students in nursing lab

Practical Nursing LPN

Carl Sandburg College offers a one-year certificate that prepares the student for entry-level as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

As a member of the healthcare team, the Licensed Practical Nurse works under the direction of physicians and registered nurses in a variety of health care settings. The LPN provides basic bedside and personal care to clients, takes vital signs, prepares and administers injections, performs wound care, collects samples for testing, and administers prescribed medications as directed. 

Application dates

Students must meet with a Practical Nursing academic advisor to determine application eligibility prior to applying to the program. Students may apply online to the Practical Nursing program from October 1 - March 1 for the fall semester start.

Practical Nursing requires candidates submit a TEAS test score or valid SAT or ACT test score to be considered for admissions. Those interested in free preparation materials for the TEAS test should express interest in the Sandburg PATH to TEAS Excellence program.

Anyone interested in this program:


  1. If you have not already done so, complete the steps to enroll as a Carl Sandburg College student.

  2. Once you receive the email from the Welcome Center with your student ID, log into mySandburg to find the Apply for Limited Enrollment Programs tile, select the link for your selected program, and complete and submit the application.
  3. Pay the $50 non-refundable application fee.

  4. Submit documentation of C.N.A. certification or work experience if applicable. If you have more than 1 year of clinical work experience as a C.N.A., please fill out the Healthcare Worker Background Check form and email it to so we can verify on the IDPH web portal.

  5. Submit transcripts to verify prior degrees or courses required if you have not already done so.

  6. Submit official scores for TEAS/ACT/SAT for the points calculation. Note: TEAS scores are valid for two years, and SAT and ACT scores are valid for five years.

  7. Monitor mySandburg and your Sandburg email accounts for status updates for your application.

Pathways to other programs

Students completing the Practical Nursing program should check out these programs:

LPN to RN transition 

Associate Degree in Nursing - RN

For a complete list of our cooperative agreements, click here.


Admission requirements for the practical nursing program

The Practical Nursing program limits enrollment to students who meet the eligibility requirements and who are selected for admission through a point system . Students interested in this program must meet with a Sandburg academic advisor prior to applying to the program. We notify applicants approximately two weeks after the application deadline date as to whether or not they are accepted into the program. Applicants conditionally admitted into the Practical Nursing program must attend the mandatory program orientation session.

The applicant's TEAS test score, SAT or ACT score is a factor that contributes to eligibility for enrollment in this program. In the 2023-24 academic year, those interested in Practical Nursing enrollment have the opportunity to join the Sandburg PATH to TEAS Excellence program. At no cost to applicants, the Sandburg PATH to TEAS Excellence program provides access to TEAS test preparation materials. Those that successfully complete the practice tests are eligible for reimbursement of one official TEAS test.

Please note: BIO.111, BIO.211, and BIO.212 courses may not have been taken more than 7 years prior to the time of application.

High school students may begin the prerequisite courses to accelerate entry into the Practical Nursing program.

The following prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher prior to entering the Practical Nursing program:

  • ENG 101 - Freshman Composition 1
  • PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology

Courses that can be taken as dual credit courses:

  • ENG 101 - Freshman Composition 1
  • PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology
  • BIO 111 - Anatomy & Physiology Fundamentals

Notice to PN students who plan to apply for admission to LPN to RN Articulation into the 2nd year ADN: In place of BIO.111 Anatomy & Physiology Fundamentals, you may consider enrolling in BIO.211 Anatomy & Physiology 1 and BIO.212 Anatomy & Physiology 2 , which are required for the RN program.

Prerequisites for BIO 211:

  • BIO 101 - General Biology (a prerequisite for BIO 211)
  • CHM 100 - Concepts of Chemistry (a prerequisite for BIO 211)

Students accepted into the program will be required to possess Healthcare Provider CPR certification throughout the program, show proof of immunizations and required titers, TB test, physical examination, criminal background check, and drug screen. Students are responsible for all fees incurred, in addition to tuition. 

Findings on the criminal background check and drug screen may void conditional admission and prevent entrance to the program. Findings on the physical examination and drug screen may prevent placement at the clinical sites. 

If a student is unable to participate in and/or complete clinical/practicum/internship courses required for the program due to a positive drug test which includes marijuana, they are not eligible for a refund of any tuition, fees, or other expenses incurred while preparing for admission into the program and while enrolled in the program.

