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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nursing for you?

Yes, if you are caring, compassionate, accept responsibility, use good judgment, have initiative as an adult learner, willing to be ethically and legally accountable for your actions, and respectful of rights of people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, social status and religious beliefs.

Do I have to be a CNA?

Students applying for Regular Admission to the program must be a CNA and listed on the Illinois Public Health Registry (Health Care Worker Registry).  Students applying for Advanced Placement – Admission as an LPN do not have to be a CNA.

How are students admitted to the Heartland Community College nursing program?

Applications for the Practical Nursing and Associate Degree Nursing programs may be submitted from October to January. Supporting documentation must be submitted by January 30. Check current application materials for the exact deadline dates. Evaluations are completed during February and March. Notification of acceptance or rejection is sent by April 1. Students admitted to the program begin classes the following summer or fall term.

How long is the program?

Heartland offers a one-year Practical Nursing Certificate Sequence and a two-year Associate Degree Nursing Program Sequence. Both programs include general (non-nursing) courses as well as nursing courses. We strongly encourage students to complete all or most of the general (non-nursing) courses prior to being admitted to the nursing program. Also, students may need to take English, math or reading courses if placement testing indicates a student's skills are below college level in any of these areas, and students will need to take BIOL 099 if they do not have the prerequisite for Anatomy and Physiology I or if they have not previously completed the Anatomy and Physiology I course.

Once admitted to the program, Practical Nursing students take classes for two consecutive semesters and a summer term, completing coursework in July. The ADN students take classes for four consecutive semesters and graduate in May of their second year. The sequencing of nursing courses does not allow for a more rapid progression through the program even if general (non-nursing) courses have been completed prior to admission into the nursing program.

Can I complete general education courses while I am in the nursing program?

Yes, however applicants are encouraged to complete the majority of general (non-nursing) courses prior to enrolling in the nursing program.

What is the difference between an RN and an LPN?

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)) are technically trained nurses, according to the Illinois Nursing and Advanced Practice Act. They practice nursing under the supervision of an RN or other health care professional. Registered Professional Nurses (RNs) are nurses who use their professional knowledge, judgment, and skills in the assessment and implementation of the nursing process to meet patient and family needs.

What is the future role of the LPN in health care?

There have been groups in the past that felt that there was no longer a place for LPNs in nursing. At present, LPNs are working in almost every area and type of nursing imaginable, and it is our belief that this trend will continue.

What is the difference between a two-year and a four-year RN?

The two-year Associate Degree Nursing is usually completed at a community college while the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing is completed at a four-year college or university. Students with an ADN and a BSN sit for the same NCLEX-RN exam to become Registered Professional Nurses. For entry-level jobs, there may be no pay difference between the two, although some employers may prefer Bachelor’s prepared nurses or may require a BSN for advancement into management positions. Heartland nursing graduates are employed in a wide variety of settings: hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospice, home care, clinics, schools, industry, physicians' offices, and churches.

How much does the program cost?

The tuition rate for nursing courses is the same as for all other Heartland courses. Other items and approximate costs include:

Nursing program fees and associated costs
Fee Cost
Tuition & Fees: full ADN program (at $139/sem. hour) $10,657
Tuition & Fees: full PN program (at $139/sem. hour) $6,399
Pre-entrance Criminal Background Check $40-50
Pre-entrance Drug Screening $40-50
Pre-entrance TEAS test (Regular Admission) $45
Pre-entrance STEP Test (Advanced Placement - Admission as an LPN) $20
Pre-entrance physical immunizations and labwork varies
Books $1,500-$1,700
Uniforms, Lab Coat, Shoes, and Supplies $325
Stethoscope $40-$50
CPR Certification $40-$60
2 - School Patches ($3-$4 each) $6-8
Personal Health Insurance (student's responsibility) varies
Review Course at the completion of the program $200-$475
NCLEX Application & Exam Fee $300
LiveScan Criminal Background Check for NCLEX Examination $60
State of Illinois License Fee $60
Travel to Clinical Sites varies
Graduation Pin $35-$150

There are a variety of immunizations required by our clinical partners.  A list of immunizations will be distributed after acceptance into the program.

*All tuition, fees, and cost estimates are subject to change without notice.

How much math is involved in nursing?

To be eligible for admission, students must test into college-level math or take the appropriate courses to reach college-level math by January 31. The college placement test will tell you and your advisor if you need some assistance in meeting the nursing admissions requirement.

NURS 113 requires students to complete math calculations.  In addition, nursing classes have a math component that requires students to pass a Clinical Calculations Test in each clinical course. Students must pass the Clinical Calculations Test to pass the nursing courses.

Where are the clinicals?

Most clinicals are in the Bloomington/Normal area and include Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, O.S.F. St. Joseph’s Medical Center, and various long-term care facilities. A limited amount of travel will be required to sites in Chenoa, El Paso, Lincoln, Peoria, Pontiac, and/or Springfield for some specialized clinical experiences.

Do you have a waiting list?

Heartland does not carry over a waiting list of qualified applicants from year to year. Qualified students who are not admitted need to submit a new application the following year so that we are aware of their continued interest in the program.

Are financial aid and scholarships available?

Yes, financial aid is available. Please check with the Financial Aid Office in Enrollment Services to determine your eligibility for financial aid and various college-wide scholarships.  Students must complete the FAFSA form to be considered for financial aid and/or scholarships.