Student in scrubs assesses a patient

Practical Nursing - Technical Diploma

As a Practical Nursing program graduate, you're eligible for careers in a variety of settings which could include an acute care hospital, long term care/rehab facility, physician's office, insurance provider, or home health agency. As a member of the health care team, the licensed practical nurse provides care to patients whose conditions are relatively stable and assists the registered nurse or health care provider in the care of the acutely ill patient. Why choose the Practical Nursing program at NWTC? Success - more than 92 percent of NWTC Practical Nursing graduates consistently pass their NCLEX-PN on their first attempt. Quality - many students are offered employment during their final clinical experience. Expertise- the Practical Nursing faculty are experts in the nursing profession who have completed graduate level nursing education. This program is approved by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing, Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services and is accredited by the ACEN: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Graduates of this program, after obtaining licensure and completing additional coursework, may enter the Nursing-Associate Degree program.

Program Code: 315431
Home » Academics and Training » Practical Nursing
Area of Study: Health Sciences

Program Costs & Financial Aid

See costs of tuition, books, and supplies.

This program is partially eligible for financial aid.

Estimates based on in-state residency. Learn more about tuition and fees.

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Follow Your Path

All credits in this technical diploma apply toward the following associate degree(s):

Nursing - Associate Degree, 105431

Currently certified/practicing medical assistants may apply credit from prior education and work experience toward the Practical Nursing technical diploma.


  • Day
  • Full-time
  • Part-time

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Program Entry

  • For instructions on how to get started, download the application checklist for this program.

Application Checklist

What are my courses?


Students following the study plan below will complete the Practical Nursing technical diploma in the number of semesters shown.

Total Credits 34
  • Curriculum Note: Students must earn a "B" or higher in all 31-543-xxx and 31-806-xxx courses. A student must repeat the particular course with "B" or better final grade to continue in or graduate from this program. If the course is sequential, the successful retake must occur before continuing the sequence.
  • Individuals with criminal records may be ineligible for licensure. Individuals with abuse records may be ineligible for employment in nursing homes.
  • It is suggested that a Medical Terminology course (10-501-101) be taken prior to entering the program.
  • The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a "C" or better.

Flexible Learning Option

A part-time program format is available. This option is scheduled over five semesters including two summer semesters. Each semester has five to eight credits.

Program Outcomes

  • Integrate Practical Nursing identity reflecting integrity, responsibility, and nursing standards.
  • Communicate basic information using multiple sources in nursing practice.
  • Utilize theoretical knowledge to participate in decision making.
  • Apply the nursing process to basic client care across diverse populations.
  • Function as a healthcare team member to provide safe and effective care.

What careers are in my future?


Graduate Employment

with 68% in field


Median Starting Salary

Source: NWTC Graduate Outcome Survey

Employment Potential

A graduate of this program will have the potential for employment in the following areas:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse: administers care to individuals whose conditions are relatively stable; administers care to the acutely ill under the direct supervision of an RN or MD; teaches basic hygiene, nutrition, and aspects of good health; administers first aid; and assists with health assessment and basic health teaching in a variety of settings under the supervision of an RN or MD.
  • Health Insurance Claims Approver: processes insurance claims on a computer terminal.

What else do I need to know about the program?


The Practical Nursing program is accredited by: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta GA 30326 (404) 975-5000 FAX: (404) 975-5020 The Practical Nursing program is approved by: Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services Dept. of Regulation & Licensing 1400 East Washington St. P.O. Box 8935, Madison, WI 53708-8935 (608) 266-2112

Industry Credentials

Graduates of the program are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical (LPN).

Practical Nursing graduates who successfully pass the NCLEX-PN can apply credits completed in an accredited Practical Nursing program to the NWTC ADN Bridge program.

Graduates of the Medical Assistant Technical Diploma who achieve status of “Certified Medical Assistant” or “Registered Medical Assistant” and work at least 3,000 hours in a Medical Assistant role may apply for admission to the Medical Assistant to Practical Nursing bridge program.

Refer to the information for the Practical Nursing program on this website for required General Studies courses.

Clinical Experience

  • Students will be required to purchase a uniform, provide their own transportation to assigned sites, and cover any other expenses related to clinical experiences. Students may be expected to travel distances, and participate in p.m. clinicals.
  • Students will be required to show proof of annual flu vaccine. Students may be required to complete drug testing by clinical agencies.

Wisconsin Caregiver Law

NWTC is required to comply with the Wisconsin Caregiver Law (1997 WISCONSIN ACT 27). The completion of a caregiver background check includes the review of criminal records for convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behavior. Students accepted into this program must complete a background check through AND complete a Background Information Disclosure (BID) form disclosing any acts, crimes, or convictions prior to program entry and/or clinical, practicum, field experience. The information provided in the BID form must be truthful and match any findings on the criminal record check. Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. Please review your entry/admission checklist. Students with a criminal history may be denied access to placement at the discretion of the clinical, practicum, or field experience site. Consequently, should a student have a history of convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behaviors, NWTC cannot guarantee clinical/practicum/field experience placement or guarantee graduation.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Studies staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses.

Learn more about upcoming study abroad opportunities.

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Alternative Delivery Options

Complete this program by following the full-time academic plan or the Medical Assistant to PN bridge program which gives you credit for your education and experience. For students in the Shawano area, you may choose to complete the program right in Shawano.

Medical Assistant to PN Bridge:

If you are a medical assistant looking to advance your career, apply your knowledge and work experience to the Practical Nursing program. You’ll take fewer classes and finish faster than if you took the PN program on its own. Learn more »

See All Nursing Program Options

Classes wherever you have an internet connection. 

  • An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
  • Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
12 or more credits per term.
Fewer than 12 credits per term.