Nursing Programs

The nursing curricula prepares graduates to function as members of the health care team in various health care environments. The curricula focus on preparation for employment and articulation. The nursing programs consist of an Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing and an Associate Degree in Registered Nursing. The nursing
programs are approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing.
The Helena College RN Program is NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission) accredited.

All PN students  will be required to have all eight prerequisite classes completed before being admitted into the clinical portion of the program. PN students will be admitted in both the fall and spring semesters.

The Associate of Science degree leading to the Registered Nursing program is currently following the statewide curriculum, continuing as a Fall-Spring sequence program.  The RN program is NLNAC Accreditated.

Admission to the program also requires completion of the Helena College application for admission and the nursing program application. Nursing applications are available through the nursing department at the Donaldson Campus at Helena College. Deadlines can be obtained from the nursing department and will be posted on the webpage.  A student may apply while enrolled in the prerequisite courses with acceptance to the program to be determined after the current completed semester grades are finalized.  A general physical examination is part of the application process.

A student must maintain a “C” or better in each of the courses required and complete each semester prior to progressing to the next semester. After the student is accepted into the nursing program, he or she must provide proof of the following health requirements: tuberculosis testing using the PPD or chest x-ray; Hepatitis B vaccine (a series of three injections); MMR series (those born before 1956 who did not receive the MMR will have to complete a titer); illness or vaccination for Varicella (chicken pox); Tetanus; current CPR for the Health Care Provider; and a criminal background check.

Practical Nursing

LPN Student Handbook

The practical nurse uses specialized knowledge and skills that meet the health care needs of people in a variety of settings under the direction of qualified health professions. The curriculum focuses on preparation for employment. Students learn practical nursing skills through independent study, lectures, simulation demonstrations, and practice in the skills lab.  Under instructor supervision, students also provide patient care in a variety of health care settings. The program is approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing

 Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the National Council of Licensing Examination (NCLEX) PN licensure examination from the Montana State Board of Nursing. Upon passing the examination, the graduate becomes a Licensed Practical Nurse, LPN. After licensure, graduates typically find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, physician offices, and other health care agencies.

Admission is by application only. The application process includes a Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) pre-entrance exam. Applications are good for current start only; current applications are available through the nursing department. The application process requires that a student successfully complete the following coursework with a “C” or better:

Gainful Employment

Nursing
Associate of Applied Science
Licensed Practical Nurse (L.P.N.)

Licensed Practical Nurse Career Outlook:  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As the U.S. population ages, the overall need for healthcare is expected to increase. This trend will lead to increased employment of LPNs and LVNs in hospitals, physicians' offices, and other healthcare settings. LPNs and LVNs also will be needed in residential care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted-living centers. Many procedures that once could be done only in hospitals are now being done outside of hospitals, creating demand in other settings, such as outpatient care centers.

A large number of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses are expected to retire over the coming decade. Job prospects should, therefore, be excellent for licensed and experienced LPNs and LVNs.

Employment Opportunities with SOC Code:
Licensed Practical  Nurse 29-2061.00

Salary Forecast:  MT CO
Licensed Practical  Nurse 29-2061.00 36,160 44,460

For the most current salary information please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupational Outlook Handbook found at www.bls.gov/ooh/.

Program Cost:
Approximately $7,000

Prerequisite Courses
To be completed prior to application to the program. A prerequisite
course may be attempted a maximum of two (2) times.

BIOH201 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4
WRIT101 College Writing 3
M121 College Algebra 3
NUTR221 Basic Human Nutrition 2 or 3
BIOH211 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
NRSG100 Introduction to Nursing 1 or 2
PSYX100 Introduction to Psychology 3
CHMY121 Introduction to General Chemistry 3
CHMY122 Introduction to General Chemistry Lab 1

Length of Program: Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing: 4 semesters, 51/52 credits

Prerequisite Courses
These courses are to be completed prior to application to the program. A prerequisite course may be attempted a maximum of two (2) times.

Admission is by application only. Please check with the nursing department for current application information.

Students—Please note! Weekly schedule includes labs, clinicals and simulations that cannot be reflected on the course catalog schedule.  Students should plan for 30-40 hours per week.  The nursing department will supply students with a schedule once admission is determined.


