Practical Nursing Program | Southwestern Illinois College

Practical Nursing At A Glance

  • Starting Salary: $47,000
  • Level of Patient Contact: High
  • Length of Program: One-year certificate
  • Program Location: Granite City Campus
  • Program Starts: Spring Semester (January)
  • Gain practical experience at local hospitals

Practical Nursing Program

The SWIC Licensed Practical Nursing program prepares students with the basic skills necessary to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

LPNs are on the front line of nursing, interacting with patients on a daily basis in settings including hospitals, long-term care settings, doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics or even home health. They work under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician and sometimes oversee certified nurse assistants. 

LPN’s provide basic bedside care for the sick, injured and convalescent. They also perform tasks such as administer injections, record vital signs, collect samples, perform diagnostic tests, dress wounds, administer medication and report status of the patient. 

Program Capacity

The Practical Nursing program accepts 32 students each spring semester at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, depending on clinical availability. The Practical Nursing program accepts 32 students each spring semester at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, depending on clinical availability.

Program Location

The Practical Nursing Education program consists of PN-prefix courses and assigned clinical experience. Specific locations depend on the course.

Practical Nursing Courses

The PN courses are offered at the Sam Wolf Granite Campus during the day of the semesters indicated.

Clinical Education Experiences

Clinical experiences may be scheduled during the day, evening and/or weekends at hospitals/clinics located throughout Southern Illinois and in the St. Louis region. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed, and specific clinical schedules may be changed during courses.

Students should check location and schedule of classes to ensure availability and access. Students are responsible for their own transportation and attendance at any of the classes and clinicals assigned by the program.

Program Cost

Practical Nursing Certificate Program

For details, see the PN cost sheet.

Licensure Requirements

Upon successful completion of the Practical Nursing curriculum, graduates are awarded a certificate in practical nursing and are eligible to take the computer adaptive NCLEX-PN exam. To practice as a practical nurse, graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN examination. Graduates who pass the exam may apply to become Licensed Practical Nurses. All states require licensure to practice as a practical nurse.

Graduates who successfully pass the NCLEX-PN may also opt to continue their education at institutions which offer Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs or RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Information on ADN or RN-BSN articulation/dual enrollment is available in the Nursing Education office.