Harrisburg Area Community College Nursing Program Review

Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), founded in 1964, serves all of central Pennsylvania through its campuses in Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York, as well as through online courses. Over 70,000 students are enrolled in for-credit, noncredit, and distance-education courses. Many of the students are enrolled in programs in the healthcare field, including nursing programs. Harrisburg Area Community College’s nursing programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

Nurse Aide (CNA) Program

A Nurse Assistant program provides a quick entry into the nursing field, and also provides the basis for a more advanced nursing program. Harrisburg Area Community College’s Nurse Assistant program is not offered for credit; graduates receive a certificate of completion. The program takes 120 hours to complete, over the course of seventeen to twenty-nine days. Students may complete the course in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Gettysburg, and York. Occasionally, the class is offered in the evenings. Graduates are eligible to take the Pennsylvania State Certification Exam for Nurse Aides, and may begin working as Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA).

Practical Nurse (LPN) Program

Harrisburg Area Community College’s Practical Nurse certificate program trains prospective Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to provide basic nursing care under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) and physicians. Before beginning the nursing courses, however, a student must enroll as a pre-nursing student and consult with an advisor, who will determine which general education classes the student must complete prior to beginning the practical nursing program. The prerequisite courses are available on all the campuses; the nursing courses are offered on the Harrisburg, Gettysburg, and Lancaster campuses. Once enrolled in the nursing portion of the program, students must commit to three consecutive semesters of nursing classes and clinical rotations, earning a total of forty-three credits. The program begins each January. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses.

Associate Degree in Nursing

The associate-degree program prepares prospective RNs. It requires seventy-two credits (which include both general education classes and nursing courses). Students can take general education courses on any of the campuses, but nursing courses must be completed in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Gettysburg, or York. At York and Lancaster, students have the option of completing the program in the evenings, on a part-time basis. On a full-time basis, the program takes four semesters. On a part-time basis, the program takes eight semesters. Graduates of the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program receive an Associate in Applied Science and are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN). They may begin working as RNs or they may take advantage of the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) articulation agreements between Harrisburg Area Community College and several other colleges, including Alvernia University, Capella University, Drexel University (online), Eastern Mennonite University, Easter University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Immaculata University (online), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kaplan University, Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Penn State Harrisburg, and Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Associate Degree in Nursing – Advanced Standing (LPN to RN)

Taking advantage of her previous education and work experience, an LPN may receive advanced standing in the ADN program. While she must complete all general education courses and prerequisites, she can skip some of the nursing classes. She has two options:  she can skip the first nursing class (worth a total of seven credits) or she can complete a bridge class and skip the first two nursing courses (worth a total of fifteen credits). The program is available in Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York. After completing the ADN program, the LPN is eligible to become an RN by taking the NCLEX_RN.

Nurse RN/LPN Re-Entry Program

After leaving the nursing field and letting his nursing license expire, an LPN or RN can get up to date with nursing trends, refresh his nursing skills, and prepare for re-certification through a noncredit re-entry class. The course takes 208 hours to complete; more than half of the hours are hands-on, clinical practice.

Harrisburg Area Community College
1 HACC Drive,
Harrisburg, PA 17110