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Practical Nursing

Health Sciences

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are an integral part of the healthcare team and are employed in a variety of different work settings such as hospitals, clinics, homes, extended care facilities, and nursing homes. LPNs work under the direct supervision of registered nurses and/or physician. They perform many duties such as assisting patients with activities of daily living, taking vital signs, observing patients, dressing wounds, and administering medication. Individuals interested in becoming a licensed practical nurse should have a sincere interest in caring for people, display professional behaviors and possess sound judgment as it will be their responsibility to provide basic bedside care for patients who may be experiencing substantial alterations in health.

The Fast Track Practical Nursing Program is a terminal practical nurse program for college credit. The design of the curriculum permits an economical and efficient method of education to prepare the graduate to sit for the practical nurse licensing exam. GateWay Community College (GWCC) awards the certificate of completion for the Nurse Assisting and Practical Nursing Programs in addition to the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. The Fast Track Practical Nursing Program is a separate program in relationship to the Maricopa Nursing Program. Applicants may enter the Fast Track Practical Nursing Program after completing the required prerequisites.

The Fast Track Practical Nursing Program provides students with the theory and skills required to practice as a practical nurse in acute care, extended care, and intermediate care settings. The program of study combines nursing theory with planned patient care learning experiences in hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare agencies. Various teaching strategies are used throughout the program of study. Lecture, role play, online case studies, and simulation are a few of the teaching methods students will be engaged in during the program. It is important to note that technology is used extensively during the program. It is strongly recommended that students have access to a personal computer; however, computers for student use on campus are available through the college computer commons.

Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-PN) to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Licensing requirements are the exclusive responsibility of the Arizona State Board of Nursing according to Title 32, Chapter 15 of the Arizona Revised Statues.

Following are the Fast Track Practical Nursing Program competencies:

  • Function effectively in the role of the beginning Practical Nurse under the direction of a Registered Nurse
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and evidence based practice through utilization of the nursing process as a guideline in providing nursing care
  • Assist with data collection and contribute to the established plan of care
  • Implement an established plan of care using appropriate practical nursing knowledge
  • Assist with the evaluation of nursing care based on established outcome criteria
  • Apply therapeutic communication techniques in providing basic nursing care for clients throughout the lifespan
  • Perform technical aspects of basic, safe nursing care
  • Demonstrate identified caring behaviors
  • Function in accordance with the ethical and legal standards of practical nursing practice
  • Illustrate use of relevant technology for client care and documentation

Take advantage of these "Nursing School Success Stories" workshops in Fall 2019


All students interested in any of our Nursing programs will be required to attend an Information/Advising session, which will provide in-depth information and enrollment guidance. An application and student ID (MEID) must be created prior to the Information Session. Only students who attend a session may meet with a Nursing program advisor one on one.

Virtual Information Sessions

Practical Nursing

Monday, February 1, 3:00 p.m. 
Friday, February 19, 10 a.m.
Monday, March 1, 3:00 p.m.
Friday, March 12, 10 a.m.
Monday, March 22, 3 p.m.
Friday, April 9, 10 a.m.
Monday, April 19, 3 p.m.
Friday, May 7, 10 a.m.

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Program Locations

Washington Campus

Program Cost

Certificate of Completion in Fast Track Practical Nursing:  $3,792*

* Please note that these are only estimates and do not include books. These estimates may change based on increases to tuition, course fees and book costs. Estimates are based on tuition rates for in-county students. Additional fees may apply.

Degrees & Certificates


Accreditation is a process used to measure and certify the credibility and quality of services offered by an organization.

The GateWay Fast Track Practical Nursing Program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

GateWay is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Why should you choose an accredited school?

Although many schools offer seemingly similar degree and certification options, not all schools are accredited. In many instances, accreditation of the degree or program you complete may be required in order to become certified to work in the field.