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LPN Programs in Illinois with Course Descriptions

Illinois has over 40 colleges and universities that offer practical nursing programs. Learn about the certificate programs, tuition info and program options for eight of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Individuals seeking practical nursing training can enroll in a certificate program, which may last two years. Clinical experience is gained at local medical facilities, but students also learn about nursing through classroom studies. All applicants need a high school diploma or GED and may need to complete placement tests. Other requirements include a criminal background check, current immunizations and CPR certification.


Harper College

This school in Palatine also offers a certificate program in practical nursing. Due to the limited amount of space and clinical opportunities, this is a relatively small program. To be eligible for enrollment, applicants must already be certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and registered with the state of Illinois. There are several health-related prerequisites for this program, including getting tested for tuberculosis and hepatitis, holding current medical insurance, passing a physical and having all required immunization injections. The practical nursing classes include clinical training at real facilities, so students may need to pass background checks. Additional required courses cover such topics as human anatomy, childbearing, pharmacology, human development, medical surgical nursing, mental health and pediatrics.

Illinois Central College

The licensed practical nurse certificate program at this campus in Peoria can be completed in three semesters, one of which takes place during the summer. Program applicants must show proof of current immunizations and be able to pass drug screenings, a physical and a criminal background check. Required courses include medical terminology, human anatomy, pharmacology, human physiology, psychology and nutrition. There are also three levels of practical nursing classes, which include a combination of lectures, guided instruction and clinical training. Most of the clinical training takes place at various community health agencies, local area hospitals and nursing homes.

John A. Logan College

This Carterville college offers a certificate program in practical nursing that full-time students can complete within a year; part-time students typically take at least 20 months to complete the process. Enrollment is competitive, and the school gives preference to district residents. Prior to being accepted, students must pass background checks and drug screenings, and students must have active health insurance before and during the entire program. Required classes include laboratory experiences, classroom lectures and clinical training at off-site locations. Classroom lecture topics include nursing pharmacology, obstetrics, mental health, nursing procedures, IV therapy, adult nursing, maternity nursing, pediatrics, clinical nursing and surgical nursing.

Joliet Junior College

The practical nursing certificate program at this Joliet-based schools requires students to prove that they have a clean criminal record, pass drug screenings, pass a physical and show proof of current immunizations before enrollment. Students also need to be CPR certified before they start any of the practical nursing courses. Prerequisite courses include biology and chemistry. Due to the large number of applicants, there is a point-based ranking system that limits the number of students accepted into the program. Coursework for this program includes nursing procedures, pharmacology, nutrition, nursing concepts and pediatric nursing. In addition to attending lectures, students will also have to complete clinical training hours, usually at off-site facilities.

Lake Land College

The certificate program in practical nursing at Lake Land College in Mattoon typically has a large number of applicants competing to get into the program, and there is a special application process individuals must follow if they want to be accepted. Part of the process includes completing prerequisite courses, such as math and English, and passing a pre-practical nursing exam. Applicants who are already CNAs may be more likely to be accepted into this competitive program. Other admissions requirements include passing a criminal background check and a physical. Students also need to be certified in CPR. Required courses cover such topics as pharmacology and practical nursing skills. Students attend lecture courses, but they must also participate in laboratory projects and clinical training.

Lincoln Land Community College

The community college campus in Springfield offers a licensed practical nursing certificate program. Applicants are also responsible for proving they are in optimal health by passing a physical and getting up-to-date immunization shots. Students must also pass a drug test prior to starting coursework. Coursework includes psychology along with two sessions of anatomy and physiology. Students also have to complete three courses in practical nursing, and each course includes lecture hours as well as clinical training with real patients.

Parkland College

Only applicants who are already CNAs will be accepted into this LPN program at Parkland College in Champaign, provided they are licensed in accordance with Illinois state laws. Other admissions requirements include passing a background check. Students can complete the program at either full-time or part-time status. Full-time students must complete the program within four consecutive semesters, including one summer semester, and students can start the program in either the fall or the spring. Required courses for the certificate program include topics in anatomy and physiology, nursing fundamentals, health alterations, pediatrics, pharmacology, diet therapy and obstetrics. Students also participate in clinical training sessions at local facilities. This program also requires students to take a NCLEX-PN exam preparation course.

Triton College

This school in River Grove also offers an LPN certificate program. Applicants to the program must pass a criminal background check and be fingerprinted. Students must also pass drug and alcohol screenings as well as a physical, and they must hold current CPR certification. Local applicants will be given preference during the enrollment process. Students in the LPN certificate program must meet program prerequisites, complete the pre-admission semester of classes and complete the first two semesters of nursing courses. They also participate in such classes as human anatomy and physiology, human growth and development, pharmacology, nursing fundamentals, promoting adaptation and nursing care.

Career Requirements

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are medical professionals who assist doctors and registered nurses, especially with patient care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals can become LPNs by completing a certificate program and by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), in accordance with national and state law.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting LPN Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Harper College 2-year, public; large suburb Practical Nursing Certificate $3,228 in-district; $9,396 in-state; $11,208 out-of-state*
Illinois Central College 2-year, public; large suburb Licensed Practical Nurse Certificate $4,050 in-district; $8,700 in-state; $10,050 out-of-state*
John A. Logan College 2-year, public; small suburb Practical Nursing Certificate $3,270 in-district; $10,752 in-state; $12,002 out-of-state*
Joliet Junior College 2-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 2-year, public; distant town Practical Nursing Certificate $3,459 in-district; $7,282 in-state; $13,084 out-of-state*
Lincoln Land Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Licensed Practical Nursing Certificate $2,904 in-district; $5,544 in-state; $8,184 out-of-state*
Parkland College 2-year, public; small city Licensed Practical Nurse Certificate $3,945 in-district; $9,555 in-state; $14,355 out-of-state*
Triton College 2-year, public; large suburb Licensed Practical Nursing Certificate $3,870 in-district; $9,360 in-state; $11,630 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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