Linn County Regional Center - Academy Plans of Study

Patient Care Academy

College Credit in High School
Find your passion.
Get a head start.
Experience college with rock star teachers.
Earn free college credit.

Unique, hands-on learning experience providing care for patients in a clinical setting.

Work side-by-side with health care professionals in a long term health care facility.

Fulfill prerequisites for many college health care programs.

Students learn to perform basic nursing skills through hands-on, direct patient care. Examples include: assessment of vital signs, such as taking blood pressure, temperature and respiration; performing basic hygiene and transfer skills (bathing, dressing and feeding); and learning to communicate with residents and the health care team.

Career Focus
Immediate employment opportunities for C.N.A. certified nurse aide certification, prepared for a wide variety of college majors focusing on patient care fields.

Determine if you are ready for a career in the health care field and build professional networking relationships.

College Credits Earned: 12.5 

Certification Opportunities: State of Iowa Nurse Aide Certification Exam (CNA), First Aide and American Heart Association CPR

The Kirkwood Patient Care Academy program can lead students to multiple pathways in various careers providing direct care of patients. Students can earn college credit and certification for immediate employment. 

Iowa average salaries in health care careers
C.N.A.: $36,820
LPN: $36,820
RN: $53,300
Physical Therapist: $77,540
Physician Assistant: $85,880
Physician/Surgeon/Other: $196,230
More info can be found at:

College Credit Courses
Courses subject to change based on college curriculum.


HSC-205 | Exploration of Healthcare Careers | 3 college credits

Explores all aspects of health care and careers in the field. Includes field trips to an area hospital, or participation in a Career Expo, and the Kirkwood Simulation Center.  Covers the past, present and future of health care.  Introduces key career cluster terms and career options within each career cluster.  Provides career information, including education requirements, educational costs to attain a degree versus potential career earnings, job descriptions, case studies and skills needed for specific career areas. Results in CPR for the Healthcare Provider certification upon successful completion. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

HSC-115 | Medical Terminology | 4 college credits
A comprehensive study of medical terminology as the language of medicine. Analyzes words by dividing them into component parts. Relates the medical terms to the structure and functional pathology of diseases and current medical procedures. Emphasizes word usage, abbreviations, pronunciation and spelling. Credits: 4, Hours: (4/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B


HSC-107 | Professionals in Health  | 2 college credits

Learn the skills and characteristics expected for professional preparation and employability. Explore the health industry, see current trends and issues, and study the work environment as it relates to health and safety regulations. Credits: 2, Hours: (2/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B 

HSC-168 | Nurse Aide  | 3.5 college credits
Provide safe, effective resident care by mastering basic care giving skills and concepts. Includes 30 hours lecture, 25 hours of lab and 30 hours of clinical. Credits: 3.5, Hours: 2/1.5/2.25/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

Need to Know

1. Student must be age 16 prior to March 1 of the year they are enrolled in the academy in order to go to the clinical experience. This does not mean the pre-registration form, but the actual start of the classes.

2. It is highly recommended that students complete a high school biology course within the last 2 years and achieved a C or higher.

3. In order to be awarded the 91-hour nurse aide completion certificate, students must meet standards imposed by the State of Iowa. Absenteeism and tardiness may result in dismissal from the program. In order to move into the clinical experience in March or April, the student must be age 16 or older, must have a 79 percent or higher in the nurse aide course, and meet guidelines determined by the State of Iowa and the course instructor. Clinicals require students to provide their own transportation as they only take place outside of class. 

4. Students are required to purchase a scrub uniform (approximate cost $35-40) during the first semester of class.

5. You are required to have a current physical (a Kirkwood physical form is required and can be used during a sports physical) and immunization records completed and then submitted to Certified Background during the first semester of the academy. Per State requirements, all health care facilities require criminal background checks, including students in a clinical setting. More information will be shared at the required orientation. 

How to Get Started
Talk to your parents and your school counselor.

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