LVN School and College Program Overviews

Schools around the country train students as licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) as they are referred to in California and Texas. Find out about the education needed for this career.

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Students may find LVN programs at community colleges, vocational schools and technical institutes. Aspiring LVNs must complete a postsecondary training program and pass a licensure exam before they are eligible to practice.

10 Schools with LVN Programs

The following are among the most popular schools for LPN or LVN programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees (20125-2016)*
Long Beach City College Long Beach, CA 2-year, Public 1- <2-year certificate, Associate's $1,182 (in-state)
$7,398 (out-of-state
Pasadena City College Pasadena, CA 2-year, Public 1-<2-year certificate, Associate's $1,152 (in-state)
$6,180 (out-of-state)
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public 1-<2-year certificate $1,632 (in-state)
$3,360 (out-of-state)
Riverside City College Riverside, CA 2-year, Public 1- <2-year certificate, Associate's $1,426 (in-state)
$7,366 (out-of-state)
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public 1-<2-year certificate $1,598 (in-state)
$7,554 (out-of-state)
Holyoke Community College Holyoke, MA 2-year, Public 1-<2-year certificate $4,166 (in-state)
$9,110 (out-of-state)
Akron School of Practical Nursing Akron, OH <2-year, Public 1-<2-year certificate $12,035
North Shore Community College Danvers, MA 2-year, Public 1-<2-year certificate $4,536 (in-state)
$10,104 (out-of-state)
North Seattle College Seattle, WA 2-year, Public Undergraduate certificate, Associate's $4,458 (in-state)
$9,693 (out-of-state)
Alpena Community College Alpena, MI 2-year, Public 1-<2-year certificate $4,140 (in-district)
$6210 (in-state)
$6,210 (out-of-state)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

The following are a number of factors to consider when looking into an LVN Program:

  • Students should ensure that the program is approved by their state board of nursing.
  • It can be helpful to find out what the pass rate is for graduates on the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
  • Working students may want to look for programs with flexible scheduling options, such as part-time or online classes.
  • It can be helpful for prospective students to find out where practicums are available to make sure that they get hands-on experiences in the environment where they would like to work in the future, such as a community health agency or nursing home.

Certificate Programs

Most LVNs get the training they need by earning an undergraduate certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. Students take classroom-based courses in basic medical topics, and they complete supervised clinical training experiences in order to gain experience with patient care. Practicums may also be included in the curriculum. When they finish, students are prepared to take the state's licensure exam.

Associate's Degree Programs

After completing an LVN certificate program, some schools allow trained LVNs to enroll in an LVN-to-ADN program. In these programs, students take a series of more advanced nursing courses, and they fulfill general education requirements. Graduates are typically awarded an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Depending on the school, these programs can last for 1-2 years.

There are many schools that provide relevant training for LVNs and LPNs. It is important to look for accredited schools where graduates do well on the NCLEX-PN.

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The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

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