Nursing, Practical

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College of Western Idaho Practical Nursing Program

Regardless of specialty or work setting, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) provide patient care, education, and emotional support to patients and their loved ones. LPNs work with providers, and other healthcare team members to record patients' health histories and symptoms, help perform diagnostic tests, operate equipment supporting the patient's healthcare, administer patient medications and treatments, and help with patient follow-up.

The Practical Nursing Program at CWI will prepare you to become a licensed practical nurse by providing you with a combination of theory and laboratory instruction, as well as, clinical experience in the area's healthcare facilities. This program is approved by the Idaho State Board of Nursing, and upon satisfactory completion of the program, you will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. Upon passing this exam, you will be licensed to practice nursing as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Career Outlook

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Practical Nursing is an exciting, growing field that is within reach. Let us help you get started.

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Want to learn more about this program and other healthcare programs at CWI? Join a Healthcare Information Session to learn about the programs, what you can do to prepare for the programs, meet advisors and instructors, and ask questions.

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Application Process and Requirements

Application period for the Spring 2023 cohort has closed.

2024 application opens Sept. 1 and closes Oct. 27, 2023.

Application Process

  1. Complete CWI Associate Degree or Technical Certificate application and be accepted to CWI.
  2. Verify your prerequisite coursework by:
    • Reviewing the program Plan of Study on the Requirements Tab
    • View Your Progress on (Learn How)
  3. Schedule and complete the Kaplan Nursing Admissions Exam at a CWI Assessment and Testing Center in advance of submitting the program application.
    Learn more about preparing for the Kaplan exam.
  4. Complete the NEW Practical Nursing Application and submit by the due date.
  5. Attend a mandatory Program Overview session. Date to be announced.

Practical Nursing Program Application

For help or questions regarding the Practical Nursing Program Application, please contact your advisor, or the Practical Nursing Department:

Joan Weddington
PN Program

Allison Baker
Department Chair

Students planning to continue onto the Professional Nursing program are encouraged to complete the Practical Nursing program prior to applying for the Professional Nursing program.


College of Western Idaho is committed to empowering students to succeed by providing affordable and accessible education to advance the local and global workforce.

College of Western Idaho Practical Nursing Program educates future practitioners in Idaho and the field of nursing. A graduate of the PN Program will serve their clients in a variety of settings in the community through caring, excellence, and respect for diverse populations.

At this time, the Practical Nursing Program is not nationally accredited; however, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination - Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN).

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Human flourishing is difficult to define, but can loosely be expressed as an effort to achieve self-actualization and fulfillment within the context of a larger community of individuals, each with a right to pursue his or her own such efforts.
  • Critical thinking means identifying, evaluating, and using evidence to guide decision-making by means of logic and reasoning.
  • Professional Identity involves the internalization of core values and perspectives recognized as integral to the art and science of nursing. These core values become self-evident as the nurse learns, gains experience, and grows in the profession.
  • A Spirit of Inquiry is the persistent sense of curiosity that informs both learning and practice. A nurse infused by a spirit of inquiry will raise questions, challenge traditional and existing practices, and seek creative approaches to problems.

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

College of Western Idaho nursing students

Saint Alphonsus Health System will be on College of Western Idaho campus to chat to Nursing students about career opportunities on Friday, Jan. 27.

Student being pinned by family member

Seven graduates from College of Western Idaho’s Practical Nursing program marked the completion of their coursework with a traditional nursing ceremony.

Graduates celebrating ceremonies

College of Western Idaho’s Fire Service Technology and Practical Nursing programs will honor their Fall 2022 graduates with ceremonies.

Tiffany Smith

After being a laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, College of Western Idaho student, Tiffany Smith, has found her new calling in life thanks to the College’s Practical Nursing program.

Jackson Hagen

College of Western Idaho student, Jackson Hagen, has his eyes set on becoming a Nurse Practitioner. To do so, he’s enrolled in the College’s Practical Nursing program to help him kickstart start his career,

Alicia D.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Practical Nursing (PN) industry is expected to grow by 6% of the next 10 years. CWI’s PN program hopes to teach and prepare students to help fill those gaps.