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Practical Nursing

Practical Nursing

The Iowa Lakes Community College Practical Nursing (PN) program prepares graduates as entry-level practical nurses. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN licensure exam upon completion of the program. The licensed practical nurse provides patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician in hospitals, long term care facilities, physicians’ offices, and home health care agencies. 

What are the nursing program accreditations and approvals?

The nursing program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing, the State Board of Education, and Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees.  Iowa Lakes Community College is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association.

How do I apply to the Nursing Program?

  1. Submit the following to Iowa Lakes Community College Admissions Office, 3200 College Drive, Emmetsburg, IA 50536.
    a.  College Application: Please apply online indicating Nursing.
    b.  Official high school transcript(s)/GED scores
    c.  Official college transcript(s)
    d.  Official ACT results
  2. Please schedule an advising session by calling 800-242-5108, ext. 5212 or 712-852-5212.
  3. The application deadline is June 1st for the fall semester.
  4. In compliance with 655 Iowa Administrative Code 2.10(6), students and prospective students are hereby notified that they may not take courses with a clinical or practicum component or both, if they had:
    a. been denied licensure by the board of nursing
    b. their license suspended, surrendered or revoked in any U.S. jurisdiction
    c. their license suspended, surrendered or revoked in another country due to disciplinary action

Nursing students work together in a classroom.

How do I get accepted and what course do I need to take?

  1. A high school diploma with minimum GPA of 2.5 or GED mean score of 550 or HiSet mean score of 14.
  2. A student who does not have the minimum high school GPA, GED or HiSet score may be considered for admission if he/she completes the following college courses attaining a grade C or higher and a GPA of at least 2.5.
  3. a.  Human Anatomy and Physiology I Lab (BIO-168), 4 credits
    b.  Developmental Psychology (PSY-121), 3 credits
    c.  Nutrition (BIO-151), 3 credits
    d.  The student is required to contact the nursing program to request a review of their transcripts when grades have been completed.
  4. A student must attain a grade of C or higher:
    a.  Human Anatomy and Physiology I and Lab (BIO-168), 4 credits
    b.  75 hour Certified Nurse Aide (HSC-172) course.  Challenge scores will not be accepted in lieu of course completion.  Students who have completed an equivalent course would not be required to meet the CNA requirement.  Documentation must include a college or continuing education transcript or certificate.
  5. Submit ACT Results
    a.  Composite score of 18 or equivalent exam (Compass, ASSET, Accuplacer)
    b.  The composite score will be based on English, reading, mathematics, and science scores. The additional ACT “Writing Test” is not required.
    c.  Students must request ACT to send official results to the Iowa Lakes Admissions Office. Hand delivered results will not be accepted
    c.  To register for the ACT visit To register for Accuplacer contact the Iowa Lakes Community College Success Center.

Nursing students stands in one of the program's labs.

Once I’m accepted to the program are there other requirements?

  1. Attend a required Nursing Program orientation by invitation.
  2. At orientation, you will establish a criminal background check account.  The criminal background check must be completed and approved prior to determining clinical assignments.  If the student refuses to submit a criminal background check or is not approved, the student will not be able to continue in the nursing program.
  3. At orientation, you will establish a health records account.  Students will be required to submit documentation of a physical exam and up to date immunization record.
  4. A current American Heart Association BLS Healthcare Provider CPR course including skills. You may take American Heart Association BLS Healthcare Provider CPR Online with Skills course at
  5. Students must have access to a computer.
  6. Students will be required to purchase a uniform and supplies.

What other courses would help prepare me for the nursing program?

The following courses are suggested but not required: Medical Terminology and high school science courses such as biology and chemistry. 

A nursing student enters medical information into a computer.

What kinds of classes will I take during the Nursing Program?

  1. Curriculum

What are the benefits to attending this program?

  1. Small class sizes and clinical groups
  2. Wide variety of clinical experiences
  3. Provides an opportunity for students to apply to ADN programs

Nursing is a growing field.

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