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Sandburg PN Program Ranked 4th in Illinois, Expanding to Carthage

Sandburg PN Program Ranked 4th in Illinois, Expanding to Carthage

Carl Sandburg College’s practical nursing program was recently recognized as one of the best in Illinois — and it’s getting bigger.


Sandburg was named by as having the fourth-ranked PN program in the state out of the 38 schools the website analyzed. The one-year certificate program prepares students for entry-level work as a licensed practical nurse (LPN).


Colleges were ranked using data from the previous five years of pass rates on the NCLEX-PN exam, which is used for state licensure. Sandburg had an overall score of 97.02 out of 100 in the website’s analysis.


“It's a great honor for Sandburg to be recognized as one of the premier practical nursing programs in Illinois,” said Dr. Emily Schaeffer, dean of nursing professions. “This ranking is a testament to the dedication our faculty have toward teaching and preparing people for this profession. It also demonstrates the level of work that our students put in during their time here and the knowledge they possess once they graduate and are ready to enter the workforce.”


In addition to having one of the leading practical nursing programs in the state, Sandburg is expanding its PN offering to its Carthage campus. The college conducted a feasibility study regarding the implementation of the program in Carthage, and it was approved this fall by the Illinois Board of Nursing.


Applications for the limited-enrollment program are open through March 1, and classes will begin with the 2024 fall semester. The Carthage campus currently offers a certified nurse assistant (CNA) course in addition to its upcoming PN classes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPNs in Illinois earn just over $28 per hour for an annual average salary of nearly $59,000.


“The addition of this program is the result of a need expressed to us by health care providers in the area,” said Jodi Pospeschil, director of the Branch Campus. “The practical nursing program gives our students additional career opportunities, and it benefits regional employers. This program is a welcome addition to our Carthage campus, and we are pleased with all of the excitement we have seen expressed about it since it was approved by the state.”


To begin the enrollment process or for questions about Sandburg’s practical nursing program, contact the Sandburg Welcome Center at 309.345.3500 or

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