Licensed Practical Nursing Schools in the U.S.

To become a licensed practical nurse, a student must first complete a state-approved nursing program. Many of these practical nursing programs require one year to complete and are offered by community colleges or vocational schools. Licensure is conveyed by the state in which a practical nursing graduate plans to work. Usually this involves sitting for the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN).

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Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) preparation is offered by a number of schools in the form of certificate programs. Graduates are prepared for the licensure exam offered by the state's board of nursing.

Schools with LPN Programs

This table presents information on several schools across the country offering vocational nursing or practical nursing certificate programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public $1,632 in-district
$3,360 in-state
$3,756 out-of-state
Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX 2-year, Public $1,504 in-district
$3,184 in-state
$3,544 out-of-state
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public $2,805 in-state
$9,450 out-of-state
Austin Community College District Austin, TX 2-year, Public $2,550 in-district
$9,210 in-state
$11,340 out-of-state
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public $1,598 in-state
$7,554 out-of-state
Long Beach City College Long Beach, CA 2-year, Public $1,182 in-state
$7,398 out-of-state
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 4-year, Public $2,830 in-state
$9,944 out-of-state
El Paso Community College Jacksonville, FL 2-year, Public $2,386 in-state
$4,042 out-of-state
Metropolitan Community College Kansas City, MO 2-year, Public $2,880 in-district
$5,280 in-state
$6,900 out-of-state
Mt Hood Community College Gresham, OR 2-year, Public $4,841 in-state
$10,016 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Consider the following tips and information when looking for LPN schools:

  • Prospective students should ensure that their program of choice meets the licensure requirements set forth by the state in which they plan to work.
  • It can be helpful to find out what the pass rate is for graduates of the program on the NCLEX-PN exam.
  • Aspiring LPNs may want to find out where clinical training takes place, making sure that they will be able to gain experience in a setting where they might like to get a job in the future, such as a hospital or nursing home.
  • For those who might want to continue their education in the future through an LPN-to-RN or LPN-to-ADN program, it is important to make sure that the credits they earn can be applied to a degree at the school of their choice.

Certificate Programs

Postsecondary programs for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) consist of a combination of classroom-based courses and supervised clinical training. In the classroom, students take basic biomedical courses in anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, as well as more career-focused classes in nursing theory and patient care. Upon completion, graduates are prepared for the NCLEX-PN exam. It is important to note that in Texas and California, LPN programs are called licensed vocational nursing (LVN) programs, but they provide the same education. LPN and LVN programs usually take one year to complete, but some take longer.

Prospective students can prepare for licensure in practical nursing by enrolling in a certificate program. These programs are offered by both 2- and 4-year colleges, and students may want to look for schools where most graduates pass the LPN exam on the first try.

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