Practical Nursing Diploma

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. Available employment options can be found in acute care hospitals, nursing homes, home health care settings and clinics.

Program Information

The Practical Nursing Diploma program prepares graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing. Course requirements include a wide variety of clinical experiences in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Graduates join the healthcare team as Practical Nurses (PNs) upon successful completion of the licensing requirements.

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

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

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  2. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College;
  3. Students must achieve a grade of B- or better in all Practical Nursing (PNUR) courses;
  4. Students must achieve a grade of C or better in all required Minnesota Transfer Curriculum courses.


The CLC Practical Nursing Diploma program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA).


  • Health Care Provider or Professional Rescuer CPR Certificate.
  • NSGA 1110 Nursing Assistant Course, OR 75 hour Minnesota Department of Health Nursing Assistant, OR active on the MN Registry of Nursing Assistants.
  • This program has a special application process that includes completion of a CLC application and the College Entrance Test (CET). 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.
  • Any person who has direct contact with patients and residents at health care facilities licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health must have a criminal background check completed. Results of the study are to be on file in the Department of Nursing before students begin their clinical experiences. Any student who does not pass the criminal background check will not be permitted to participate in clinical experiences, thereby rendering the individual ineligible to progress in the Practical Nursing Program.
  • Drug testing is required.
  • Immunization documentation is required.

Transfer Opportunities

This program has transfer articulation agreements with 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.

Employment Statistics

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Program Course Requirements

Prerequisites or Summer Session (9 credits)
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 OR ENGL 1420* Honors Composition I, 4 cr
PNUR 1130 LifeSpan**, 1 cr
PNUR 1140 Medication Calculations for Healthcare Professionals, 1 cr

Fall Semester (13 credits)
PNUR 1134* Pharmacology, 1 cr
PNUR 1160* Practical Nursing Skills Lab, 4 cr
PNUR 1168* Psychosocial Nursing, 3 cr
PNUR 1265* Medical Surgical Nursing I, 5 cr

Spring Semester (14 credits)
PNUR 1150* Clinical Lab, 5 cr
PNUR 1175* Maternal Child Health, 3 cr
PNUR 1270* Medical Surgical Nursing II, 6 cr

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

Program Instructors

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