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49 Pa. Code § 21.203. Specific curriculum requirements for practical nursing programs.

§ 21.203. Specific curriculum requirements for practical nursing programs.

 (a)  The curriculum shall be based upon the philosophy and objectives of the program and shall be developed, implemented and evaluated by the faculty.

 (b)  The curriculum shall be organized and developed to include the knowledge, attitudes, skills and abilities necessary for the specific levels of student achievement.

 (c)  The curriculum shall be planned to promote measurable abilities, as contained in the Test Plan for the Practical Nurse Licensing Examination, published by Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.

 (d)  The curriculum shall provide instruction in the following areas:

   (1)  Physical and biological sciences, including appropriate content from basic human anatomy and physiology as well as elementary principles of chemistry, microbiology, physics and normal nutrition.

   (2)  Social and behavioral sciences including psycho-social facts and principles basic to personal adjustment and to nursing practice as well as appropriate content on the family and development stages from birth to senescence.

   (3)  Concurrent or sequential theory and clinical experience in:

     (i)   The care of patients with simple nursing needs.

     (ii)   The care of patients with short-term nursing needs.

     (iii)   The care of patients with long-term nursing needs.

   (4)  Clinical experience, as provided in paragraph (3), in the care of men, women and children in a variety of age groups with health problems characteristic of the age group involved.

   (5)  Theory, as required in paragraph (3), including appropriate knowledge from diet therapy and pharmacology, as well as scientific facts and selected clinical concepts which are essential as a basis for nursing action and are applicable to patient care.

   (6)  Learning experiences, as required in paragraph (3), providing opportunities for the student to:

     (i)   Develop an awareness of the needs of patients.

     (ii)   Learn to plan and give nursing care to selected individuals in various nursing situations that are relatively free of complexity.

     (iii)   Learn to plan and give nursing care to a group of selected patients.

     (iv)   Learn to assist the professional nurse in more complex nursing situations.

   (7)  Content, as required in paragraph (3), drawn from information about ethical, moral and legal responsibilities of the practical nurse, current trends in nursing and health delivery systems and vocational development.

   (8)  Technical and clinical aspects of immunization, skin testing, the performance of venipuncture and the administration and withdrawal of intravenous fluids to the extent each function is an authorized function of an LPN under this chapter. An IV therapy course must include instruction in the following topics:

     (i)   Definition of IV therapy and indications.

     (ii)   Types of vascular access delivery devices.

     (iii)   Age-related considerations.

     (iv)   Legal implications for IV therapy.

     (v)   Anatomy and physiology.

     (vi)   Fluid and electrolyte balance.

     (vii)   Infusion equipment used in IV therapy.

     (viii)   Parenteral solutions and indications.

     (ix)   Infection control and safety.

     (x)   Insertion of peripheral short catheters.

     (xi)   Administration, maintenance and monitoring of peripheral IV therapy.

     (xii)   Complications and nursing interventions.

     (xiii)   Central and peripheral vascular devices.

     (xiv)   Administration, maintenance and monitoring of central and peripheral IV therapy.

     (xv)   Documentation.

     (xvi)   Patient education.

 (e)  The total curriculum shall include a minimum of 1500 hours offered within a time period of not less than 12 months. The Board recommends that a minimum of 40% of the total curriculum be theoretical and the remaining 60% be in appropriate clinical experience.

 (f)  Evening and night assignments shall be considered part of the curriculum only in terms of the objectives to be achieved and if supervision is provided by the nursing faculty. Learning experiences during evening and night hours shall be planned only after the termination of the first 4 months of the program.

 (g)  Total hours of theory and clinical experience should be planned on a 35-hour week basis.

 (h)  The curriculum shall be evaluated according to a plan developed by the faculty and shall include the following:

   (1)  A careful review of aspects of the educational program based on the stated philosophy and objectives.

   (2)  A continuous evaluation of instructional procedures, learning experiences and student progress.

   (3)  Opportunities for students to participate in self-evaluation of their own learning experiences.

   (4)  Performance of graduates on the State Board Test Pool Examination.

   (5)  Opinions of graduates regarding the adequacy of their nursing program.

   (6)  Evaluation of graduates by their employers.

   (7)  A record system in operation which will assist in the evaluation of the educational program.


   The provisions of this §  21.203 amended under section 506 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. §  186); and sections 8 and 17.6 of the Practical Nurse Law (63 P.S. § §  658 and 667.6).


   The provisions of this §  21.203 amended July 1, 1983, effective July 2, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 2061; amended August 4, 1989, effective August 5, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 3281; amended August 24, 2012, effective August 25, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 5486. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (214458) to (214459).

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