Practical Nursing Diploma

Why Choose Practical Nursing Diploma at CLC?

• Consistent use of simulation to enhance classroom and clinical experiences

• Variety of clinical experiences including but not limited to Acute Care, Long-Term Care, clinics, mental and behavioral health

• Flexible schedules 3-4 days per week

• Program accredited through Higher Learning Commission, approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing

• NCLEX passing rates above the state and national average.

• Multiple opportunities for employment and/or further education

• Nursing instructors who truly care about students and their success in the program.

About the Program

Central Lakes College’s Practical Nursing Program is a comprehensive nursing program that can be completed in two semesters, after completing pre-requisites. The program starts each Fall Semester on the Staples campus. Admission requirements include: applying to Central Lakes College as well as applying to the nursing program. Students must also take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)  test. Priority deadline for application is May 1; however, applications will be accepted until the program is at capacity.  Students will be ranked by their TEAS score and notified of their admission status within the month following the priority deadline.

The program, which has been in existence for 57 years, has had a long history of success. Graduates’ MN State Board of Nursing pass-rates are above the state and national averages, and the employment rates are nearly 100% with students either finding employment as a Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) or continuing their education. Currently, there is a high demand for LPNs in the areas of Long Term Care, Transitional Care, Clinics, and Home Care. Whether your career goal is to work as an LPN or you envision yourself as a two or even four-year RN, Central Lakes College is a great place to start!

CNEA accredited logo

Program Information

Program Course Requirements

Health Care Provider or Professional Rescuer CPR
75 hour Minnesota Department of Health Nursing Assistant course OR NSGA 1110 Nursing Assistant
Passing score on the ATI TEAS test
BIOL 1404 Human Biology (3 cr) or BIOL 2467* Anatomy & Physiology I (4 cr) and BIOL 2468* Anatomy & Physiology II (4 cr)
ENGL 1410 Composition I* (4 cr)
PNUR 1130 LifeSpan** (1 cr)
PNUR 1140 Medication Calculations for Healthcare Professionals (1 cr)
Total 9 Credits

Fall Semester
PNUR 1149* Clinical Lab I (3 cr)
PNUR 1160* Practical Nursing Skills Lab (3 cr)
PNUR 1168* Psychosocial Nursing (3 cr)
PNUR 1265* Medical Surgical Nursing I (5 cr)
Total 14 Credits

Spring Semester
PNUR 1150* Clinical Lab II (3 cr)
PNUR 1166* Gerontological Nursing (2 cr)
PNUR 1175* Maternal Child Health (2 cr)
PNUR 1270* Medical Surgical Nursing II (6 cr)
Total 13 Credits

*Denotes Prerequisites
**Students may substitute PSYC 2431 Human Development, 3 credits for PNUR 1130 Life Span

Career Description: Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) care for people who are sick, injured or disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses. The nature of the direction and supervision required varies by state and job setting.

Program Information: The Practical Nursing Program is designed to prepare graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing. Student course requirements include a wide variety of clinical experiences in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Graduates join the healthcare team as LPNs upon successful completion of the licensing requirements. There are several program options available. Classes are offered at Brainerd and/or Staples campuses.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

Client Centered Care (NLN Human Flourishing)
The Practical Nursing graduate utilizes therapeutic communication skills when providing care through focus assessments, founded on basic holistic needs of individual clients across the lifespan.

Nursing Judgement
The Practical Nursing graduate applies the nursing process and evidence based decision making when working within an established plan of care by implementing interventions, reporting changes, and promoting safety and health of individual clients across the lifespan.

Professional Identity
The Practical Nursing graduate demonstrates professionalism and teamwork in an ethical and legal manner when implementing or assigning aspects of care for an individual client, under the direction of a Registered Nurse or other health care provider.

Quality Improvement (NLN Spirit of Inquiry)
The Practical Nursing graduate contributes to continuous quality improvement by providing input into the development of policies and procedures and effectively using resources and technology to achieve optimal client outcomes.

Special Program Requirements:

This program has a special application process. This includes completion of a CLC application and the College Entrance Test (CET). Also, a practical nursing application must be completed along with the TEAS Test. Please contact the admissions department for information or to apply to the program.

In addition to the program requirements listed above, students must meet the following conditions in order to progress or graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: The cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be at least 2.0.
  2. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.
  3. The student must achieve a B- or better in all Practical Nursing (PNUR) courses.
  4. The student must achieve a C or better in all required general education courses.

Accreditation: This program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Practical Nursing Program is seeking national accreditation.

Admissions: This program has a special application process. This includes completion of a CLC application and the College Entrance Test (CET). Also, a practical nursing application must be completed along with the TEAS Test. Please contact the admissions department for information or to apply to the program.

Transfer Opportunities: This program has transfer articulation agreements with the following MnSCU institutions: Alexandria Technical and Community College, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Century College, Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College, Hibbing Community & Technical College, Inver Hills Community College, Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Minnesota West Community & Technical College, Normandale Community College, North Hennepin Community College, Northland Community & Technical College, Northwest Technical College – Bemidji, Pine Technical College, Ridgewater College, Riverland Community College, Rochester Community & Technical College, South Central College, St Cloud Technical and Community College.

Career Opportunities: Available employment options are varied and can be found in acute care hospitals, nursing homes, home health care settings and clinics.

Meet Our Team

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Sarah Jennissen

Practical Nursing Faculty
Phone: 218-894-5308
tara karels

Tara Karels

Nursing Director
Phone: 218-855-8125
Brainerd W258

Karina Kobliska

Practical Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-894-5310
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Karen Treangen

Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-894-5310
Staples B212B

Julie Woitalla

Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8168
Dual W254

Student Testimonials


After years of going to another school, I returned to CLC because of the positive experience I had here the first time I attended college. All the staff at CLC is very helpful and always pushing you to make your goal.


I am attending Central Lakes College and currently in the LPN program and transitioning into the RN program next fall. I heard it had a great reputation and was close to home and convenient to attend. My instructors have been incredible, I have learned many great skills, and they all really want us to succeed.


Nursing is a passion, not just a career choice. I chose the PN program at CLC because it is a great program with many benefits. We get hands on training, interactions with real people, and exploration of different areas in the nursing field. Becoming a nurse has been the best decision I’ve ever made; I highly recommend it to others.


I chose the Practical Nursing Program at CLC because of location, but what I found was so much more. They provide a superior education in the heart of Minnesota. The nursing program at CLC is top of the line. I feel upon completion I will be prepared for my future as an LPN.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:

Gainful Employment – Practical Nursing Diploma

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