading 83 minimum and Writing 80 minimum. Accuplacer Scores: Reading 78 minimum and Sentence Skills 83 minimum. The reading and writing scores will be averaged together and we will select from the top score down until all available slots are filled.  The math score will be used as a tie breaker.
  • Mandatory Meeting: For classes that start in January, COMPASS/ACCUPLACER test must be completed and scores must be turned into the Nursing Department by the 2nd Friday in October by 4:30 pm. If score requirements are met, you must attend the mandatory meeting the 3rd Friday in October times will be provided when scores are turned in

Step 2: Nursing Application 

  • All potential applicants must complete a nursing application (available only in the Allied Health Building). The application will be available when entrance scores are submitted to the nursing department.
  • All applicants must attend an information meeting scheduled on the 3rd Friday of March for the PN May program or the 3rd Friday of October for the PN January program.
  • Students previously enrolled in another nursing program must submit a letter of eligibility to return to nursing school from the previous program in which they were enrolled.
  • Must provide proof of English language proficiency if not from an English-speaking country. Students should submit official documentation showing completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 500 (paper based), 173 (computer based), 61 overall (internet based) or better or proof of graduation from high school within the United States, GED, or post-secondary education within the United States with the admission application.       

Step 3: College Admission Procedures 

After receiving the acceptance letter from the Nursing Program, students must complete the College’s required entrance/admission procedures as outlined in the catalog/website (http://www.coto.edu/pages/admissionsand submit to Student Affairs in the Administration Building before 4:30 p.m. on the dates listed under the Deadlines in the above chart.

Step 4: Immunization Requirements

“Students are required to provide documentation of all required immunizations by the deadline or risk having to give up their slot.”

  • Current TB Skin Test
  • Current CPR Card; must be American Heart Association for Health Care Providers
  • Titer for Chicken Pox or Varicella
  • Flu Vaccination during flu season per CDC October through the end of March
  • Hepatitis B series of three
  • Tdap within the last ten years
  • MMR (2 doses)
  • Medical Insurance