How to Become a Practical Nurse

How to Become a Practical Nurse
How to Become a Practical Nurse

How to Become a Practical Nurse

If you're passionate about helping people, working with healthcare professionals, and taking care of patients, the practical nursing path may be a great fit for you. There are some skills needed to become a practical nurse, as well as common duties you may perform and licensing requirements for specific states.


  • Communication skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Motor skills
  • Time management skills
  • Supervisory skills
  • Clinical skills
  • Listening skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Dedication
  • Patience

Common Duties2

  • Monitor and record patient's vital signs
  • Maintain cleanliness and comfort of the patient
  • Assist medical and nursing staff with medical tasks
  • Update patient records
  • Evaluate patient's wellbeing and report to medical staff
  • Explain procedures and treatments to families and patients
  • Change bandages and dressings
  • Work in a multidisciplinary team to provide holistic patient care
  • Medication administration and follow up



  • Attend a state-approved nursing program.
  • Sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN exam.
  • Submit a licensure by exam application to the Connecticut Department of Public Health - along with passing test scores and an official transcript from your school.


  • Attend an approved practical nursing program.
  • Pass required testing (example: NCLEX-PN exam).
  • Submit a licensure by exam application through the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, provide a declaration of primary state of residence, and pass a criminal background check. (additional requirements for both states may apply)

Porter and Chester Institute (PCI) has a Practical Nursing program that can be completed in as few as 15 months. Over that time span, students will be given 1,596 hours of learning in a residential learning format (lecture and labs on campus and clinical rotations at approve, off-site locations). These 1,596 hours are to accommodate each student for extra "emergency" hours in the case of sickness, car problems, etc.

If you're interested in learning more, such as scheduling, tuition cost, and other information, check out the program description. If you're ready to start, visit the online application portal to apply.