Heartland Community College Nursing Program Review

Since its foundation in 1990, Heartland Community College (HCC) has established campuses in Normal, Pontiac, and Lincoln, Illinois, and started more than forty degree programs. Over 5000 degree-seeking students are enrolled, and over 8000 more members of the community take advantage of the college’s continuing education and non-credit courses. Heartland Community College has approval to offer associate degrees and certifications from the Illinois Community College Board and the Higher Learning Association.

It offers both an associate degree and a certificate in the nursing field, as well as a training program for nurse assistants, and is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Nurse Assistant Certificate

Students who wish to enroll in the Practical Nursing Certificate program or in the Associate Degree in Nursing program must begin with the Nurse Assistant Certificate course. This course consists of eight credit hours, and involves both classroom instruction and clinical instruction. Students may elect to take the class over the course of eight weeks or over the course of sixteen weeks. Graduates are eligible to take the state licensing exam to become Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA). From there, they may enter the workforce directly or go on to one of Heartland Community College’s nursing programs.

Practical Nursing Certificate

Students looking for a quick entry into the nursing field can enroll in Heartland Community College’s one-year Practical Nursing Certificate program. In order to be eligible to enroll in the program, a student must become a CNA. Practical nursing courses start in the fall, go through the spring semester, and wrap up in the following summer. Students take twenty-seven credits of nursing courses (seven classes) as well as fourteen credits of general education courses (four classes). General education and nursing classes may be taken simultaneously throughout the program, or a student may opt to complete the general education courses prior to beginning the nursing courses, and so have a lighter course load throughout the three semesters of the program.

Even if the student does opt to complete general education courses before beginning the Practical Nursing program, however, he cannot complete it in less than three semesters. After earning forty-one credits, the student is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX_PN). If successful, he may begin working as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Alternatively, he can take additional nursing classes in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN).

Associate Degree in Nursing

The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at Heartland Community College requires sixty-eight credit hours. As with the Practical Nursing Certificate program, applicants must be CNAs. The program begins each fall, and takes four semesters total to complete. Students simultaneously take nursing courses and general education courses in biology, communication, composition, psychology, and sociology. Graduates of the ADN program are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN).

Associate Degree in Nursing – LPN Advanced Placement

An LPN who wishes to advance in the nursing field can complete the ADN program in less time than the traditional ADN students. While the LPN still has to complete all the general education courses and upper-level nursing courses, she is eligible for nineteen credits toward the first and second semester nursing courses. Depending on how many general education courses she must take, she can complete the ADN program in as little as two semesters. Based on her work experience in the nursing field, an LPN is also allowed to start the ADN program without becoming a CNA.

Heartland Community College
1500 West Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761

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