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LPN Program

This certificate program provides an exit option for those desiring to begin working as licensed practical nurses before finishing the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program. The certificate curriculum consists of the first two semesters of the ADN program, followed by a 6-credit Maternal/Child Nursing course.  In addition, students wishing to apply for their LPN certificate must successfully pass a PN exit exam chosen by the program.


The certificate of an LPN offers students the opportunity to train for the nursing profession in a year and a half, which allows those who complete the LPN certificate to enter into the healthcare workforce sooner and begin earning a competitive salary in a dynamic work environment. The degree plan consists of 27- 35 semester credit hours of pre-requisite course work prior to program entry. A student working on this option will complete three semesters, or 29 credit hours, of nursing coursework including classroom, simulation and clinical learning experiences.


Upon successful completion, the student will graduate with a Certificate - LPN and be eligible to take the PN exam for practical nurses, which is developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The NCLEX-PN is designed to test the candidate's capability for safe and effective nursing practice by measuring current, entry-level practical nursing knowledge and skills. After licensure, graduates may seamlessly pursue an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) for the Registered Nurse (RN) program if desired.

What are the Duties of an LPN?

LPN graduates are qualified individuals who work in hospitals, clinics, or homecare. LPNs administer bedside care of sick, injured, elderly, disabled or terminally ill patients. An LPN is capable of performing their duties in a home setting, as well as clinics. LPNs are trained in a variety of skill sets which may include the administration of drugs, placement of IVs, and diagnostic procedures, depending on the scope of practice determined by the state in which the LPN is licensed.

LPN Career Outlook

As of 2010, licensed practical nurses nationwide held 752,300 jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010-2020. While opportunities will remain strong in hospitals, an LPN can expect to find the greatest number of new nursing jobs in home healthcare services and nursing care facilities.

LPN Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, as of May 2010, LPNs earned an average annual salary of $40,380. 

In order to participate in the Nursing Program, the student must be capable of performing the following: 

Categories of Essential Functions

  • Observation
    • Visually discriminate incremental readings on various medical equipment
    • Visually discriminate between different colored objects
    • Discriminate between various auditory stimuli
  • Communication
    • Communicate effectively in English using verbal, nonverbal and written formats
    • Read and interpret the English language without assistance
    • Demonstrate computer literac
  • Motor
    • Stand for long periods of time
    • Lift 50 pounds
    • Perform patient care procedures with manual dexterit
  • Intellectual
    • Collect, interpret, and integrate information

Special Admission Criteria

 As a professional educational program, the Nursing Program is a limited-entry program. To be considered for admission, students are required to successfully complete:

1) all prerequisites

2) the designated entrance exam

3) the student selection process

Information on requirements, transfers, and deadlines for applications are available from the Health and Public Services Office (DAHL room 190), or by calling (575) 527-7735. Prior to the first day of classes, each student must submit documentation of the following: current immunizations, TB test, American Heart Association CPR for Healthcare Workers. Drug screening is required upon acceptance into the program. Additional information regarding specific requirements is available from the Nursing Program Department.

LPN Prerequisites

The following must be completed before applying to the Nursing program: 

  • Admission to DACC
  • Completion of a state-approved nursing assistant program
  • Completion of all Core and Related Requirements listed in the program Content section

NOTE: Students will be responsible for knowing all the information contained in the related-requirement science courses of Anatomy and Physiology I and II and Microbiology, regardless of when these courses were taken. In the event that they were taken more than seven years prior to admission to the Nursing program, these courses must be repeated for credit.

Security Background Check

Prospective students are required to complete and pass a security background check in order to take clinical courses. Past criminal violations may prevent a student from completing the degree and gaining a nursing license or employment in the field.

Course fees

In addition to tuition, a fee of $250 is charged for each of the following courses: NURS 136, NURS 147, and NURS 226.