Practical Nursing Program
Nursing Program Home
Registered Nursing Program Information
Practical Nursing Program Information
The Certificate of Applied Science, Practical Nursing Program (CAS-PN) is approved
by the Montana State Board of Nursing, permitting students to sit for the national
licensure examination for registered nursing (NCLEX-PN) and to begin a successful
career as a licensed practical nurse. After prerequisite coursework, the CAS-Practical
Nursing Program consists of two consecutive semesters. The coursework for the CAS-Practical
Nursing Program is competency-based and has the primary goal of preparing graduates
with the knowledge, skills, and values to enter the workforce after passing the NCLEX-PN
The CAS-Practical Nursing Program is offered in either a face-to-face or distance/hybrid
platform, in full-time and part-time tracks. For more information about the different
platforms and tracks, please review the “Track Options” tab to the left to determine
which route is right for you! Students will need to commit to a full week (Monday-Friday)
while enrolled in program courses. Students are in class or at clinical for the fall
and spring semesters. This program is extremely fast-paced and challenging with multiple
tests, quizzes, and assignments due each week. The majority of students will find
it necessary to spend time outside of the classroom studying and practicing lab/clinical
skills. A good rule of thumb is that for every class hour, at least 3 hours in preparation
or in the completion of assignments will be needed. If a student is unable to commit
to this time commitment, we encourage students to seriously consider the part-time
track for this program.
To be eligible to apply for admission into the CAS-Practical Nurse program, applicants
must have completed the following:
Face-to-Face delivery: The face-to-face delivery method is designed for those students that reside in and
around Great Falls. Students can anticipate being in class and in the simulation lab
on the Great Falls College campus and in clinical settings in Great Falls. Classes
are typically offered 8-5pm during the week, but clinical hours vary with some starting
as early as 545am and others ending as late as 7 or 8pm.
Hybrid/Distance delivery: In the hybrid/distance delivery method, there is a combination of traditional face-to-face
(on campus) time throughout the semester and online learning. For online learning
faculty use a variety of technologies to deliver instruction to students who are off-campus.
Students are able, and highly encouraged, to “live-stream” and participate in classes
via an internet platform (like WebEx). However, students are also able to log-in asynchronously
and watch the class lectures in a recorded format. Clinical hours are completed in
the student’s home community, but require student initiative in identifying clinical
locations, nurse preceptors, and test proctors willing to work with the student once
accepted into the program.
Distance education adds an additional level of complexity to an already challenging
program. Interested students need to make sure they are able to dedicate ample time
to be successful. It is recommended that you have the full support of your family
and employer during the program. Students interested in the distance/hybrid program
should be aware they will need to be resilient in an environment that requires self-advocacy
and self-motivation to arrange what the individual student needs to succeed.
The face-to-face component of the course is utilized for specific testing and lab.
Students MUST be on campus for:
To be eligible to apply to the distance/hybrid program, students MUST:
Full-Time Track: Being successful starts with understanding that the full-time program track is a full-time
(Monday-Friday) commitment for two semesters. Between the classroom, laboratory, homework/studying,
clinical time, and clinical paperwork, students should anticipate dedicating between
50-60 hours per week to their education. This track is available for both face-to-face
and distance/hybrid students. The full-time program course sequence is available here.
Students encouraged to consider the full-time track are often those that have:
Part-Time track: The part-time option was created for students that cannot commit to a full-time academic
schedule. The part-time option is completed over four semesters (after completion
of pre-requisites) to allow students more flexibility. The students in the part-time
option will take classes during the same semesters (fall or spring) as the full-time
option. This track is available for both face-to-face and distance/hybrid students.
The part-time program course sequence is available here. Course Requirements
Students encouraged to consider the part-time track are often those that:
Great Falls College MSU is committed to the provision of equal opportunity for education,
employment, and participation in all College programs and activities without regard
to race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services
(as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, gender, age, political ideas,
marital or family status, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender
identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
The ASN-Registered Nurse Program Admissions Committee reviews application packets
and uses established admissions criteria to rank applicants for admission. The Application
Evaluation form used by the committee is completed by the student as part of the application
process. Criteria for selection emphasize academic performance in prerequisite courses,
Kaplan Admission Test score, previous education, and healthcare work experience.
Please review the Program Technical Standards as they are considered criteria for admission to the program.
Current students may apply during the Spring semester before the Fall program intake.
Applications become available the second Friday in February and must be delivered
or postmarked by the second Friday in May. Late applications may be accepted if space
allows. However, students can apply before finishing their prerequisites and may be
considered for conditional acceptance if space is available. Final determination will
be made after satisfactory completion of the prerequisite courses.
