Gain a footing in the health sector and determine if patient care is really your calling by working as a Licensed Practical Nurse. LPN programs can be completed in just one year. The investment is nowhere as costly as the preparation to become a registered nurse, so it will help you make an informed decision if you’re uncertain about the sector. Like every other career, there are pros and cons to working in healthcare. Careers in healthcare, and nursing in particular, represent a calling. If you’re passionate about helping others when they need it the most, then nursing might provide the perfect opportunity to meet that need.
Nursing offers many tangible and intangible rewards. One of them is flexibility in schedules. Depending on where you work, you may be able to arrange your hours around your family and other commitments. Patients need round the clock care, so setting your schedule for weekends, weekdays, or nights may be an option. Another great benefit comes from interactions with other health care professionals. Opportunities to seek counsel and mentorship from other professionals within the field will go a long way in moving forward and avoiding much of obstacles. Nursing offers progression and diversity, so you don’t have to feel stuck in one place. With continuing education, you can specialize in a clinical area or move into administration, education, or research.
A career as a practical nurse may just be the beginning. Your duties will include educating patients and their families, devising care plans, administering medications, managing and delegating care to unlicensed personnel, comforting patients, and advocacy. To begin this rewarding journey, you must first complete an accredited practical nursing program and pass the National Licensing Examination (NCLEX-PN) for licensure in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing oversees the licensure and management of Licensed Practical Nurses.
The extensive needs of the growing baby boomer population assure there will be a continuous need for skilled professionals. The retirement of senior nurses and complexities in healthcare require an influx of new, highly-skilled, compassionate nurses each year. The practical nursing program prepares individuals to respond to the needs of the industry and fill their place in the high-demand health care field.
North Essex Community College
North Essex Community College offers a Practical Nursing Certificate program that is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. The program will include classroom lectures, lab practice sessions, and clinical experiences to prepare students for entry-level employment in various health care settings. Program graduates will be eligible to take the NCLEX for Practical Nurses. They can transfer credits earned to the Associate Degree in Nursing program at NECC. The practical nursing program includes coursework in human anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, significant lab work coordinated with the accompanying theory, supervised clinical experiences in several clinical facilities, and safety and efficiency in practice. Courses include Anatomy and Physiology I, Anatomy and Physiology II, Issues and Trends in Practical Nursing, Practical Nursing I, Practical Nursing Clinical I, Practical Nursing Lab I, Pharmacology I, Introduction to Psychology, and Lifespan Psychology. Progression through the course requires a minimum grade C in the previous courses. Students must complete a minimum of 47 credits hours to graduate. Admission is selective so applicants must meet the requirements.
- Submit an application for admission
- High school transcript showing evidence of high school graduation
- Official transcripts of any college courses completed – GPA of 2.0 or higher
- Complete two science courses at the college level – College Chemist with Lab and Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab
- Attend a mandatory nursing information session
- Take and pass the NECC Assessment Placement
- Complete the TEAS within the last 5 years with a minimum score of 50% on the individual score
- Attain a grade C or higher in the HES 102 Learning Strategies for Success in Health Care Careers course
- Undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)
- Have current CPR certification at the Health Care Provider/Professional Rescuer level
- Pass a drug screen analysis
- Complete a health evaluation including Hepatitis B immunization series
- Have student professional liability insurance
Tuition for the program is $11,340 for residents and $2,092 for books and supplies.
- Website: https://www.necc.mass.edu/learn/credit-programs/health/practical-nursing-certificate/
- Address: 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill MA 01830
- Phone: 978-556-3000
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 96.3%
Assabet Valley LPN
The Practical Nursing Program at Assabet Valley LPN leads to a Certificate of Proficiency. The program includes theory and practical instruction that will help students become safe, competent, and professional providers of care to diverse patient populations. Students will develop clinical reasoning, professional behaviors, and therapeutic communication and will be prepared to maintain ethical standards in practice. They will also have a strong foundation on which to continue their nursing education to the Associate Degree in Nursing and beyond. Course topics include Nursing Concepts I, Human Biology, Nursing Care of the Older Adult, Foundations of Nursing I, Clinical Conference, Nursing Concepts II, Nursing Care of the Family, Nursing Concepts III, and Preparation for Professional Practice. The total program covers 1085 hours – 545 hours in the classroom and 540 hours in a clinical setting. The clinical experiences will cover fluids and electrolytes, physical assessment, patient self-care, maternal newborn nursing, respiratory disorders, infections, health policy, ethics, health promotion, and care coordination. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 7:50 am to 2:20 pm. The duration of the program is 10 months. New classes begin in late August and run through June.
- Take and pass the ATI TEAS VI with a score of 61% in Reading and 50% in Math –scores are valid for up to two years before the program start date
- Submit a completed application with a personal essay and resume
- Submit three professional references – one must be from a current or past employer
- Must be at least 17 years older
- Provide a valid certificate or passport as proof of age
- Have an official high school transcript or GED and any college transcript mailed to the school
- Attend an interview with a member of the Practical Nursing Program Faculty
- Obtain health insurance coverage
- Maintain American Heart Association for Health Care Providers throughout the program
- Have professional liability insurance and maintain throughout the program
- Submit to a CORI and SORI, Nurse Aide Registry check and Social Security Verification
- Meet the program’s health requirements
- Provide a copy of a driver’s license
- Pay the non-refundable registration fee of $200
In-district tuition costs $3,000. Students will need at least $2,680 to cover the cost of expenses for textbooks, uniforms, ATI testing, graduation, lab supplies, liability insurance, drug screen, clinical site parking, and other costs.
