Illinois Valley Community College Nursing Program Review

Since its foundation in the 1920s, Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC) has served students in Oglesby, Illinois, as well as students from the surrounding cities of Peru and LaSalle. The college holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission to offer associate degrees and certificates. In addition to this college-wide accreditation, the nursing programs at Illinois Valley Community College have accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Certified Nurse Assistant Training Program

Before beginning one of the nursing programs at Illinois Valley Community College, a student must complete a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training course. Illinois Valley Community College offers this program three or four times a year, but not along the usual academic schedule. The program dates are announced on the school website and in local newspapers. The program runs eight weeks, and prepares a graduate to take the nurse assistant credentialing test through the Illinois Department of Public Health. Graduates of the program are equipped to go on to further nursing education, or to perform entry-level work in long-term care facilities, hospitals, and clinics.

Practical Nursing Certificate

The Practical Nursing Certificate program at Illinois Valley Community College prepares students to work as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), caring for patients under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN). Before enrolling in the program, students must complete a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training course. Illinois Valley Community College also strongly suggests that students take a study skills course, and a course in medical terminology. Once enrolled, the practical nursing program is full-time, and takes three semesters to complete.

There is no part-time option, and evening classes are not available. The program begins each fall, goes through the spring semester, and wraps up in the summer semester. Students earn a total of forty credit hours, which include both general education requirements and nursing classes. After completing the program, graduates can take the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX_PN) and seek work in the nursing field. Illinois Valley Community College boasts a 96-percent job placement rate for its practical nursing program graduates.

Associate in Applied Science in Nursing

Illinois Valley Community College’s Associate in Applied Science in Nursing (AAS in Nursing) program prepares students to provide medical care as Registered Nurses (RN).  As with the Practical Nursing program, applicants to the AAS in Nursing program should be CNAs. Once enrolled in the program, they will spend two years (four semesters, not including the summer) taking both general education courses and nursing courses, as well as completing clinical rotations. Students have the option of completing general education requirements before the start of the four-semester nursing sequence; this will lighten the course load. Students must earn at least a C in all classes in order to graduate.  

Students must complete the program on a full-time basis; evening classes are not available and the course sequence does not allow for part-time students. After earning a total of seventy-one credits, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN). If successful, they can begin working as RNs. Graduates of the AAS in Nursing program also have the option of earning a full Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through an accelerated RN to BSN program at a four-year college.

However, unlike many other nursing associate degree programs, Illinois Valley Community College’s AAS in Nursing program is not designed for smooth transfer.  If an AAS in Nursing student is planning to transfer into an RN-BSN program, he should work closely with an advisor to make sure that all nursing classes are eligible for transfer and that he has completed all necessary prerequisites and general education requirements.

Illinois Valley Community College
815 North Orlando Smith Avenue
Oglesby, IL 61348

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