Central Susquehanna IU 16: In-depth Training for Future LPNs

The learning at Central Susquehanna LPN Career Center is hands-on, medically intensive, and provides a shot of hope for students striving for self-sufficiency.

The LPN Career Center has grown into its fourth home since it was founded in the 1960s and has been cultivating the hearts and minds of nursing students for nearly 50 years. Its staff now trains up to 130 full- and part-time students per year for work as licensed practical nurses. Ages 18 to 65, they might be directly out of high school, looking for fulfilling second careers, or striving to leave public assistance. Many pursue further studies as registered nurses.

Classroom medical studies are in-depth and scientific. Through partnerships with three hospitals and four nursing homes, students get intensive hands-on experiences, providing direct care to patients.

“The students attending our nursing program are not just doing tasks, but they know why they’re doing them and how the patient benefits,” said Director Kimberly Delbo.

Ninety-eight percent of graduates pass the state licensing exam on the first try. Teacher-to-student ratio is ten to one in clinical, and faculty – including Delbo, an RN – continue working in their ever-changing fields to keep their skills sharp.

The center has been administered by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit since 1997. A few years ago, the CSIU received a $9.1 million federal Health Professions Opportunity Grant to support individuals as they enter or climb the ladder of healthcare careers.

“It has been very instrumental, particularly, for single parents and those who are in need and meet the Work Attributes Towards Career in Healthcare guidelines,” said Delbo. “It has allowed many of our students to obtain a self-sustaining and rewarding career.”

LPNs are in high demand at long-term care facilities and urgent care centers, and at least 95 percent of LPN Center graduates find jobs within six months following matriculation. Most remain in the area, devoting their training and talents to the rural Central Susquehanna region around Lewisburg.

“Our goal is to make them the best practical nurses they can be as we strive to promote excellence.” says Delbo. 

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