Practical Nursing

Technical Diploma

Program Number: 



Financial Aid Eligible

Nursing is a profession that demands the right combination of compassion and technical skill. As a licensed practical nurse (LPN) you will care for patients in a clinic, hospital, or other care facility under the supervision of a registered nurse. Your responsibilities will include observing the patient and documenting the treatment, carrying out physicians’ orders, and planning and evaluating nursing care. General education courses complement nursing science courses to provide a well-rounded education. Highly individualized learning activities and valuable field experiences provide an opportunity to demonstrate the skills that are learned. Many of the classes are available online, through Interactive Television, and in blended formats in addition to the traditional classroom format.

This program is approved by the State of Wisconsin Board of Nursing. All practical nurses are required to take a national exam to obtain a license to practice. Compared with all programs nationwide, Western graduates have been consistently successful in passing the exam.

Practical Nursing image
Estimated Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost

Practical Nursing

This program will cost about $5,000* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Graduation Employment Stats

Practical Nursing 2015-2016 Graduation Employment Stats

Graduates Responding27
Employed in Related Occupation14
Employed in Non-related Occupations1
Seeking Employment1
Continuing Education11
Not in Labor Market0

Salary Data - Related Employment

Part TimeFull Time
Average Hours Per Week2144
Median Hourly Wage$14.99 $21.00
Hourly Wage Range$13.00 - $20.03$12.45 - $27.50
Median Annual Salary$15,589.60 $45,760.00

Respondents in Related Occupations

  • CNA; Bethany-St Joseph Care Center, La Crosse, WI
  • CNA; Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, WI (2)
  • CNA; Mayo Clinic Health System, La Crosse, WI
  • CNA; Mile Bluff Medical Center, Mauston, WI
  • CNA; Private Home - Town of Shelby, La Crosse, WI
  • CNA; Vernon Memorial Hospital, Viroqua, WI
  • CNA; Winona Health, Winona, MN
  • LPN; Benedict Living Community, La Crosse, WI
  • LPN; Eagle Crest, La Crosse, WI
  • LPN; Mayo Clinic Health System, La Crosse, WI
  • LPN; Lifecare Center, Phoenix, AZ
  • Office Assistant; Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, WI
  • PICU/NICU Nurse; Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, WI
  • Surgical Technologist; Vernon Memorial Hospital, Viroqua, WI

Career Opportunities

Licensed Practical Nurse

Program Outcomes

  • Use effective communication skills
  • Apply mathematical concepts
  • Transfer social and natural science theories into practical applications
  • Demonstrate ability to think critically
  • Demonstrate ability to value self and work ethically with others in a diverse population
  • Use technology effectively
  • Make decisions that incorporate the importance of sustainability
  • Implement one's role as a nurse in ways that reflect integrity, responsibility, ethical practices, and an evolving identity as a nurse committed to caring, advocacy, and quality care while adhering to evidence-based practice
  • Demonstrate appropriate written, verbal, and nonverbal communication in a variety of clinical contexts
  • Integrate knowledge of social, mathematical, and physical sciences, pharmacology, and disease processes while participating in clinical decision making
  • Provide patient centered care under supervision by participating in the nursing process across diverse populations and healthcare settings
  • Minimize risk of harm to patients, members of the healthcare team, and self through safe individual performance and participation in system effectiveness
  • Collaborate as an active member of the multidisciplinary health care team to provide effective patient care throughout the lifespan
  • Use information and technology to communicate, manage data, mitigate error, and assist with decision-making

Admission Requirements

College Requirements

$30 Application Fee
High School Transcript or GED/HSED

Program Requirements

Western Technical College uses ACCUPLACER, a computer-based, online assessment that measures your abilities in reading, sentence skills, and arithmetic. This information will be used to place you in courses that best fit your academic goals. Based on your scores, you may need to take additional general studies course(s) along with the general studies courses required for your program.

Several options for waiving the ACCUPLACER test are available; view the waivers here.

Learn more about placement tests and how they are used at Western: Placement Testing.

Additional Requirements:

To enroll in the Practical Nursing program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program’s Essential Functions and Tiered Admission process, and complete a background check, immunizations, and CPR.  You can find a link to these documents below.  In addition, you must complete General Anatomy and Physiology and its prerequisites with a grade of “C” or better, complete a Wisconsin Department of Health Services-approved Nursing Assistant course, and demonstrate satisfactory performance on the Nursing TEAS V Pre-Admission Examination.  The last step for admission to the program will be to complete an Intent to Enroll form. Please see the details below.

Gainful Employment

Additional Information

Our Health and Public Safety programs are required to report additional information to prospective students, including certification exams, licensure, program completion rates, etc. You can find this information in the documents below:

Program Contact

Deb Kaiser
Enrollment Services Advisor

Stacey Nelson
Enrollment Services Advisor

Career Pathways

This program is part of a career pathway, a laddered approach to career education. It allows you to earn employer-recognized credentials that lead to job and career advancement.

Practical Nursing

Career Pathways

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