FIRST YEAR

Fall Semester - (Pre-nursing requirements)

BIOH201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I w/Lab 4
WRIT101 College Writing I 3
M121 College Algebra 3
NUTR221 Basic Human Nutrition 2 or 3
Total Semester Credits 12/13

Spring Semester - (Pre-nursing requirements)

BIOH211 Human Anatomy and Physiology II w/Lab 4
PSYX100 Introduction to Psychology 3
NRSG100 Introduction to Nursing 1 or 2
CHMY121 Introduction to General Chemistry 3
CHMY122 Introduction to General Chemistry Lab 1
Total Semester Credits 12/13

SECOND YEAR

Fall Semester

NRSG130 Fundamentals of Nursing 4
NRSG131 Fundamentals of Nursing Lab 3
NRSG135 Nursing Pharmacology 3
NRSG138 Gerontology for Nursing 2
NRSG144 Core Concepts of Mental Health Nursing 2
Total Semester Credits 14

Spring Semester

NRSG140 Core Concepts of Adult Nursing 7
NRSG142 Core Concepts of Maternal/Child Nursing 3
NRSG148 Leadership Issues 2
Total Semester Credits 12
TOTAL CREDITS 51/52



Registered Nursing

ASRN Nursing Student Handbook

The Associate of Science degree program prepares graduates to function as members and leaders of health care teams in various health care environments. The curriculum focuses on preparation for employment. Some of the course work is transferable. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination from the Montana State Board of Nursing. After passing the examination, the graduate becomes a Registered Nurse, RN. The Associate of Science degree program is NLNAC Accredited.

Gainful Employment

Registered Nurse (RN)
Associate of Science Registered Nursing (ASRN)

Registered Nurse Career Outlook:  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics  employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur primarily because of technological advancements, permitting a greater number of health problems to be treated; an increased emphasis on preventive care; and the large, aging baby boomer population who will demand more healthcare services as they live longer and more active lives than previous generations. Faster than average growth is expected in traditional hospital settings, as well as in non-hospital settings, such as physician’s offices and home healthcare services.

Growth is expected to be much faster than average in outpatient care centers, where patients do not stay overnight, such as those that provide same-day chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and surgery. Also, an increased number of procedures, as well as more sophisticated procedures once done only in hospitals, are being done in physicians' offices.

The financial pressure on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible should mean more people admitted to extended and long-term care facilities and more need for home healthcare. As the baby boomers grow older, there will be greater demand for home healthcare.

In addition, because many older people want to be treated at home or in residential care facilities, registered nurses will be in demand in those settings. Job growth is also expected in facilities that provide long-term rehabilitation for stroke and head injury patients, as well as facilities that treat people with Alzheimer's disease (memory loss, dementia).

Overall, job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be excellent. Employers in some parts of the country and in some employment settings report difficulty in attracting and keeping enough registered nurses.

Job opportunities should be excellent, even in hospitals, because of the relatively high turnover of hospital nurses. To attract and keep qualified nurses, hospitals may offer signing bonuses, family-friendly work schedules, or subsidized training.

In physicians' offices and outpatient care centers, registered nurses may face greater competition for positions because these jobs generally offer regular working hours and provide more comfortable working conditions than hospitals.

Generally, registered nurses with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one.

In addition, all four advanced practice registered nurses—clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners—will be in high demand, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas.

Employment Opportunities with SOC Code:
Registered Nurses 29-1141.00

Salary Forecast:  MT CO
Registered Nurses 29-1141.00 60,190 68,670

For the most current salary information please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupational Outlook Handbook found at www.bls.gov/ooh/.

Program Cost:
Approximately $4,100 after LPN acquired

Entry into the ASRN program is by application-only in the spring for fall semester. Applications are available through the nursing department. The application process includes a LPN STEP pre-entrance exam and a physical examination. Applications are good for current year only; current applications are available through the nursing department. The application process requires that a student have a current, unencumbered LPN licensure (from any state) and/or is a graduate of the statewide curriculum PN program, and has successfully completed the following coursework with a “C” or better:

BIOH201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIOH211 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
WRIT101 College Writing I 3
CHYM121 Introduction to General Chemistry 3
CHYM122 Introduction to General Chemisty Lab 1
M121 College Algebra 3
NUTR221 Basic Human Nutrition 2 or 3
PSYX100 Introduction to Psychology 3
NRSG100 Introduction to Nursing 1 or 2


Length of Program: Associate Degree Leading to Registered Nursing: 27 credits, 2 Semesters

Fall Semester

NRSG250 LPN to RN Transition 3
NRSG252 Complex Care Needs of Maternal/Child Client 3
NRSG254 Complex Care Needs of Mental Health Client 2
NRSG256 Pathophysiology 3
SOCI101 Introduction to Sociology 3
Total Semester Credits 14

Spring Semester

BIOM250 Microbiology for Health Sciences 3
BIOM251 Microbiology for Health Sciences Lab 1
NRSG262  Complex Care Needs - Adult Client 4
NRSG265  Advanced Clinical Skills 1
NRSG266  Managed Client Care 4
Total Semester Credits 13
TOTAL CREDITS 27