Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology Nursing Program Review

Established in 1969 under the name Centre County Vocational-Technical School, the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology changed its name in 1998 to better signify the programs and mission of the school. This mission of this school, settled on a 32-acre campus in Centre County, Pennsylvania, is to produce motivated individuals with the skills to successfully pursue the careers of today’s fast-paced workforce.

To fulfill this, CPI offers an array of secondary programs including a high school diploma, 60 adult and continuing education programs, and over 300 online courses. Through these programs, students from the Bald Eagle Area, Bellefonte Area, Penns Valley Area, State College School Districts and beyond can earn a variety of certifications that prepare them for life beyond graduation. The institution currently offers over 18 continuing education courses, including the practical nursing program.

Nursing Programs

The practical nursing program at CPI is a 12 month course that covers 1560 hours, and is available to high school graduates from approved or accredited schools, or anyone with the equivalent of a high school diploma. Admissions for full time classes are done in January and July each year.

Practical Nursing Certification

The Practical Nursing Program at CPI prepares students to seek careers in the medical field during which they will work under the supervision of licensed professional nurses, physicians or dentists and provide sound, knowledgable nursing care to a range of clients. This care will include assessing the biological, psychological, social and spiritual needs of a particular client, analyze clients for purpose of diagnosis, assisting in the development of specific nursing plans and executing such plans.

Earning a practical nursing certification from CPI requires an average of 12 months. Interested applicants can begin full-time classes in January or July. Applicants are required to meet specific academic and personal guidelines in order to gain admission into the program, which includes possessing a high school diploma or equivalent from an accredited or approved institution. The applicant must also obtain satisfactory scores on pre-admission exams, undergo a thorough physical exam including a drug screen and immunizations, and pass a criminal record and child abuse check. As per Pennsylvania law, applicants must provide proof of good moral character, and are refused admission into the the program if they have certain legal offenses in their past. Finally, prospective students must submit two satisfactory references that appropriately characterize the applicants’ educational capabilities and work ethic. Admission into the program requires a personal interview with the program coordinator and demonstration of CPR certification.

CPI’s practical nursing certification program consists of four levels of instruction, each containing theoretical, lab and clinical hours to create a balanced, well-rounded course of study. Students wishing to seek advanced placement are able to challenge Level I or Level II of instruction by demonstrating required knowledge and skill. Each of such cases is reviewed on an individual basis and there is no guarantee that advanced placement in the program will be granted.

Level I of instruction includes courses in Fundamental of Nursing, Behavioral Science and Biological Science. These course provide the basis on which more advanced courses can be built. Level II includes further studies in Biological and Behavioral Sciences and the addition of Medical/ Surgical Nursing and Maternal-Child Nursing. Level III further advances the surgical studies and adds a course in  Pharmacology. The final level completes the Medical/Surgical Nursing and Pharmacology studies and prepares students for graduation and a career in nursing with a course referred to as Issues and Trends.

Upon satisfactory completion of the program graduates are presented with a diploma and are then eligible to submit themselves for the state licensing examination. Employment opportunities for graduates of CPI’s Practical Nursing Program include hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, the personal home care industry and military service.

Cooperative Education Program

CPI has a cooperative education program and works in liaison with three facilities –Centre Crest Nursing Home, Mt Nittany Medical Center, and Lock Haven Hospital- so that students get hands on experience.

Funding/ Financing

The practical nursing program at CPI has been approved for PELL grants and financing from Higher Education Loans. Detailed information on how to go about submitting applications for financial aid can be obtained from CPI’s student finance office.

Students are expected to make their own accommodation and transportation arrangement.


CPI is accredited by Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Education. The nursing program offered by CPI is accredited by the National Healthcareer Association. National League for Nursing Accreditation Information, and the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program.

Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology
540 North Harrison Road,
Pleasant Gap, PA 16823
Phone: (814) 359-2793, 1-877-968-7388