Nursing: Practical Nursing

About the Program

Doctors might be higher profiled in the health care industry, but Practical Nurses play an extremely important role in the care of patients. You can enter this important and exciting profession by enrolling in Iowa Western’s Practical Nursing study program. You will earn a diploma and prepare to write the National Council of State Boards of Nursing examination. You will also have the opportunity to progress and complete the Associate Degree Nursing program to become a Registered Nurse (RN).

In this program, you’ll learn under the close direction and supervision of a registered nurse or physician. The courses will serve as the foundation for Iowa Western’s Associate Degree Nursing program. You’ll receive 12 hours worth of lab work per week and get hands-on experience in rehab facilities, daycare facilities, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.

Nurses are in high demand. You can enter the job market immediately after graduating or continue toward a bachelor’s degree to become a registered nurse for even higher-paying positions.

Career Information

The Licensed Practical Nursing program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the one-year diploma. Practical Nurses care for the sick, injured, convalescent, and disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses. They are responsible for providing basic bedside care, such as taking vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, and pulse), treating pressure ulcers, administering injections, and applying dressings. Other on-the-job duties handled by a Practical Nurse include helping patients with bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene. All states require Licensed Practical Nurses to pass a licensing examination known as the NCLEX-PN after completing a state-approved practical nursing program. Licensed Practical Nurses are in high demand, especially in nursing homes. While there will be an abundance of jobs for nurses in the next decade, those wishing to work in a hospital setting will experience some competition, simply because hospitals are serving fewer inpatients and are not increasing their nursing staff. The earnings of Licensed Practical Nurses vary widely, depending on skill level, location, and experience.

Salary Information

Salary: Omaha-Council Bluffs MSA
Average: $38,068 or $18.31/hour
Entry Level: $14.96/hour
Experienced: $19.97/hour

* Salary information from as reported by the US Dept of Labor

* This is a Gainful Employment Program.
Program Completion Rate: 10    Program Cost: 5000    Median Loan Debt: 5000   

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall and Spring
Program Length: 2 Semesters
Award: Diploma
Accreditation: Iowa State Board of Nursing Number of Majors: 203
Average Class Size: 32
Program Capacity: 128
Part-Time or Full-Time: Full-Time Only
Program Courses Offered: Day
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus,  Clarinda Center,  Shelby County Center