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. 


Students must complete an ATI TEAS exam before applying to the practical nursing program.  Students must create an account to register. 

There is also a fee students must pay to take the ATI TEAS test, so we highly recommend students prepare for the exam and take advantage of test prep materials. Students can re-test if they choose. 

ATI TEAS exam scores are good for 12 months, and the most recent score will be the one considered as part of a student’s practical nursing application.


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.

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

Applications are typically available for completion 4-6 weeks before the due date or deadline to submit.

Applications due dates based on campus location:
  • June 1 (Autumn semester start — typically late August)
  • October 1 (Spring semester start — typically early January)
  • October 1 (Spring semester start — typically early January)

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.