Although the COVID-19 vaccination is not an admission requirement, most clinical sites require vaccination against COVID-19. Students should check with their program coordinator for more details.

Career and technical programs/courses are offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status in any group protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.  Title IX Coordinator: 309.341.5258. ADA/504 Coordinator: 309.341.5262.

For additional information contact: 
Welcome Center


Employment opportunities include, but are not limited to hospitals, long-term care/rehabilitation facilities, clinics and physician offices, schools, home health agencies, and dialysis centers. It is projected that the employment of LPNs will grow 16% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages, the overall need for healthcare services is expected to increase. There will be an increased need for LPNs in residential care facilities and in-home health environments to care for older patients. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Follow these links for detailed career information:

Licensed Practical Nurse

Registered Nurse

Working Conditions

Most health care facilities provide a safe and comfortable working environment. Working hours may include various shifts; including 8 or 12 hours, weekends, and holidays. Schools, offices, and clinics may offer traditional hours. The Licensed Practical Nurse provides direct patient care and must be able to obtain the knowledge (cognitive function), skills (psychomotor function), and demonstrate professionalism (affective function). Please refer to the Essential Skills & Abilities of LPN to determine if you are able to meet these functions with or without reasonable accommodations. 





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Sample course schedule for the Practical Nursing program

Sample schedule for Practical Nursing 

Labs, discussions, and clinical times are to be determined each semester based on enrollment. This sample schedule is subject to change.


Class formats

Sandburg offers courses in a variety of formats to best fit the needs of our students. To determine the formats for specific courses, please refer to ours.

Regardless of the course format, it is highly recommended that students have access to a reliable computer with broadband internet. All courses use online resources and require students to access course information through mySandburg. Accessing courses through a phone is discouraged. Both campuses have open computer labs for student use.

A link for a list of class formats.

Estimated cost for the practical nursing program

Practical Nursing cost sheet

Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, visit our financial aid page for more information.


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Contact the local office to inquire if you qualify for financial support. 

  • Hancock County 550 N. Madison St., Carthage, IL 217.357.6749      
  • Warren/Henderson County 1025 S. 2nd St, Monmouth, IL 309.734.4745
  • Knox County Bondi Building, 311 E. Main, Suite 612, Galesburg, IL 309.343.9832               
  • McDonough County 440 N. Lafayette, Macomb, IL 309.837.1280


Thanks to our generous donors, Carl Sandburg College Foundation is able to award over $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners, and returning students - everyone is eligible to apply. Apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year. We encourage all students to apply. 

frequently asked questions

If I am not admitted to the program or placed on an alternative list and no spaces are available, do I have to apply again? 

Yes, applicants not admitted to the program, including applicants placed on the alternate list, and no spaces became available, we will not carry over application files to the next year. Each applicant would need to complete the application/admission process again for the next admission year.

How do you evaluate applications?

We will consider for selection review only those applicants who submit the online program application by the deadline date and have met all admission requirements. We evaluate all qualified applicants according to a point system that allows an objective means for selection ranking. We select applicants with the highest point totals first. Please refer to the Admission Selection Points Worksheet for ranking criteria.

When will I know if I am accepted to the program?

Applicant acceptance status will be one of the following: conditionally admitted, placed on the alternate list, or denied. We will notify the applicant approximately two weeks after the application deadline date whether they are accepted or not into the nursing program. Applicants who receive conditional admission or alternate status into the program will be notified by email. Applicants denied admission we notify by mail.

How do I hold my seat if I am accepted?

Applicants conditionally admitted will have 14 calendar days from the date of your conditional admission email to pay the $50.00 seat fee (intent to enter) to the Carl Sandburg College Business Office to hold your seat in the nursing program.

Will I receive credit for the $50 to hold my seat? 

For the student fully or conditionally admitted to the Program, the $50 seat fee will be applied to your tuition. If no tuition or fees balance remains, the seat fee will be refunded to the student after financial aid refund after the 100 percent drop date for 16-week courses. If an entity other than the student paid the seat fee, the student will not receive a refund. Students who accept their seats and withdraw for any reason will forfeit the seat fee. Alternates who are not admitted will receive a refund.

I have been conditionally admitted do I need to attend orientation?

