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Top Schools for Licensed Vocational Nurse Training

Read about programs for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), or practical nurses, who provide care to patients under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or physicians. Find information about the program options at four colleges and universities, as well as an overview of other top schools that offer programs for LVNs.

To become an LVN, students can complete certificate and associate's degree programs offered by community colleges and 4-year university nursing departments. It is important to note that the term 'Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)' is only used in California and Texas; schools in other states use the term 'Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)' for the same profession.

School Information

Top programs can be found at Lewis-Clark State College, Lake Superior State University, Indian River State College and Bronx Community College - CUNY. The first three schools were regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017, while the fourth offers a unique evening/weekend program to meet the needs of working professionals.

Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID

School Highlight: Practical nursing program is the first in Idaho to award an Associate of Applied Science.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Lewis-Clark State College tied at 6th among public schools and tied at 23rd among regional colleges in the West. Lewis-Clark State College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing program. Students take courses in practical nursing theory, maternal and child health, anatomy and physiology. Laboratory sessions and clinical practicums are required as well. The college also offers an LPN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program for licensed practical nurses who would like to become RNs.

Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, MI

School Highlight: Students can join the Lake State Student Nurses Association.

This school ranked tied at 5th among public schools in the Midwest regional colleges category by U.S. News & World Report in 2017. Students in its practical nursing certificate program can prepare for licensure by completing coursework and clinical requirements in pediatric and surgical nursing, pharmacology and nutrition, among other areas. The school also offers an Associate of Applied Science - Health Care Provider for practical nursing students who would like to prepare for BSN programs by enrolling in an additional year of coursework.

Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, FL

School Highlight: The school offers a one-year Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report named Indian River State College a second-tier school among regional colleges in the South. In the school's practical nursing certificate program, students learn about the fundamentals of practical nursing, the structure and function of the body and medical/surgical practical nursing. Program graduates can acquire advanced placement if they wish to enroll in the associate's degree program in registered nursing.

Bronx Community College - CUNY in Bronx, NY

School Highlight: The LPN certificate program can be completed in the evening and on weekends.

In order to meet the needs of students with scheduling constraints, Bronx Community College offers its LPN certificate courses in the evenings and on weekends. Some courses are also available online. In total, students complete 56 credits of coursework, 22 of which are directly transferable to the school's full RN program. Upon completion of the certificate program, students are prepared for the New York State National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEXPN).

Top Licensed Vocational Nursing Schools

Here are some more colleges with relevant offerings in the practical nursing field:

  • Clarkson College in Omaha, NE, was the first school in the state to focus solely on health sciences education.
  • Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH, offers online tutoring services to students enrolled in its practical nursing certificate program.
  • At Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI, the Nursing Association is one of many academic clubs available to students.
  • At Dickinson State University in Dickinson, ND, students can receive course credit for participating in activities sponsored by the Nursing Students' Association.
  • Farmingdale State College - SUNY in Farmingdale, NY, was ranked tied at 17th on U.S. News & World Report's list of regional colleges in the North for 2017.
  • Weber University in Ogden, UT, offers the practical and registered nurse re-entry program to nurses who wish to reactivate their licenses.

Aspiring LVNs and LPNs can find programs to prepare them for licensure at well-regarded two-year colleges and four-year schools; alternative scheduling options are available at some institutions.

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