- Website: https://assabetvalleylpn.org/
- Address: 215 Fitchburg Street, Marlborough, MA 01752
- Phone: (508) 485-9430 ext. 2881
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 93%
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School
The Practical Nursing Program at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School meets the rigorous standards for accreditation by the Accreditation Committee for Education in Nursing (A.C.E.N.). The curriculum includes 1090 contact hours of classroom lectures and clinical experiences, thereby meeting the educational standards set by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. Students will complete at least 945 hours in nursing courses, including 540 hours in various medical facilities. The emphasis of the training will be caring for the older adult, new technologies, health care trends and issues, and community nursing needs. Course modules include Fundamentals of Nursing, Concepts in Human Biology, Introduction to Nursing Trends I, Nursing Care of the Older Adult, Introduction to Pharmacology I, Fundamental Nursing II, Human Growth, Development and Behavior, Pharmacology II, Nursing Concepts I, Mental Health Concepts, Nursing Concepts II, Nursing Care of the Family, Pharmacology III, and Nursing Trends and Issues II. Graduates will be prepared to take the NCLEX for Practical Nurses. The program is delivered on a part-time basis only as it seeks to accommodate adults who must balance study and work. The duration of the program is 60 weeks. Classes meet Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3:50 pm to 10:10 pm and one weekend per month for clinical rotations.
- Submit a completed hand-written application and fee of $125
- Submit a resume and application essay titled “What characteristics do you possess that would make you want to be a practical nurse?”
- Provide three professional references – from an immediate supervisor, an employer, and one from a co-worker or teacher
- Submit documentation of completing high school – official high school transcript or GED scores
- Provide an original Birth Certificate or current passport for a copy to be made
- Provide proof of immunizations – hepatitis B, MM, Tdap, varicella, and negative TB testing
- Provide proof of completing a physical exam within six months of the program start date
- Have current health insurance and maintain for the duration of the program
- Have current CPR Healthcare Provider and AED Certification
- Complete Criminal Offender Record Information Release (CORI) with a satisfactory report
Tuition for the program is $11,000 for in-district students.
- Website: https://www.valleytech.k12.ma.us/practicalnursing
- Address: 65 Pleasant Street, Upton, MA 01568
- Phone: 508-529-7758
- Fax: 508-529-2403
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 92%
North Shore Community College
North Shore Community College’s Practical Nursing certificate program prepares adults for employment as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Instructors will emphasize critical thinking, communication, technical competencies, and safe practice in nursing through learning experiences in the classroom, seminar, laboratory sessions, and clinical experiences. Anatomy and Physiology for Allied Health, Overview of Microbiology, Human Development and Health Promotion, Fundamentals of Practical Nursing, Nutrition I, Pharmacology for Practical Nursing, Life Continuum Nursing I, Medical-Surgical Nursing, Maternal Child Health, Nutrition II, Vocational Trends and Adjustments for Practical Nursing, Life Continuum Nursing II. The program covers 43 credits. Program graduates will be eligible to take the NCLEX for Practical Nurses. The duration of the program is three semesters.
- Complete an application for admission
- Attend a mandatory information session
- Complete drug screening and fingerprinting to participate in the clinical experience
- Submit evidence of high school graduation or equivalency (GED)
- Take and pass the TEAS with the minimum required scores – Reading (69%), Math (63.3%), Science (45.8%), English (54.2%)
- Submit three references – from an immediate supervisor, employer or teacher, or friend
- Submit a completed Practical Nursing Admissions Questionnaire
- Submit an official transcript from all colleges attended
- Complete the immunization requirements – Tdap, MMR, hepatitis B, varicella, 2-step TB, and annual flu vaccine
- Provide documentation of CPR certification at the Health Care Provider level
- Have Student Liability Insurance
Tuition costs $215 per credit or $3225 (15 credits) per semester for resident students.
- Website: https://www.northshore.edu/academics/programs/pnr/
- Address: 1 Ferncroft Road, Danvers, MA 01923
- Phone: 978-762-4000
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 92%
Quinsigamond Community College
The Practical Nurse Education program equips students with knowledge and competencies to become competent, practical nurses. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Practical Nursing Certificate and be eligible to take the NCLEX for Practical Nurses. They will also be prepared to enroll in 2-year and 4-year nursing programs at colleges and universities. Students will learn how to apply the nursing process to care for culturally diverse patients throughout the lifespan, communicate effectively with patients, families, and members of the health care team, demonstrate accountability in practice, and use relevant technology in patient care and documentation. Course modules are Human Anatomy and Physiology II, Introduction to Psychology, Practical Nursing I: Fundamentals of Nursing, Introduction to Pharmacology, Survey of Life Span Development, Introduction to Leadership, Medical/Surgical Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Nutrition Concepts in Health and Illness, Clinical Pharmacology, Trends in Practical Nursing, Maternal Newborn Nursing, and Pediatric Nursing. The 43-credit program is spread over 5 semesters.
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Take and pass the Math and English placement test with the minimum required score or obtain a grade B or higher in Math 095 and a grade C or higher in ENG 091
- Attend a Health Information Session
- Provide documentation of meeting the immunization requirements – Tdap, flu vaccine, varicella, MMR, TB screening, hepatitis B, and flu vaccine
- Submit a copy of current health insurance card
- Complete the required TEAS V or TEAS and obtain a composite score of 55% or above
- Complete a physical exam – must be performed and signed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant
- Have Healthcare Provider Level CPR certification
- Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI), and National Background checks must be completed prior to entry
Tuition costs $915 per semester. The costs for fees, uniforms, textbooks, admission expenses, and supplies are not included in the cost.
- Website: https://www.qcc.edu/academics/healthcare/practical-nursing-evening-certificate
- Address: 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, MA 01606
- Phone: 508-853-2300
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 86%