Distance Applicants: Keep in mind that it is the responsibility of the distance student applicant to make
the following test proctor, clinical site (long term care, pediatrics/women’s health,
and acute/skilled care), and clinical nurse preceptor arrangements PRIOR to submitting
their application. Potential distance students MUST identify a preferred clinical
site, speak to the Director of Nursing (DON) to communicate intent, and identify a
Registered Nurse as a clinical preceptor(s) at their preferred/identified clinical
site(s). For a list of distance clinical sites previous students have used, please
review the Distance Clinical Site list. Final approval of distance clinical sites is at the discretion of the Nursing
Program Director. In the event that a distance students is not able to make the above
arrangements before the first day of orientation they may not be eligible to continue
as a distance student, but may still be considered for traditional face to face acceptance
if they desire and space allows.
To APPLY NOW please download the application and send all application items as a completed packet.
Items sent separately and at random are easily lost or misfiled. We are not responsible
for any late, lost or misfiled information. Please only send required documentation
as other supplemental items will be discarded. Application packets can either be mailed
to the Nursing Program or hand-delivered to the Health Science Administrative Assistance
Health Science Administrative AssistantRoom R227406.771.4350
Practical Nursing Admissions CommitteeAttention: Practical Nursing ProgramGreat Falls College MSU2100 16th Avenue SouthGreat Falls MT, 59405
Accepted students will be notified of their acceptance into the program typically
by the end of June. The specific date by which notification is mailed is noted in
the current program application. Accepted students will receive the intent to enroll
form which MUST be completed and returned to the College. If this letter of intent
to enroll is not returned by the assigned date, the student’s place will be offered
to another applicant.
Accepted students should plan on registering for program courses in August during
the mandatory Nursing Program orientation (date and time to be announced in the acceptance
letter) which will also include the mandatory Health Science Orientation.
Students not accepted will be notified typically by mid-July, with specific date by
which notification will be mailed noted in the current program application. If students
are not accepted into the CAS-Practical Nursing program, we highly encourage students
to consider applying for the CAS-Practical Nursing program again the following year.
Students are also encouraged to consider applying for our other healthcare programs
New students to Great Falls College are highly encourage to register for the non-credit
course called “Tech Essentials”. This is not required but we strongly recommend you
complete it to help in familiarizing yourself with D2L, as the entire nursing program
utilizes this learning management system extensively. The course is designed to let
you do tasks you can expect to do in your regular nursing program courses. You’ll
have the opportunity to complete a practice assignment, submit a practice quiz, post
and reply to a discussion message, and take a survey.
All of this information is also available on the e-learning website at: elearning.gfcmsu.edu/gettingstartedinformation.html through video tutorials and an eLearning Guide. However, practice opportunities are
only available with registration for “Tech Essentials.” If interested, this will be
a course you may register for at nursing program orientation.
You’ll need to purchase textbooks for most classes. To find out what books you need:
The campus bookstore will carry all of your books needed for classes (and they buy
books back at a discounted price at the end of each semester). You’re also welcome
to shop on-line (Amazon is a great resource) for deals on books.
While you are a student at GFC MSU, you can download Office 365 Pro Plus for free.
You’re also licensed for up to 5 installs on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smart phone.
Please note: It is not recommended that students plan to use a Chromebook, iPad, or Android tablet
as their primary device for completing schoolwork.
GFC MSU Disability Services helps accommodate for disabilities you may have. Not all
disabilities are visible, and a large number of students registered with Disability
Services have disabilities such as ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, health impairments,
or psychiatric disabilities.
Important: There are differences between disability in high school and disability in college.
The first step to determine eligibility for services is to schedule a one-hour intake
appointment with the Director of Disability Services to discuss how your disability
impacts your learning and together, determine reasonable Accommodations and Services.
For more information, visit Disability Services.
As a nursing program student, it is important to think about the elevation in expectations
and be proactive to address them. See this table below for some of the major expectations.
*Table information modified from www.brookhavencollege.edu
We want you to succeed! We have many great resources for students described below:
Students are eligible for free tutoring and support, including teaching successful
study skills like computer use, note taking, reading, test preparation and time management.
They even offer a Google+ Hangout for students who are unable to come to campus and
you can submit your papers and writing assignments by e-mail to have a tutor proof
your assignment and provide feedback.
Visit students.gfcmsu.edu/asc for more information
The Weaver Library is open as your major informational resource on campus. You can
find books, videos, and course reserves plus the student computer lab.
For more information, including their open hours, visit library.gfcmsu.edu