Capital Area Career Center Nursing Program Review

The Capital Area Career Center (CACC) offers work-training opportunities to high school juniors and seniors in Springfield, Illinois and the surrounding area, in preparation for direct entry into careers and as college credit toward a full associate or baccalaureate degree.

In addition to its own program in Health Occupations for high school students, the Capital Area Career Center hosts the Capital Area School of Practical Nursing, which has offered a practical nursing program since the 1950s. This program is not limited to high school students; it is open to any adult (over the age of 17) who wishes to pursue a career in nursing.

Practical Nursing Certificate

The Capital Area School of Practical Nursing offers only one program, which is accredited by the North Central Association, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. There are no perquisite courses for the program, but a prospective student must be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and have CPR certification. Students in the practical nursing program receive 1330 hours of instruction over the course of nine months. The instruction takes place both in the classroom and through clinical placements.

The nine-month program is broken into four quarters; students must take all classes in a set progression through the four quarters. The first quarter consists of basic classes in nutrition, anatomy and physiology, and nursing basics. From this first quarter, students transition into more intense nursing classes that focus on medical surgical nursing, mental health nursing, pediatric nursing, and maternal/newborn nursing. The practical nursing program begins each August and each February. At the end of the program, students are prepared to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX_PN). If they are successful, they may seek work as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). The Capital Area School of Practical Nursing boasts a 98-percent job placement rate.

Health Occupations

The Capital Area Career Center offers a Health Occupations program for high school juniors and seniors who are considering a career in the healthcare field, and it is excellent preparation for students who are considering the practical nursing program through the Capital Area School of Nursing. The Health Occupations program trains students to be aides in a variety of healthcare settings, including doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, long-term care facilities, veterinary clinics, and patients’ homes. Students learn basic medical skills such as CPR, taking blood pressure, keeping medical records, lifting and transferring patients, and recognizing basic health problems and diseases.

Students complete the program over two years on a part-time basis, throughout their junior and senior years of high school. The second-year coursework includes a summer internship, three days a week. At the end of the program, graduates are registered with the Illinois Department of Public Health as licensed aides. They can go directly from high school into the healthcare field, or they could transition with ease into a program such as the practical nursing program at the Capital Area School of Nursing.

After just the first year though, students will be included in the Department of of public Health’s registry of people with basic nurse aide training. Those students who want to work in nursing homes will need to complete the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Program Exam and also get through a criminal background check. If successful, a student can then call themselves a CNA (Certified Nurse Aide a.k.a Certified Nursing Assistant).

Capital Area Career Center
2201 Toronto Road
Springfield, IL 62712

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