Practical Nursing

The Practical Nurse (PN) focuses on basic health science, technical skills, general knowledge, and judgment necessary to organize and provide caring interventions to patients with commonly occurring medical conditions. PN is the basic level of nursing that applies principles of therapeutic, rehabilitative, and preventive care for people of all ages and cultures in various stages of dependency. The PN practices nursing with the guidance of a registered nurse or physician in a variety of health care settings.

The Practical Nursing Program offers two options: Traditional Program and Flex Program. The Traditional Program offers face-to-face classes two days per week and lab/clinical two days per week. Those interested in the Flex Program must meet the Traditional Program criteria, have a medical background, and have completed all general education courses. The Flex Program offers classes one day per week and lab/clinical one day per week. In addition to face-to-face classes, one spring and one summer class are offered as online courses.

Practical Nursing students are given a knowledge base through courses and content that includes preparation in general academics, nursing theory and practice, biophysical sciences, and social sciences. Classroom study includes basic nursing concepts, patient- care related subjects, anatomy & physiology, medical/surgical nursing, pediatrics & obstetrics, gerontology, nursing management, mental health concepts, pharmacology, and nutrition.

Curriculum Components include team work, caring, integrity, responsibility, and dedication. Students receive their clinical experience in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, physicians’ offices, and community agencies. The PN program uses extensive technology including computers, Simulation Lab, ATI and other recording software.

Unique Aspects of the PN Program
Admission is competitive with enrollment in the fall semester only. Weighted admission criteria is used in the selection of students for entry into the PN program. Current weighted admission criteria are listed on the OCtech PN webpage. Students must also meet the Core Performance Standards for the didactic clinical environment regarding physical demand and communication skills. Students must maintain an 80% (“B”) or higher in all Nursing courses in order to progress through the program.

Admitted applicants will be required to complete special program admission criteria such as a physical (validating physical and mental health status necessary for the nursing profession) and CPR. A criminal record check must be obtained as designated by clinical agencies. Students who have prior convictions of a crime (excluding minor traffic violations) may not be granted permission to take the National Council Licensure Examination. Please contact the SC State Board of Nursing to clarify your position. Drug testing is required upon admission and as required by clinical agencies.

Students with allergies, such as betadine and latex, may be exposed to chemicals in various forms in the lab and hospital environment. It is recommended that a health care provider be consulted regarding any allergies to determine if nursing is the appropriate choice for you.

The Practical Nursing Program is approved by the State Board of Nursing for South Carolina and
has full accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA, 30326; Phone: 404-975-5000; Fax: 404-975-5020. Web:

Upon successful completion of the three semester program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses in order to be designated as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

Diploma in Applied Science
45 Semester Hours

28 Semester Hours

The Medical Assisting (MA) program prepares students for career opportunities, which require knowledge of basic office, patient care and laboratory skills in medical offices, clinics, and hospitals.

Medical assistants are multi-skilled allied health professionals specifically educated to work in ambulatory settings performing administrative and clinical duties. The practice of medical assisting directly influences the public’s health and well-being and requires mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession.

Well-balanced instruction in business skills and medical procedures enables the graduate to assist the physician in routine practice. The responsibilities of medical assistants vary, depending on whether they work in a clinic, hospital, large group practice, or small private office.

Externships in area medical practices provide clinical experience in obtaining patient histories, assisting in examinations and certain diagnostic testing, acquiring patient specimens, performing laboratory tests, processing and coding insurance, scheduling appointments for the physician, collecting payments, and patient education. Externships are available only during day hours. The student may be required to travel out of town for selected clinical experience. Assignment of clinical externship is based on availability of affiliated clinical facilities.

The MA program enjoys a very supportive relationship with local physician’s offices, clinics, and hospitals. As a result of these relationships, these facilities provide externship opportunities for the Medical Assisting students and a large number of the graduates are subsequently employed by these sites.

The MA curriculum provides the student with a general health care background, which can be used as a stepping-stone to other health care or administrative fields. MA graduates can pursue nursing, medical laboratory technology, radiologic technology, respiratory care technology, word processing, medical transcription, or office systems technology careers.

The Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). CAAHEP, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756; telephone: (727) 210-2350; Graduates of the program are eligible to take the certification exam for medical assistants given by the American Association of Medical Assistants, 20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1575, Chicago, IL, 60606; telephone: (312) 899-1500;

A student may enroll in a CAAHEP accredited Medical Assisting program, but upon graduation may not be eligible to take the certification exam and become a Certified Medical Assistant without a waiver as established by the Certifying Board. Note: Individuals who have been found guilty of a felony or pleaded guilty to a felony are not eligible to take the CMA Exam; however, the Certifying Board may grant a waiver based upon mitigating circumstances. Students who may be affected by this should contact the American Association of Medical Assistants at 20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1575, Chicago, IL 60606-2903 to clarify eligibility status to sit for the AAMA exam.

Admission to the MA program is based on successful completion of required placement tests and proof of high school diploma or G.E.D. Admission requirements may be obtained by attending a Health Information Programs (HIP) session. All applicants are required to attend a seminar as part of the admissions process. A listing of scheduled sessions can be obtained from the Admissions Office or online at on the Health Sciences page.

An admissions physical examination validating health status is required. Proof of CPR (infant, child, adult and AED-BLS for healthcare providers) is required before the MA goes to clinicals. As part of the admissions process, students will be required to have a Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen through facilities specified by the College.

The Commission on Allied Health Education Programs certified the Diploma Medical Assisting Program and judged it to be in compliance with the nationally established standards on September 20, 2013. This Continuing Accreditation is in effect until the next scheduled on-site review to occur Fall of 2020.

50 semester hours

The Early Childhood Development diploma program offers students a basic understanding of the needs of young children. The diploma is organized with standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Students are trained to implement quality pre-school programming. They also learn growth and development principles, teaching methods, health, safety and nutrition, discipline techniques, and developmentally-appropriate curriculum methods for promoting effective family/program partnerships.

Graduates of this program are qualified for employment in child development centers, nursery schools, and as teachers’ aides in private schools. This program also is an excellent resource for child development teachers and administrators who want to upgrade their job skills and parents who want to learn more about the development of young children.

Special Admissions Requirements
• Meet the specific program requirements outlined for admissions.
• Complete a physical exam, including T.B. screening and hepatitis vaccines.
• Satisfactory background check required.

45 semester hours

The Administrative Support curriculum prepares students for entry-level administrative positions in the office environment.

Students in this program will acquire skills in:

  1. Keyboarding
  2. Computer applications
  3. Accounting
  4. Office systems and procedures
  5. Written and oral communications
  6. Team interaction

Graduates possessing these skills should have the best opportunities for employment in virtually every kind of industry.

Administrative Support courses can be applied to the Associate Degree in Administrative Office Technology.

Diploma in Applied Science
42 semester hours