Degree and Course Information > Nursing


Department Overview
Nursing is a rewarding and diverse career that involves caring for people at all ages of the lifespan, and that provides opportunities for practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities. Nurses may provide direct care, may teach clients how to care for themselves, as well as plan care for groups and individuals. Nurses who continue their education and earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree have additional opportunities in community health, home care, care management and teaching. The Nursing Program The Pierce College Nursing Program prepares students to become Registered Nurses and provides students with the opportunity to become certified nursing assistants as a part of the coursework. In addition, the program is designed to articulate with local four-year universities that offer a BSN completion program. The curriculum includes a solid base in the natural and social sciences and provides a strong foundation in basic nursing skills, from which students then advance to more complex nursing concepts in the second year. During the course of the program, students will receive experience in medical surgical nursing, family and community nursing, and mental health nursing in acute care, long-term, and community settings such as clinics and schools. Graduates receive an Associate degree in Nursing, then must pass the NCLEX-RN examination in order to be licensed as Registered Nurses in Washington State. Licensed graduates are qualified to be employed as entry-level nurses in hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, clinics, health care providers offices, and home care agencies. They are also able to plan and coordinate patient care. The program includes classroom courses in nursing, as well as clinical nursing practice in an acute care setting where students apply theory attained in all previous courses, with a focus on the transition to the RN role. Concepts of the Roy Adaptation Model are used to guide developing nursing practice to individuals in the community, in a variety of settings, during a preceptorship assignment. At the end of the course, students are expected to complete an NCLEX-RN prep course and achieve a passing score on a comprehensive NCLEX-RN predictive examination. Clinical courses are taught at a variety of health care agencies in the Pierce County area and may occur days, evenings and Saturdays. All courses are taught by masters prepared nurse educators. The program is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. Selection for the RN pathway is competitive, and the program begins annually each winter quarter. Students who are selected begin a sixquarter program leading to an associate degree in nursing. The program seeks students who are committed to the profession of nursing. Before applying to our program, applicants should explore all facets of a nursing care, which may include but not be limited to, infection control, practice settings and the law as it pertains to nursing. Requirements for Admission Applicants must meet general entrance requirements for Pierce College as well as the specific pre-nursing course requirements. Prerequisite courses may take at least one year of study and possibly longer if additional coursework must be completed prior to taking the prerequisite courses. Check with your college early to plan your course of study. The application deadline for admission to the Nursing Program is set annually. Check the Nursing program Web site for up-to-date information at No waiting list is established. The Admission Committee selects students in May and successful candidates are notified. Evaluation is based on each prerequisite science course being completed with a 3.0, other college prerequisite courses completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, designated tests, a personal statement, two recommendations, and observation, volunteer, or work experience in a nursing care setting. There are additional courses recommended for students planning to continue their education to earn a bachelor of science in nursing. It is recommended that the applicant make an appointment with an advisor to make sure the planned course of study meets the programs admission requirements. Nursing students will have additional college expenses to cover uniforms, supplies and pre-licensure testing. Application packets and additional information are available online at or by contacting the nursing program office at (253) 864-3272. Transferability Graduates of the Pierce College Nursing Program who successfully pass the NCLEX examination for RN licensure may apply to the University of Washington-Tacoma to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree. An articulation agreement is in place and students who plan to transfer should work closely with their Pierce College advisor to make sure that all requirements are met. The pre-nursing course requirements will apply to other allied health fields or to an associate degree for transfer to a four-year institution should a student change fields or not be accepted into the nursing program.

Unique Program Text
This course open only to students who have been admitted into the program. For program and enrollment information, contact Eustenia Kasjan at (253) 840-8355.

Program Outcomes
Associate in Nursing

Students will:
1. Nursing Process: The graduate will demonstrate a beginning competence in critical, creative, and reflective thinking within the nursing process that serves to provide the foundation for safe, effective care delivery in a wide variety of health care settings.
2. Communication: The graduate will demonstrate effective communication through the exchange of messages in a variety of contexts using multiple methods.
3. Professional Role: The graduate will demonstrate responsibility in the registered nurse role by participating as a member of a team to promote holistic, ethical, and compassionate care while functioning within the scope of practice for the registered nurse.
4. Cultural Competence: The graduate will demonstrate multicultural competence by valuing open-mindedness, inclusion, multicultural perspectives, and multiple ways of knowing, thinking, and being for clients, families, and colleagues in health care.
5. Information Competency: The graduate will seek, find, evaluate, and use information in health care to support evidence-based practice and engage in lifelong learning for nursing practice.

Nursing Assistant Certified

Students will:
1. Basic Technical Skills: A nursing assistant demonstrates basic technical skills which facilitate an optimal level of functioning for client or resident, recognizing individual, cultural, and religious diversity.
2. Personal Care Skills: A nursing assistant demonstrates basic personal care skills.
3. Mental Health and Social Service Needs: A nursing assistant demonstrates the ability to identify psychosocial needs of all clients or residents based upon awareness of the developmental and age specific processes.
4. Care of Cognitively Impaired Residents: A nursing assistant demonstrates basic care of cognitively impaired clients or residents.
5. Basic Restorative Services: The nursing assistant incorporates principles and skills in providing restorative care.
6. Client or Resident Rights and Promotion of Independence: A nursing assistant demonstrates behavior which maintains and respects client or resident rights and promotes independence, regardless of race, religion, life-style, sexual preference, disease process, or ability to pay.
7. Communication and Interpersonal Skills: A nursing assistant uses communication and interpersonal skills effectively to function as a member of the nursing team.
8. Infection Control: A nursing assistant uses standard and transmission based precautions to prevent the spread of microorganisms.
9. Safety and Emergency Procedures: A nursing assistant demonstrates the ability to identify and implement safety and emergency procedures.
10. Rules and Regulations Knowledge: A nursing assistant demonstrates knowledge of and can explain the practical implications of the laws and regulations which affect nursing assistant practice.

Course Listing

Course Listings for Nursing
NURS 111 - FUNDAMENTALS OF NURSING PRACTICEGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 112 - FUNDAMENTALS OF NURSING CLINICAL PRACTICEGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 113 - NURSING SUCCESS SEMINARGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 121 - INTRODUCTION TO MEDICAL-SURGICAL/PSYCHIATRIC NURSINGGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 122 - INTRODUCTION TO NURSING CLINICAL PRACTICEGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 125 - FAMILY NURSINGGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 130 - INTERMEDIATE MEDICAL-SURGICAL/PSYCHIATRIC NURSINGGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 132 - INTERMEDIATE NURSING CLINICAL PRACTICEGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 210 - ADVANCED TOPICS IN NURSINGGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 211 - ADVANCED NURSING CLINICAL PRACTICEGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 214 - ADVANCED CONCEPTS IN FAMILY CENTERED NURSING CAREGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 217 - PRACTICAL NURSE PREPARATION SEMINARGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 222 - PROFESSIONAL NURSING CLINICAL PRACTICEGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 223 - ADVANCED PSYCHIATRIC NURSINGGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite
NURS 230 - ADVANCED TOPICS IN NURSING IIGeneral Degree RequirementPre-College & Prerequisite