Every community college in New Jersey has a nursing program, but only a handful have programs for licensed practical nurses. If you didn't pursue an LPN certificate through a high-school vo-tech program and aren’t ready to go after an associate or registered-nurse degree, these programs are worth considering. Demand for LPNs is high, and you can seek an advanced degree once you have your LPN certificate in hand.

Southern New Jersey

At Cumberland County College, a student can obtain an LPN certificate in one year. The program is designed so you can continue your studies and eventually become a registered nurse if that’s your goal. Salem Community College also has a one-year LPN program. Admission to the nursing program requires a high-school GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last five years. You also need proof of immunization, and you must take the Test of Essential Academic Skills to enroll. Like Union County College’s program, Salem’s is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Northern New Jersey

Essex County College has a two-year certificate program for aspiring LPNs. You need a high-school diploma or GED and a passing score on an entrance exam to qualify. You may take developmental courses if you’re not prepared for college-level English or math classes. Union County College’s full-time, four-semester practical-nursing program offers clinical rotations during the day, evening or weekend to meet the needs of its students. It’s one of only two practical-nursing programs at community colleges in the state accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

New York City Area

In the practical-nursing program at Hudson County Community College, students work under the direction of a registered nurse or doctor. You must complete courses in English composition and math for health sciences in order to graduate. Eight additional health-related courses are required. You must pass a criminal background check and a health check. The program prepares you to pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure Examination to receive your certificate. The college is accessible by car, New Jersey Transit buses and PATH trains.

Philadelphia Area

Camden County College has a two-year LPN program with introductory level classes in English composition, biology, nutrition and medical terminology. Its Introduction to Practical Nursing course covers effective communication, cultural diversity, pain management and alternative therapies. The curriculum includes a mental-health course. You benefit from the advice of the program director and professionals in the field, and special help is offered to students for whom English is their second language. You may take advantage of a free, walk-in tutoring center.

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