Nursing, Practical

Transform Your Passion into a Nursing Career with Comprehensive Training

Practical Nursing student in healthcare lab

Program Overview

Embark on a rewarding and in-demand career as a Licensed Practical Nurse through College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Practical Nursing program. This program will prepare you provide top-notch care to patients in various healthcare settings including long-term care facilities, medical offices, and home healthcare. With options to earn either an Intermediate Technical Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science, you will gain the credentials needed to sit for the NCLEX-PN and start your career with a strong foundation.

Our state-of-the-art facilities and experienced instructors will provide you with a comprehensive education aligned with the latest industry standards and requirements. Through classroom learning and practical, hands-on application, you will learn to manage patient care, work collaboratively, and apply safety and quality improvement practices. Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared to enter the workforce as a confident nursing professional ready to impact the community through high-quality, patient-centered care.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Applied Science

Intermediate Technical Certificate


$8,169 – 9,475

Additional cost may apply.

Time to Complete

1.5 – 2 years

Primary Location

College of Western Idaho Practical Nursing Program

Learning Opportunities

  • Patient Care Proficiency: Learn and practice essential nursing skills to provide compassionate care for patients.
  • Medical Knowledge: Gain a thorough understanding of medical procedures, pharmacology, and patient health assessment.
  • Clinical Experience: Apply your skills in clinical settings, gaining practical experience in actual healthcare environments.
  • Communication Skills: Develop strong communication abilities to effectively interact with patients and healthcare teams.
  • Career Readiness: Prepare to enter the workforce as a competent Practical Nurse, equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge.


Local industry partners, including Saint AlphonsusSt. Luke's, and West Valley Hospital, play a vital role in shaping your education at CWI, offering curriculum guidance and access to preceptorships and employment opportunities. 

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Practical Nursing - Associate of Applied Science Degree




Practical Nursing – Intermediate Technical Certificate




  • Student Outcomes

    The following outcomes reflect the NCLEX exam results of CWI Practical Nursing graduates taking the exam for the first time. 

    • 2023 graduates: 100% pass rate
    • 2022 graduates: 100% pass rate
Practical Nurse working with patient in a wheelchair

Career Opportunities

  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

    Care for ill, injured, or convalescing patients or persons with disabilities in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.

"Because of CWI, I was able to advance my education on my own time and at an affordable cost. I always have people available to help guide me through this journey, and now I will be able to proudly say I got my education and career from CWI. " Read more > about Following His Dreams to Become a Healthcare Hero
Jackson Hagen
Student, Practical Nursing


Admission into the Registered Nursing program is competitive and requires a supplemental application process.


  • Review the Practical Nursing Application Steps which includes details on:
    • qualifications
    • admission to CWI
    • prerequisite classes
    • the Kaplan Nursing Admissions Exam
    • verifying certifications
    • applying to the program
    • next steps


  • Complete each step of the application process as indicated.


  • Submit the program application and necessary documentation by the deadline.

Spring 2025 Application Period

  • Sept. 27 – Nov. 1, 2024

Academic Calendar New Student Checklist

Program Accreditation

The Practical Nursing program at College of Western Idaho at the Canyon County Campus located in Nampa, Idaho, has received its candidacy for accreditation by:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326

The Practical Nursing program is approved by the Idaho State Board of Nursing. Upon satisfactory completion, you will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. Upon passing this exam, you will be licensed to practice nursing as an Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I attend the Practical Nursing Program part-time?

    Students admitted into the Practical Nursing program are placed in a cohort and are expected to attend classes full-time. At this time, a part-time class option is not available.

  • Does CWI have a Practical Nursing to Registered Nursing bridge program?

    At this time, College of Western Idaho does not have a Practical Nursing to Registered Nursing bridge program.

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Applications are now being accepted for College of Western Idaho’s Health Science programs.

Read more about Health Programs 2024 Application Deadlines

Through the Practical Nursing program, Kendra Zirschky is on her way to make her dreams of becoming a healthcare hero come true.

Read more about Paving Her Path to Success

Becoming a nurse has always been the dream for Chelsea Saenz. Despite a detour, she is on her way to achieving her aspirations through CWI's Practical Nursing program.

Read more about Never Too Late to Follow Your Dreams

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

Read more about Fall 2022 Practical Nurse Pinning Ceremony

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

Read more about Upcoming Program Ceremonies to Celebrate Fall 2022 Graduates

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.

Read more about ‘Making a Difference One Person at a Time’: Finding a New Path in Life Through PN Program

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...

Read more about Following His Dreams to Become a Healthcare Hero

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...

Read more about PN Program Looking to Help Fill a Need and Fulfill ‘Dreams’

CWI’s Practical Nursing program marked the completion of its third cohort with a traditional pinning ceremony Thursday, Dec...

Read more about Practical Nursing Program Celebrates 2021 Graduates

CWI's Practical Nursing program celebrated the class of 2020 during a virtual pinning ceremony Dec. 17.

Read more about Practical Nursing Graduates Celebrate with Virtual Event

Idaho nurses, including Nursing students and faculty from CWI, gathered for Nurses Day at the Capitol Feb. 19.

Read more about CWI Nurses Attend Nurses Day at the Capitol
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