Riverland Community College Nursing Program Review

Riverland Community College (RCC), founded in 1996 was born by a merger of numerous older colleges and vocational institutes including South Central Technical and Riverland Technical Colleges. Since establishment of the community college, it has acquired three campuses in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna in its mission to bring higher education to the community. Riverland Community College offers two year programs as occupational entry programs and transfer programs. Diploma and Certificate programs are also offered in addition to lifelong learning and continuing education opportunities.

Nursing at Riverland Community College

A total of five nursing programs are available at Riverland Community College under the department of nursing. One program is a mobility program that encompasses two nursing programs i.e. a one year diploma and a progression option for the same to an associate degree. An entry level program for new students leading to an associate program is also available in addition to two certificate nursing programs.

Professional Nursing

This program at Riverland Community college is a two in one upwards nursing mobility program. This means that the program has two exit points; one for a diploma and a progression to an associate degree as outlined below:

  • Practical Nursing

This is the starting point of the upward mobility program. During the first year of this two-year program, students take 38 credits and have three options. First, they can decide to exit the program and sit for the NLCEX-PN exam for licensure to practice as practical nurses. Secondly, students may take the NCLEX-PN exam and still continue with a second year of the upward mobility program. Thirdly, students may decline to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam and continue directly and flawlessly into the second year.

  • Associate Nursing

The program is a continuous program from the practical nursing. It takes only graduates of the first year portion who wish to progress into professional nursing. To fulfill the requirements for the associate degree, students take extra 32 credits to reach the 72 required for the Associate. Upon successful completion of the second year, the student will be in a position to write the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered nurses.

PN Mobility

Licensed practice nurses who are not graduates of Riverland Community College may enroll for the PN mobility program to become registered nurses. Candidates for the program must have active and current practical nursing licenses for the state of Minnesota. LPNs receive advanced standing in recognition of their LPN licenses and must have completed 30 general education credits before starting on the nursing courses of the associate degree. A total of 72 credits including the advanced standing credits must be completed within one year to be eligible for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Nursing Assistant/ Home Health Aide

This program consists of 2 lecture and 2 lab sessions of 4 nursing assisting credits. Focus is on nurse assisting in long term care facilities and home health care. Upon completion, a certificate is awarded and eligibility to take the Nurse Aide Competency exam, hence being placed on the States nursing Assistant Registry.


All nursing programs at Riverland Community College are offered in a hybrid format of web-based, online and at Austin Campus.

Riverland Community College
2200 Riverland Dr, Albert Lea,
MN 56007