Conditionally admitted applicants and those on the alternate list must attend the mandatory admission orientation session. We provide in the admission status email information regarding registration for the mandatory admission orientation session. At the orientation, we will provide program information and appropriate documents to complete all the necessary nursing program requirements for full admission status.

Those conditionally admitted who do not register for and attend the mandatory admission orientation session will forfeit their conditional admission and we will then offer your seat to an alternate. Alternates who do not register for or attend the mandatory admission orientation session will forfeit their alternate position.

I have been conditionally admitted when will I know my full admission status?

We will provide full admission status after the conditionally admitted applicant attends the mandatory admission orientation session and appropriately completes all program requirements and submits all required admission documents by the designated deadline.

Are there student clubs?

Associate Degree Nursing Club-1st Year

This club is for first-year RN students. We will meet to keep us all informed and together on our classes’ activities, study groups, and any professional medical seminars or exhibits that would benefit us as nursing students.

Advisor: Christina Stone, 309.341.5292 or

Practical Nursing Program Outcomes

Programs Outcomes





NCLEX-PN Pass Rate




Job Placement Rate




Completion Rate





Practical Nursing End of Program Student Learner Outcomes

Upon entry into practice, the graduate will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:



The graduate will integrate a safe environment for patients, self, and others. Collaborate in situations that require knowledge or action beyond the scope of practice for the practical nurse. to provide safe, quality care.


Patient-Centered Care

The graduate will create a patient-centered environment with consideration for patient values, preferences, and needs by being culturally competent while evaluating physiological, psychological, and spiritual needs throughout the lifespan in a variety of healthcare settings.



The graduate will collaborate within nursing and with the inter-professional team to promote continuity of patient care through mutual respect and shared decision making.


Critical Thinking/ Clinical Judgment

The graduate will use critical thinking skills to analyze and evaluate clinical responses, using clinical judgment to competently make decisions on appropriate patient care within the legal and ethical scope of practice for the practical nurse.


Evidence-Based Practice

The graduate will validate the best current evidence from research and other credible sources as a basis for nursing practice and clinical decision making with considering patient and family preferences and values for delivery of optimal health care.



The graduate will competently use information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error and support decision making.


The Practical Nursing program at Carl Sandburg College, located in Galesburg, Illinois, is accredited by the: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326, (404) 975-5000. The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Practical Nursing program is Continuing Accreditation. View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at:


Illinois State Board of Nursing (ISBN) and the Department of Financial & Professional Regulations (IDFPR) have approved the Practical Nursing program.


Graduates may apply to write for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-PN). Upon successful completion of this exam, the student is eligible to apply for Practical Nurse licensure in any state. Graduates will need to complete a criminal background check at the time of licensure application and will be evaluated by ISBN before licensure is granted or denied. Please be advised that the Illinois State Board of Nursing (ISBN) can deny nursing licensure and discipline those that are licensed. You can access all licensing and nursing scope of practice regulations at IDPFR.



Postsecondary institutions participating in federal student aid programs are required to make certain disclosures to enrolled and prospective students, parents, employees and the public. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (34 §C.F.R. 668.43) requires disclosures by institutions regarding educational requirements for programs leading to professional licensure or certification regardless of modality. The institution must make readily available to enrolled and prospective students information about whether programs leading to professional licensure or certification meet educational requirements.

Click here to view licensure information for nursing programs. 

If Sandburg College has not determined whether a program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification outside the state of Illinois, you should contact the licensing entity to determine whether it meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the state you live or work. 

You may contact the Dean of Nursing with questions: 

Emily J Schaeffer, D.N.P., R.N.
Dean of Nursing Professions
2400 Tom L Wilson Blvd
Galesburg, IL 61401

Meet the instructors

Emily Schaeffer, DNP, MSN RN
Dean of Nursing Professions

Stacy Bainter, MSN RN
Coordinator, Practical Nursing Program
Instructor, Nursing

Tina Braun-Smith, MSN RN
Instructor, Nursing 

Tammi Lewis, MSN RN
Instructor, Nursing

Christina Stone, MSN, RN
Coordinator, Associate Degree Nursing
Assistant Professor, Nursing

Nicole Lepper, MSN, RN
Instructor, Nursing

Cindy Koepp, MSN, RN
Instructor, Nursing

Anneke McGruder, MSN, RN
Instructor, Nursing


Department of Health Professions
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.

Galesburg, IL 61401