Academics :: School of Health Professions

Practical Nursing (LPN)


What do I need to do to apply?

Complete the following and submit appropriate material directly to: Pam Woody, VWCC - Health Professions, P.O. Box 14007, Roanoke, VA 24038 by April 1, 2014.

  1. Apply to the college by completing a Virginia Western college application, if not currently attending. You are encouraged to complete the application on-line at Please make sure you indicate your program/plan of study as Practical Nursing on the application.
  2. Apply to the Practical Nursing Program by completing a 2014 Practical Nursing Application form. You must submit this by mail or in person (handwritten essay should be included).
  3. Have all official sealed transcripts (high school and college) and a copy of GED scores (if applicable). When possible applicants should request official t ranscripts from high school and all colleges attended/attempted to be mailed to your home address. Upon receipt of transcripts, do not open the sealed official envelope(s). Place all unopened transcripts with your program application/essay into one larger envelope and mail to Miss Woody or hand-deliver to her office in Anderson Hall – Room 122. GED holders must submit a copy of their GED scores and also submit official high school transcripts if they completed at least through the 9th grade of high school. Transcripts must be submitted from all colleges attended (except VWCC or any other Virginia Community College). If any school refuses to issue an official transcript directly to student, please have it sent directly to Health Professions/Pam Woody. You should receive the practical nursing advising form letter after your complete academic file is reviewed (usually 3-4 weeks after submission).
Please note: The required GPA is calculated as of the end of the Fall 2013 semester. All applicants who attempt or complete college or high school courses after their initial academic file is complete must submit updated transcripts through Fall '13 prior to the April 1, 2014 deadline. High school seniors (who apply early) must provide an updated HS transcript for the grading period that ends usually in late January (must be postmarked) before April 1st deadline.

What are the minimum academic requirements to be considered for the program?

A high school diploma or GED. Applicants must have a cumulative high school or college-level GPA of 2.0 or higher. High school graduates and GED holders who earned less than a 2.0 GPA during high school will be considered for admission if they have generated a college GPA of 2.0 or above. The GPA is calculated at the most recent institution/college you attended and completed at least 12 college credit hours completed. The GPA is determined at the end of the fall semester (2013).

The following high school courses with a grade of "C" or higher: Algebra I and Biology. Appropriate developmental or college course equivalents can be substituted. Must be completed by the end of Summer 2014 to be eligible for the 2014 program. Priority will be given to those who complete by the end of Spring.

Are there additional requirements?

Yes. You must submit a handwritten essay with your program application. Instructions are provided on the back of the program application form. This must be submitted prior to the April 1, 2014 deadline. Applicants being considered will be required to take an entrance examination (HESI) in the spring of 2014. Applicants are responsible for the exam fee. All eligible applicants must attend a personal interview with the program faculty in April.

When should I apply?

Applications for the 2014 class are being accepted now and must be completed no later than April 1, 2014. The 2013 class is already filled. If you apply now, this will allow us to help you plan and suggest proper courses to begin your studies. Current enrollment in missing prerequisites is not required to apply early, but must be successfully completed before entering the program. You may benefit from advising by the Pre-Practical Nursing advisor, who will be able to discuss your transcript(s), placement testing, prerequisites, support classes, etc. and complete any needed transfer evaluations for you (if applicable).

Is admission to the program very competitive? Are there admission priorities?

Approximately thirty-five (35) students will be admitted to the 2014 Practical Nursing class. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and have either completed all high school prerequisites or anticipate completion of the missing prerequisites by the end of Spring 2014. Meeting the curriculum admission standards does not guarantee program admission.

Who makes the admission decisions? When are the results given to the applicants?

Admission decisions are made by the Practical Nursing Admissions Committee, which meets in May. Admission decisions are mailed to the applicants as soon as possible, usually in mid-May. This program is four semesters in length (Fall/Spring and Fall/Spring).

Will I need to take any courses to be eligible for the program?

Some applicants may need developmental courses for math or English (prior to prerequisites or support courses), which can be determined by reviewing your placement testing results with a counselor. A review of your transcripts after application will assist in determining if you lack the required prerequisites (Algebra I and Biology). If you need to establish a 2.0 GPA, please speak to the advisor to determine appropriate coursework prior to the fall semester. Applicants interested in taking additional curricular support courses prior to knowing if they are accepted are encouraged to work with the advisor to see if taking support classes is practical based on their individual circumstances (taking in consideration whether they are part-time, full-time, financial circumstances, holding a job, etc.). Some students elect to take some of the general education courses such as English 111, PSY 230 and SDV 100 before beginning the program, but they are not treated as prerequisites.

Can I be a LPN if I am a convicted felon?

In the state of Virginia, if someone has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor they may not be allowed to take the LPN licensing exam. The question of eligibility to take the LPN licensing exam cannot be determined until application for licensure is received by the State Board of Nursing. VWCC has no control over whether or not the Board of Nursing in Virginia or other states will allow the student to take the NCLEX exam. If you wish to discuss this issue, you may call the LPN Program Head at (540) 857-6176.

How do I obtain licensure as a licensed practical nurse?

You must successfully complete an approved Practical Nursing education program and pass a licensure exam, which is administered by the National Council of the State Board of Nursing. You must apply to the regulatory board of the state in which you plan to practice. The general requirements include personal, character, and criminal background information. Application for the licensure examination will be provided toward the end of the fourth semester in the Practical Nursing program.

Does VWCC have a transition program for LPN's who want to become RNs? What would be required?

Currently VWCC does not offer a program for LPN's to transition to the nursing program. However, LPN's are welcome to apply for the Associate of Applied Science - Nursing (RN) program. LPN's who meet the admission requirements will be considered on the same basis as all other applicants. The college hopes to offer a revised transition curriculum in the near future. If you need more information, please call the advisor at 857-7307.

What process do I follow if I want to apply for a future year?

If you are interested in taking classes to prepare for future entry into the program, but you are unsure when you will be eligible, please submit the 2014 application form with the appropriate transcripts. This will allow us to help you plan and suggest proper courses to begin your studies.

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