Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)

Kirkwood offers a ladder program in which the first two semesters of the ADN program lead to a Practical Nursing (PN) diploma. To enter the LPN Transfer program, student's LPN license must be currently active and in good standing. Students can stop after those first two semesters or continue on to earn their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

Classes cover medical, surgical, geriatric, maternal-child, pediatric, and mental health. Patient care skills are learned through supervised laboratory, simulation and real-life clinical experiences that begin in the first semester. Simulation experiences occur in Kirkwood’s state-of-the art Katz Family Healthcare Simulation Center. Clinical instruction in all of the major areas of nursing occurs in area hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities and other health care agencies.

Students successfully completing the LPN program can stop after the first two semesters of the technical program or continue on to earn their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) at Kirkwood.

Students in this program may be eligible to have half their tuition paid for by the Kibbie Grant.

Nursing, LPN


Kirkwood LPN graduates are well prepared to successfully pass the NCLEX-PN licensing exams as evidenced by graduate pass rates greater than 98 percent for the past four years. Current NCLEX-PN rates for all nursing programs in the state of Iowa are published on the Iowa Board of Nursing website.

Kirkwood LPN graduates are valued employees of numerous area health care agencies with many varied and rewarding career opportunities.

Career Outlook

Career opportunities for LPN program graduates include: 
  • Acute care
  • Community health
  • Hemodialysis
  • Home care
  • Nursing home
  • Office nurse
  • School nurse

All students are required to complete Certified Nurse Aid training and successfully pass the written and skills examination before beginning the technical and clinical portion of the program. Students may obtain training through Kirkwood’s Continuing Education Department. Students must be on the Iowa Direct Care Worker registry and be listed as "eligible".


The Nursing program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and the North Central — Higher Learning Commission.

Iowa Board of Nursing
River Point Business Park
400 S.W. 8th Street? Suite B
Des Moines, IA 50309-4685?
(515) 281-3255
Higher Learning Commission—North Central
200 S. LaSalle Street
Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(800) 621-7440

Application Due Dates | Transfer Information
Program Student Learning Outcomes | Program Cost | Clubs & Organizations

Linn Hall

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Department of Nursing | 2172 Linn Hall | 319-398-5563 |