Illinois-based students interested in training to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) may choose from a wide range of public colleges. Such certificate programs may be completed in two years or less. Students will have the opportunity to learn within classroom and laboratory settings, as well as be required to complete a practical or clinical component that allows them to interact with real patients. Such certificate programs include general education courses in addition to nursing classes.
City Colleges of Chicago - Wilbur Wright College
The practical nursing certificate program at this school in Chicago requires 49 credit hours; 23 credit hours are general courses, including medical terminology, biology, English composition, math and human anatomy/physiology. The remainder of the program - three semesters - consists of nursing courses. Students examine nursing theory and develop their skills in school laboratories and clinical settings in the community.
There is a practical nursing certificate program at Harper College in Palatine, made up of 37 credit hours of courses that can be completed in one year. The program consists of theory classes, laboratory work and clinical experiences. Admission to this program is limited, and applicants are ranked according to various factors, including their scores on the National League for Nursing Pre-Admission RN exam. Applicants take prerequisite courses in college English composition and college math, as well as high school or college biology and chemistry courses. They also must have passed the state's certified nursing assistant (CNA) exam and be on the state's CNA registry.
Illinois Central College
East Peoria's Illinois Central College offers a 42-credit-hour certificate program in practical nursing that takes two semesters and one summer session to complete. Students take general education courses, including English composition and psychology, as well as courses in medical terminology, nutrition, anatomy/physiology, pharmacology and medication administration. Nursing courses teach theory and skills through classroom and laboratory studies as well as clinical experiences that include work in a hospital obstetrics unit. Program admission requirements include a grade of 'C' or higher in nine or more credit hours taken at Illinois Central.
Joliet Junior College
This college in Joliet offers a certificate program in practical nursing that requires 42 credit-hours of study. Students must complete courses in human anatomy/physiology, writing skills, psychology and human development. Their grades in these courses, along with scores on assessment tests, are used in the admissions ranking process. Once admitted to the nursing program, they study basic nursing procedures, pharmacology and nutrition, and they also gain knowledge of nursing theory and practical skills through classes, labs and clinical work.
Lake Land College
Lake Land College in Mattoon offers a certificate program in practical nursing that requires 42 program hours over two semesters and one summer term. Students study foundations of nursing, pharmacology and basic nursing skills. Classroom, laboratory and clinical learning experiences are part of the program. Students who are CNAs may be able to transfer in credit towards a practical nursing skills course.
Lincoln Land Community College
Located in Springfield, Lincoln Land Community College offers a certificate program in practical nursing. The program requires 36 credits and takes three semesters to complete. Courses include psychology, English composition and anatomy/physiology. In the practical nursing classes, students learn basic nursing skills for patients of all ages. They study topics such as grief, diabetes and aberrant cell growth. They also get supervised experience working with patients in a healthcare facility.
Practical nursing students at Parkland College in Champaign study in a modern teaching facility that includes a simulated hospital. The 46-credit certificate program requires four semesters of full-time study, including one summer session, and can also be completed on a part-time basis. Admission is selective; requirements include being listed on the Illinois CNA registry. Courses in English composition and human development are required, as are courses in nutrition, anatomy/physiology and pharmacology. Students get classroom and practical training in pediatrics and health alterations.
At Triton College in River Grove, practical nursing students can earn a certificate through a 42-credit-hour program. During a pre-admission semester, they take courses in anatomy, psychology and English composition. This is followed by two semesters of nursing courses, including pharmacology, a more advanced anatomy course and courses that cover nursing for patients of all ages with many types of conditions. Admission to this program is limited, and students are ranked on the basis of nursing admission test scores and their grades in prerequisite courses.
Practical nurses in Illinois are licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. To become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), an individual must complete a state-approved LPN education program, pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) and undergo a criminal background check.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||LPN Certificates Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-16)|
|City Colleges of Chicago - Wilbur Wright College||Two-year, public; large city||Practical Nursing Advanced Certificate||$3,506, in-district; $8,126, in-state; $11,906, out-of-state*|
|Harper College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate||$3,228, in-district; $9,396 in-state; $11,208, out-of-state*|
|Illinois Central College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,050, in-district; $8,700, in- state; $10,050 out-of-state*|
|Joliet Junior College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate of Achievement||$3,450, in-district; $10,508, in-state; $11,187, out-of-state*|
|Lake Land College||Two-year, public; distant town||Practical Nursing Certificate||$3,459, in-district; $7,282, in-state; $13,084, out-of-state*|
|Lincoln Land Community College||Two-year, public; midsize city||Practical Nurse Certificate of Achievement||$2,904, in-district; $5,544, in-state; $8,184, out-of-state*|
|Parkland College||Two-year, public; small city||Practical Nursing Certificate||$3,945, in-district; $9,555, in-state; $14,355, out-of-state*|
|Triton College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate||$3,870, in-district; $9,360, in-state; $11,630, out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.