Frequently Asked Questions


I applied to COTC. Is that the same as applying to the practical nursing program?

No. The practical nursing program is a competitive, selective healthcare program. Students first apply to COTC (the college) and indicate interest in a health technologies program (or apply to a pre-health track). Then students complete a separate application to apply to the practical nursing program.

How do I learn about the application process for the practical nursing program?

Students interested in the practical nursing program must register and attend an information meeting

What are the requirements to apply to the practical nursing program?

Pre-requisite classes must be completed

There are classes students must take, have taken or can be awarded transfer credit for before they can apply to the practical nursing program. You must have one of the following: 

  • A full unit of high school biology or Introduction to Human Biology
  • Higher college equivalents
  • Approved COTC transfer credit for human biology or Anatomy and Physiology I

Students who have taken the courses or receive transfer credit for the courses must have received a grade C or higher. 

Health Selection Exam

Students must complete the HESI exam for the Practical Nursing program. View more information about the HESI exam, how to register, and the cost here.


Provide verification (card or registry number) of current status as a state tested nurse aide (STNA). The COTC course that provides eligibility for STNA testing is NURS 002 Basic Health Care Skills.


Students must submit official high school transcript with graduation date or official GED transcript. High school seniors must send a current transcript during their senior year and a final transcript after graduation. Additionally, official transcripts from all career centers, colleges, and universities attended past and current with GPA must be sent. ALL foreign transcripts (high school and colleges) must be evaluated by a NACES Member-

When are applications for the practical nursing program available/due?

Applications are typically available one month prior to the deadline. Request the application from your assigned advisor or email

Applications due dates based on campus location:
  • June 1 (Autumn semester start — typically late August)
  • Oct. 1 (Spring semester start — typically early January)
  • Oct. 1 (Spring semester start — early January)
  • Feb. 15 (Summer semester start — mid-late May)
  • June 1 (Autumn semester start — late August)

Are there additional requirements if I’m accepted into the practical nursing program?


Students must have a CPR—American Heart Association Healthcare Provider Certificate for clinical sites upon being selected into the program.

Where can I find a list of classes (plan of study) for the program I want to study?

The courses students need to take to complete a certificate or degree are listed in a plan of study. 

Can I take classes online or face-to-face?

Students will be required to take classes on campus for the practical nursing program. Some general education courses may be available online, but students should plan to be on campus to use equipment and engage in hands-on learning.

Can I pursue an associate degree after I complete the practical nursing certificate?

Students interested in pursuing an associate degree to become registered nurses after completing the practical nursing certificate have the option to apply to our LPN to Associate Degree Nursing transition program. 

What type of financial assistance is available to help me pay for college? 

COTC awards more than $1 million in scholarships to students each year.

Every student is encouraged to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for grants, scholarships and loans. 

Students who complete a FAFSA are automatically considered for some scholarships. Other scholarships require an application. 

Connect with the Office of Student Financial Services at 740.366.9435 or email

How do I get started at COTC?

Help us learn more about you by visiting our Future Students webpage, then follow the COTC Steps to Enroll to get started.