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LPN Programs Washington State with School Options

Washington State has more than 20 schools that offer LPN programs. Read an overview of 10 of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

In Washington, students have a wide range of schools from which they may choose to earn a certificate or an associate's degree as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). While degree programs include general education classes, certificates concentrate on major classes and nursing experiences. All nursing programs include clinical or practicum requirements.

LPN programs generally have specific admission requirements that must be met either prior to admission or prior to starting clinicals. Although specific requirements may vary by schools, common requirements include having a high school diploma; passing an assessment test; completing prerequisite courses; and passing a criminal background check, drug screening and physical examination. Candidates may also be required to show proof of current immunizations, CPR certification and health/liability insurance.

Career Requirements

To become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Washington State, candidates must complete a state-approved training program and pass a licensing examination. To be state-approved, the program must meet state-specific criteria, such as being at least 60 quarter credits. Once students complete LPN training, they must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Practical nursing programs are often found as diploma programs and can be completed in one year. With licensure, graduates can obtain entry-level LPN positions with nursing homes, hospitals, clinics and assisted-living centers.

Outlined below are 10 Washington schools that offer LPN programs that prepare students to take the licensing examination.


Columbia Basin College

The LPN program at Columbia Basin College in Pasco is part of a career ladder nursing program accredited by the National League for Nursing. Students with no nursing experience can complete one year of training and earn a LPN certificate. Alternatively, currently licensed practical nurses can join the program with advanced placement status, which allows them to avoid taking courses they have already completed while pursuing an associate degree. Aspiring LPNs must complete three levels of nursing courses, which include classroom and lab components. Supporting courses include anatomy and physiology, psychology and pharmacology. Students obtain hands-on training through clinical experiences.

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nurse Technical Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $4,176 in-state; $6,505 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; small city

Everett Community College

Located in Everett, this public college has a nursing program where students can obtain a practical nursing certificate after four academic quarters of study. The program introduces students to basic patient care and health care communication concepts. Students learn how to manage patients' overall health, take and record vital signs and assist patients with hygienic needs. The certificate program includes courses in nutrition, anatomy, physiology, nursing strategies, therapeutics and medical rehabilitation. Students who are interested in continued training can enroll in two additional quarters. After completing six quarters, students are eligible to take the exam to become registered nurses (RNs).

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nursing Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,609 in-state; $8,799 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; small city

Green River Community College

Auburn-based Green River Community College has a four-quarter practical nursing certificate program that teaches students how to administer medication, monitor medical equipment and manage the conditions of patients. The program is 105-110 credits and provides students with classroom instruction and clinical training. Courses include computer usage in nursing, clinical pharmacology, nursing computation, human growth and development, health care safety and case studies in nursing.

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nursing Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,961 in-state; $10,047 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large suburb

Olympic College

Olympic College, which is located in Bremerton, offers a one-year practical nursing program that includes classroom courses and supervised clinical practices in various health care settings. Students learn to provide basic nursing care and gain experience in various areas of nursing, including mental health, geriatric nursing, obstetrics, pediatrics and medical-surgical nursing. Upon completion of all training, students receive a certificate of specialization.

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nursing Certificate of Specialization
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,726 in-state; $4,197 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; small city

Seattle Community College - North Campus

The practical nursing program at the North Campus of this community college in Seattle admits students two times a year. Prior to starting the program, students need to complete prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, English, chemistry, microbiology and lifespan psychology. The 44-credit nursing program includes classroom lectures, laboratory experiences and clinical practice. Courses cover topics like critical thinking in the nursing practice, the role of the LPN, medical/surgical nursing, IV therapy skills, family nursing and nursing fundamentals. By completing a few additional courses, students can earn an associate degree in nursing.

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nursing Certificate,
    Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,862 in-state; $9,052 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large city

Seattle Community College - South Campus

The South Campus of this Seattle community college has a 78-credit licensed practical nurse program that takes four quarters to complete. Although it is a full-time program, classes are held mostly in the evenings and on weekends. Applicants must have a current certified nursing assistant (CNA) license for Washington. In addition to completing prerequisite courses, students complete five sequential nursing courses. By adding general education courses to the curriculum, students can pursue an associate degree.

  • Programs Offered: Licensed Practical Nurse Certificate,
    Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,824 in-state; $9,014 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large city

Skagit Valley College

Mount Vernon-based Skagit Valley College offers a 50-credit practical nursing program that can be taken on a full- or part-time basis. The full-time program is offered every fall semester, while the part-time option (evenings and weekends) is offered every other fall semester. This is a limited-admission program, and students are put on a waiting list to be admitted. Selection is based on admission requirements, including prerequisite courses and current CNA status.

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nursing Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,900 in-state; $4,400 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; small city

South Puget Sound Community College

Located in Olympia, South Puget Sound Community College offers a practical nursing program that's part of a career ladder nursing program. Although students can pursue an associate degree in nursing to become an RN, they only need to complete a portion of this program to be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN. The 72-77 credits required for the practical nursing certificate can be completed in one year. Students must complete 990-1012 contact hours, which include classroom, lab and clinical education.

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nurse Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $4,200 in-state; $9,438 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; small city

Spokane Community College

The LPN program at this community college in Spokane is part of a program that allows the student to earn a practical nursing certificate or an associate degree in nursing. The associate degree program takes two years to complete, but after completing four quarters, the student can take the NCLEX-PN and begin a career as an LPN. The curriculum includes classroom theory and supervised clinical rotations. Classes are typically held during the day, while clinical rotations may be during the evening or on weekends.

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nursing Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,467 in-state; $8,657 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; midsize city

Walla Walla Community College

Located in Walla Walla, this public school offers a four-quarter LPN program that students can complete in one year. Prior to being admitted to the program, students must complete prerequisite courses and be certified nursing assistants in Washington. Prerequisite courses include chemistry, English, math and biology. The nursing program includes classes in the fundamentals of nursing, professional development and nursing concepts. Theory-based courses are typically taken concurrently with lab courses. The final semester has the student completing a clinical practicum course to obtain hands-on training.

  • Programs Offered: Practical Nursing Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,898 in-state; $5,192 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; fringe rural

School Comparison Table

School Name School Type and Setting LPN Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)
Columbia Basin College Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; small city Practical Nurse Technical Certificate $4,176 in-state; $6,505 out-of-state*
Everett Community College Two-year, public; small city Practical Nursing Certificate $3,609 in-state; $8,799 out-of-state*
Green River Community College Two-year, public; large suburb Practical Nursing Certificate $3,961 in-state; $10,047 out-of-state*
Olympic College Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; small city Practical Nursing Certificate of Specialization $3,726 in-state; $4,197 out-of-state*
Seattle Community College - North Campus Two-year, public; large city Practical Nursing Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing
$3,862 in-state; $9,052 out-of-state*
Seattle Community College - South Campus Four-year, primarily associate degrees, public; large city Licensed Practical Nurse Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing
$3,824 in-state; $9,014 out-of-state*
Skagit Valley College Two-year, public; small city Practical Nursing Certificate $3,900 in-state; $4,400 out-of-state*
South Puget Sound Community College Two-year, public; small city Practical Nurse Certificate $4,200 in-state; $9,438 out-of-state*
Spokane Community College Two-year, public; midsize city Practical Nursing Certificate $3,467 in-state; $8,657 out-of-state*
Walla Walla Community College Two-year, public; fringe rural Practical Nursing Certificate $3,898 in-state; $5,192 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.


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