Practical Nursing is designed to prepare individuals to work in nursing situations which are relatively stable and unchanging. They are also prepared to assist experienced registered nurses and physicians in nursing situations that are complex and changing. Individuals considering enrollment or currently enrolled in the nursing program should be aware that prior felony convictions may prohibit eligibility for licensure upon completion of the program.
Students should be aware they may need to travel a distance for clinical experience and that some clinical experiences will be scheduled during evening/night hours and weekends. Drug testing may be required by individual agencies. Criminal background checks and adult/dependent abuse checks will be required for all incoming students. Results of the background and abuse checks will be reviewed to determine eligibility for clinical enrollment in the program. Costs for requirements will be the responsibility of the student.
The applicant must complete the application process through the health professions counselor located in the Student Development Office. Entrance requirements include the following criteria:
- Completion of a high school diploma or equivalency program.
- Completion of high school with a grade point average of 2.00 or higher. If enrolled in NIACC courses, must attain an overall 2.00 GPA to enter the PN program and maintain a 2.00 or higher throughout the time enrolled in the program.
- Completion of one year of high school Biology, with a grade of C or higher, taken in the last five (5) years.
- Completion of one year of high school Algebra I, with a grade of C or higher, taken in the last five (5) years.
- Satisfactory COMPASS assessment test results in reading, writing, and math (these are administered by NIACC).
- Approved applicants are accepted into the program based on the date of application.
Nurse Aide Training
Submit proof of completion of the State of Iowa approved Certified Nurse Aide Program or equivalent. Submit proof of successful completion of Nurse Aide written and skills test for placement on the Direct Care Worker Registry. A transcript indicating the applicant passed both tests, or a Registry card will serve as verification.
Applicants who do not meet requirements or those with a poor academic history may meet entrance requirements by successfully completing approved college courses and/or increasing assessment test results in an approved manner. This should be discussed with the health professions counselor.
Six semesters of English are recommended prior to applying to the program. Since the NCLEX-PN exam is a computerized test, a computer class is strongly recommended. An application to the Practical Nursing program, high school transcript, GED scores (if applicable), and all college transcripts must be in the applicant’s folder before the Admissions Committee takes action on acceptance into the Practical Nursing program. After acceptance, a physical examination providing evidence of current immunization and sound physical and mental health is required.
Applicants who have been previously enrolled in an approved nursing program may request consideration for advanced standing.
Students must successfully complete all course requirements for each semester before enrolling in the next semester.
Students who withdraw from the program must make formal application for reentry and upon acceptance will be considered on a space-available basis. After being accepted into the program, a student may delay entrance into the program no more than one (1) year. A student will be required to reapply to the program after this period of time. Readmission criteria is addressed in the PN Student Handbook. A student may reenter the program one time only.
Students must attain a C grade in all nursing courses and at least a C in prescribed support courses to continue sequential progression in the PN program. However, an overall 2.00 GPA in the prescribed curriculum and a minimum overall cumulative college grade point average of 2.00 is required for graduation from the PN program. If the student wishes to later seek application to the ADN program, see ADN option for Licensed Practical Nurses in the catalog.
Any transfer student applying for admission, who has been enrolled in a nursing curriculum other than NIACC will be required to meet with the Program Leader, Practical and Associate Degree Nursing, to discuss placement in the curriculum after the following items have been received from the transfer institution: course syllabi, clinical placement documentation (hour/sites) reflecting sufficient theory, clinical hours, and experiences comparable to the first year of the ADN curriculum. The student will also, upon written authorization, allow contact with instructors from the transfer institution regarding theory, clinical, and over all student conduct from the administrator of the nursing program at the transfer institution. Information acquired from these contacts will be considered in acceptance and proper placement into the NIACC nursing curriculum.
Licensed Practical Nurses work in:
- Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other healthcare facilities
- Health maintenance organizations
- Private doctors’ offices
- Public health agencies
- Home healthcare services
- Government agencies
- Welfare and religious organizations
- Nurses registries and temporary health agencies
- Private duty
Licensed Practical Nurses work with:
- Patients and their families
- Thermometers, stethoscopes, and other medical equipment
- Bandages, catheters, and other medical supplies
- Patients’ records and charts
- Various types of medication
- Physicians’ orders
- Appointment books
Upon successful completion of the Practical Nursing curriculum, the student is awarded a Diploma and is eligible for the NCLEX-PN exam. After passing this examination, the graduate receives licensed practical nurse status and is prepared to work in a beginning licensed practical nurse position under the supervision of qualified personnel. The program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.
Students seeking entrance into the nursing program should be aware that nursing courses with a clinical component may not be taken by a person
- who has been denied licensure by the Iowa Board of Nursing;
- whose licensure is currently suspended, surrendered or revoked in any United States jurisdiction;
- whose license/registration is currently suspended, surrendered or revoked in another country due to disciplinary action.