LPN Programs Des Moines, IA

Licensed practical nurses care for individuals, families, and communities under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. They work with health care professionals to assess patients and coordinate, implement, assess, and modify nursing care to support the restoration of health and promotion of wellness. Their responsibilities cover a range of activities including preparing and giving injections, administering medications, administering CPR, changing dressings, feeding and toileting patients, measuring and recording vital signs, updating patients’ charts, supervising nursing assistants, and assisting registered nurses with treatments.

Licensed practical nursing programs prepare adults for this entry-level position on the nursing team. A combination of theory and intense hands-on experiences in various health care settings support the development of critical thinking, collaborative efforts, and technical skills required to care for patients in the complex medical environment. Training typically involves a commitment of one year. Graduates must register to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) for Practical Nurses for licensure in Iowa. Practicing nurses must hold a license issued by the Iowa Board of Nursing, which must be renewed on schedule.

Des Moines Area Community College

Des Moines Area Community College prepares adults to become a Licensed Practical Nurse to care for patients under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. Students who successfully complete the three terms will obtain a Practical Nursing Diploma and will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN. Success requires a grade C or above in all the nursing and liberal arts courses. Areas of study include Anatomy and Physiology II, Introduction to Professional Practical Nursing, Practical Nursing Concepts I, Developmental Psychology, Composition I, Practical Nursing Concepts II, and Practical Nursing Concepts III. The diploma requires the completion of 27 credit hours. Students will learn how to define safe nursing practice, use communication in nursing practice, identify nursing care across lifespan, relate health promotion to professionalism in nursing, apply professional behaviors, use nursing care across lifespan, demonstrate respect for diverse cultures, use problem solving in practice, and implement, analyze and model plans of care. The duration of the program is 12 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit a completed application to the Practical Nursing program
  • Submit documentation of completed high school or GED equivalent
  • Attend a Practical Nursing information session and nursing orientation
  • Complete the assessment requirements for DMACC
  • Take and pass the ATI TEAS admission test with a minimum total score of 41.3% in the four assessment areas – Reading, Mathematics, English and Language Usage, and Science. Only three attempts to achieve the minimum score will be accepted
  • Complete HSC 172 plus or an equivalent 120-hour state approved Certified Nurse Aide Program
  • Submit documentation of passing the Nurse Aide written and skills test for placement on the Direct Care Worker Registry
  • Complete the support courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25 – General Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology I. Courses must be completed with a grade C or better and should be no more than 5 years old
  • Complete a criminal background check. Criminal convictions or a history of abuse will cause delays or prevent students from participation in the clinical rotations
  • Provide proof of immunization and documentation of negative TB test
  • Complete a physical exam – must have been completed within one year of the program start date
  • Submit a completed Student Health and Immunization Record form
  • Provide proof of current American Heart Association – CPR for the Healthcare Provider or American Red Cross – CPR for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Provider
  • Evidence of current seasonal flu vaccination

Tuition for the program is $4,239 for resident students. Books and supplies will cost approximately $2,880. Students must complete the criminal background check, CPR certification, immunization, and health records at their own expense. Other expenses include licensure exam fee, uniforms, shoes, equipment, simulation supplies, and CastleBranch Immunization Tracker and Background Check fee.

Southwestern Community College

The practical nursing program at SWCC is offered as part of a nursing education ladder. After completing the practical nursing program and passing the NCLEX licensure exam, students have the option to enter the registered nursing program. Graduates have the choice to continue or exit the program and work full-time as a Practical Nurse. Training will include classroom lectures and experiences in the nursing process, critical thinking, health-illness continuum, communications, ethics, the sciences, and professional nursing. Students will participate in clinical rotations are health care facilities two days per week. The practical nursing diploma requires completion of 39 credits. Prerequisite courses include Nutrition, Essentials for Anatomy and Physiology or Human Anatomy and Physiology I and I with lab. Course topics include Composition I, Introduction to Professional Practical Nursing, Fundamentals of Nursing, Pharmacology, Introduction to Psychology, Mental Health Nursing I, Maternal Child Health I, Medical Surgical Nursing I, and Development Psychology. Graduates will be able to use the nursing process to provide safe care, communicate effectively with patients, their families, and members of the health care team, provide restorative care under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician, understand the role of the LPN as part of the health care team, demonstrate professionalism in practice, respect patients’ right to confidentiality, pass the NCLEX for licensure in Iowa, and participate in continuing education activities to advance education. New classes begin in August and end in June the following year.

Admission criteria:

  • Complete an application for admission to the nursing program – the program (Pre-nursing, Practical Nursing, Registered Nursing)
  • Submit ACT or Accuplacer scores (three sections) or complete a 3-credit hour math course with a grade B or above as an alternative to the ACCUPLACER math requirement
  • Submit official high school transcripts or GED equivalent
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Complete the Physician’s Physical Examination Report – TB skin test and current immunization. Must be completed in late June, July or August prior to admission
  • Have current American Heart Association CPR for BLS Provider before the clinical rotations
  • Pass a criminal background check

In-state tuition and fees cost $7,775. Books and supplies cost approximately $1,226. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

Iowa Central Community College

The Practical Nursing Program at Iowa Central Community College prepares students for entry-level positions in acute or long-term care facilities. Graduates will have the competency to care for patients under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. They will have the option to continue to the Associate Degree Nursing Program. The curriculum will blend comprehensive classroom students with at least 360 hours of clinical activities in various health care settings. Students must complete the prerequisite Nurse Aide or equivalent Nurse Aide course and Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab before applying to the program. Course topics include Fundamentals of Nursing in Health Care, Medical Terminology, Clinical Practicum, Developmental Psychology, Nutrition, Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab, Medication Administration for Nurses, Life Span Health Care, Clinical Practicum II, Selected Clinical Nursing, Clinical Practicum, and PN Issues and Trends. The Practical Nursing Diploma totals 35.5 credit hours. The duration of the program is 12 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Complete the application form for Iowa Central
  • Submit high school transcript or equivalent as well as any college transcripts. Transcripts must indicate completion of courses in science, math, and English. Applicants with no high school diploma must provide GED scores of 550 or HiSET 15 and above
  • Submit math test scores from ACT, ASSET, or ALEKS
  • Submit a completed Nursing Application Packet
  • Attend an interview with the nursing program coordinator
  • Submit proof of completing a Nurse Aide class and passing the written and skills components of the state exam
  • Have a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Take the ATI TEAS exam
  • Complete the Physician’s Physical Examination Report – TB skin test and current immunization
  • Have current American Heart Association CPR for BLS Provider before the clinical rotations
  • Pass a criminal background check

Tuition and fees cost $7,743 for in-state students. Books and supplies will cost approximately $1,339.

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