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Practical Nursing

Licensed Practical nurses provide nursing care and support for RN/Physician staff in the hospital/or skilled nursing facility. They may also assist with the care of children, new mothers and infants. The licensed practical nurse works under the supervision of a registered professional nurse; in a hospital setting, they may share many of the same responsibilities such as: direct patient care, medication administration (including IV fluids) as well as documentation.

A person seeking Practical Nursing as a career should have a sympathetic nature and emotional stability. An LPN needs to have keen observational skills as nurses are often the ones to first notice a change in patient symptoms. The LPN also needs to be able to communicate effectively with others about symptoms, and must be able to work effectively under the supervision of more senior medical personnel.

Where You Study Matters

Based on Palm Beach State's Lake Worth campus, this certificate program, which has no course prerequisites, provides high-quality training in practical nursing at an affordable cost. As a state college, our tuition is a fraction of what private schools cost. When you also consider our experienced and credentialed instructors, small class sizes and modern medical office training lab, you'll see why Palm Beach State is the smart place to start your practical nursing career.

LPNs or Practical Nurses are health professionals involved in almost every aspect of interdisciplinary health care delivery. In medical practices and health care facilities, an LPN performs a wide range of clinical and administrative functions that require critical thinking, sharp attention to detail and excellent communication skills. Always ready to meet patients' needs, an LPN's responsibilities may include:

Administrative Duties:

  • Using various computer software programs
  • Greeting patients and managing appointment schedule
  • Maintaining patient medical records
  • Transferring medical documents into electronic health records
  • Coding and completing insurance forms
  • Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • Handling correspondence, billing and bookkeeping

Clinical Duties (varies by state law):

  • Taking and recording vital signs and medical histories
  • Preparing patients for examination
  • Assisting the physician during exams
  • Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
  • Performing basic laboratory tests and ECGs
  • Drawing blood
  • Administering medications and injections
  • Educating patients about treatment procedures and special diets

LPNs are essential members of the health care team in a variety of settings, including:

  • Private and hospital physician offices (both primary care and specialty practices)
  • Hospital outpatient clinics and emergency rooms
  • Offices of other health care practitioners
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Urgent care clinics
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories
  • Kidney dialysis centers

With the increasing number of group physician practices and treatment facilities, there is a greater need for larger support staffs. The excellent job outlook for LPNs is driven by this expansion of health care options, as well as the growth and aging of our population. It's no wonder the multi-skilled LPN is in such demand!

Q. What is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)?

A. A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a nurse who has successfully completed a practical nursing program, and has passed the NCLEX-PN, the state licensing exam. He/she may be employed in many different areas within the health care continuum: hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, home health agencies, and doctor's offices, to name just a few.

Q. What is the Employment Outlook for an LPN?

A. Demand for LPN nursing is expected to grow about as fast as the average over the next few years. Replacement of nurses leaving the LPN nursing profession should be a major source of new job opportunities. Licensed practical nurses held about 724,500 jobs in 2016. About 16 percent of LPNs worked in hospitals, 38 percent in nursing care facilities, and another 13 percent in offices of physicians. Others worked for home health care services; employment services; community care facilities for the elderly; public and private educational services; outpatient care centers; and Federal, State, and local government agencies. Most LPNs worked full-time, but about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016.

Q. What is the Average Salary of an LPN?

A. The median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses was $45,030 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,030.

For more information regarding salary and job outlook for LPNs, please visit the Department of Labor and Statistics website.

Program Entry: The Practical Nursing program has an admissions entry once a year during the Spring term.

Program Length: The program length is 12 months.

Program Clock/Contact Hours: The program consists of 1350 clock hours.

Program Location: Lake Worth campus (Students will attend Clinicals at medical facilities throughout Palm Beach County)

Program Schedule: Classroom hours are 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Clinical hours are 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Students may be required to attend clinical on Friday or Saturday.

Instructors and Facilities: Students receive instruction by industry-credentialed professionals. Lab classes are held in a modern hospital-type learning environment, utilizing current equipment and technology, including up-to-date medical records software.

Program Costs: As a public institution, Palm Beach State's tuition is affordable. Currently, the approximate cost of the Licensed Practical Nursing program for Florida residents is about $6,000, which includes tuition, textbooks, criminal background and drug screening), physical examination, immunizations, and uniforms and name badge. Out-of-state residents pay a higher tuition and all costs are subject to change. Tuition and other costs are reviewed at our Information Sessions.

Financial Aid: Financial aid is available for this program and it is recommended that you apply early at In addition, there are a limited number of scholarships available through the Palm Beach State College Foundation (

Graduation Certificate: Graduates of the Practical Nursing program will receive a Career Certificate Program (CCP).

Professional Certification/Licensure: Students who graduate from the Practical Nursing program will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam. After successfully completing and PN program and NECLEX-PN exam, a student will be eligible to obtain PN licensure through the Florida Board of Nursing.

Accreditation: The Palm Beach State's Practical Nursing program is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing.

Program Curriculum: Please see Program Overview for more details on Practical Nursing courses, including links to course descriptions.

Required Course Sequence: This program has no course prerequisites.

Catalog Program Details



What's Required to Get Started?

See Program Overview and Program Facts and Deadlines for more information.



Nursing Program Offices (RN, LPN, PCA) Contact Info

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30am to 4:30pm  |  Closed Fri. (Summer ONLY), Sat. & Sun. 

Location: Lake Worth campus - Allied Health (AH) building on the first floor, room AH 110

Contact Number: 561-868-3412


Earn Credits Towards the Registered Nursing Program

Students who enroll in and graduate from our LPN program are automatically eligible for our LPN/Paramedic to Registered Nursing Transition program. To get more information, please visit the RN Transition website .

Graduates of the Practical Nursing program will receive a Career Certificate Program (CCP).

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