The Danville Junior College School of Practical Nursing opened on September 22, 1963, at Washington Public School as part of the vocational Education Program of District #118. Funds for the Program were provided under the Federal Manpower Training Act of 1962. In June of 1966, the college separated from Danville School District #118 and became an independent two-year area college under the control of the Board of Trustees of Community College District No. 507. The Practical Nursing Program, however, remained within District #118 until 1969. In April of that year, the Advisory Committee to the School of Practical Nursing became concerned about problems associated with securing federal funds for the nursing program on a continual basis. This group of interested individuals initiated efforts to have the program transferred to the college where its continuation would be assured. Through the cooperation of the administration of Danville School District #118 and Danville Junior College, the transfer was accomplished on July 1, 1969. The program was placed in the Health and Physical Education Department. In May of 1979, the Board of Trustees of Danville Junior College voted to change the name of the College to Danville Area Community College. This name was officially adopted on July 1, 1979.
Since 1969, the Nursing Program has undergone many changes in order to maintain its viability in a rapidly changing health care environment. The Program is now under the auspices of the Math, Sciences and Health Profession division at Danville Area Community College. The Program is approved through the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Student tuition, fees, as well as multiple federal and local grants have helped to sustain the level of technology and expansion of basic nursing skills which have continued to keep the program strong within the community.
In June of 1995, Administration at Danville Area Community College filed a letter of intent with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation to study the feasibility of an Associate Degree in Nursing Program. This was to be a collaborative effort between current nursing education and health care facilities in the community. On May 1, 1998, the feasibility study was approved by the State and curriculum writing began.
On Friday, July 9, 1999, the Board of Nursing of the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation approved an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN/RN) at Danville Area Community College. As a result of the meeting, Associate Degree Nursing Education began on two levels at DACC in August 1999.
In 2012, the Nursing Program was granted candidacy status for accreditation. In October 2013, an accreditation visit was made by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. After extensive review of the documents provided, in March 2014, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Board of Commissioners granted initial accreditation to the associate degree nursing program. Becoming an accredited nursing program demonstrates the commitment to quality nursing education.
The Program is a ladder approach in which the student is eligible after the second semester to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN), which is required to obtain state licensure as a licensed practical nurse. After completion of the fourth semester, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN), which is required for state licensure as a registered nurse. In addition, LPNs may enter after the 2nd semester and be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN after two semesters of nursing courses.