Diploma — Practical Nursing

This 38-credit diploma prepares nurses to work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or doctor. They perform tasks such as checking blood pressure, inserting catheters and ensuring the comfort of their patients. Graduates are eligible to apply for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).


Northwest Technical College is a regionally accredited college. The nursing program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and is working on national accreditation. The program is currently in candidacy with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) for national accreditation.  A site visit is anticipated to be scheduled by spring of 2019.


Employment opportunities for LPNs have experienced a major expansion in recent years. Graduates are currently employed in a wide variety of health care settings, including clinics, hospitals, schools and private homes.

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Learn what occupations may be of interest to someone who has completed this program. Find information about wages and employment outlook.

Next Steps

Graduates of the Practical Nursing Diploma program are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for the Practical Nurse to become an LPN. Graduates may also continue for an Associate of Science (AS) in nursing at Northwest Technical College.

College Readiness

A student may be required to enroll in college readiness courses in reading, writing and math. A student’s scores on the Accuplacer assessment will determine enrollment in college readiness courses. The purpose of college readiness courses is to prepare students for the demands of a college-level curriculum. Credits may vary.

Degree Requirements

Course #Course NameCredit
BIOL 2252Anatomy & Physiology I3.00
BIOL 2254Anatomy & Physiology II3.00
ENGL 1111College Writing I3.00
PSYC 2201Developmental Psychology3.00
PNSG 1100Foundations5.00
PNSG 1110Care of Clients Across the Lifespan I4.00
PNSG 1120Pharmacology2.00
PNSG 1125Clinical I2.00
PNSG 1150Care of Clients Across the Lifespan II4.00
PNSG 1160Nursing Care of Women and Children2.00
PNSG 1180Psychosocial Nursing2.00
PNSG 1185Transition to Practice/PN Clinical II5.00
Total Credits: 38