NTC Adjusts Practical Nursing Program to Meet Students Where They Are

Heeding feedback from students and addressing national demand for nurses in the field, Northwest Technical College has adjusted its practical nursing program to be more prepared for students looking to become licensed practical nurses.

Previously a two-semester 42-credit program, NTC’s three-semester 40-credit LPN track offers a pathway that is focused on career preparation. After undergoing a number of significant changes, the new curriculum will launch in Fall 2021 according to Northwest Tech’s Michele Brielmeier, dean of nursing and human services.

“The reason behind this is the students often feel the sequence has been too heavily loaded for them,” Brielmeier said. “They don’t feel that they can really comfortably balance work-life and all the other joys that go with nursing school. Our goal is to make sure this is a program is supportive of them, but also rigorous enough for them to be ready to roll when they go out into the workforce.”

Students enrolled in Northwest Tech’s PN program will learn fundamental to complex medical and surgical concepts, basic nursing skills, safe and effective care, health promotion and maintenance, pharmacological therapies, psychosocial care and nursing informatics. They will also apply theory to practical experiences in supervised clinical areas such as long-term care, ambulatory clinics, surgery and simulation.

Additional curriculum changes include the addition of a medical terminology course, more content related to the introduction to nursing, a second-semester skills course and the removal of a college writing course.

“We have made a bold move by stepping out of the English college writing class that used to be a prerequisite for the program,” Brielmeier said. “Instead, we will be enhancing writing that is necessary for nursing in our other nursing courses.”

The practical nursing requirements must be successfully completed to receive a diploma. After a diploma is earned, students may apply to the National Council Licensure Examination for the Practical Nurse that allows licensure for the LPN in the state of the student’s choice.

About Nursing at NTC

At Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, students can obtain a variety of credentials in nursing, including a certified nursing assistant certificate, a diploma in practical nursing, and associate’s degrees in nursing — a step-in program for Licensed Practical Nurses that can be completed in seventeen months and a nursing generic track program that can be completed in two years. Graduates of the ACEN accredited programs, both diploma and associate’s degree, are eligible to apply for licensure as a licensed practical nursing or registered nurse, respectively. Each credential at NTC builds on the one before it, and all offer job opportunities in the Bemidji region, and in the state of Minnesota. For more information, contact the NTC Office of Admissions at admissions@NTCMN.edu, call (218) 333-6600 and ask for admissions or visit https://www.ntcmn.edu/admissions/visit-campus/.