LPN Schools and Programs

Article Sources


Bureau of Labor Statistics, Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses, OES, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292061.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses, OOH, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm

NAPNES, Certifications, http://napnes.org/drupal-7.4/Certifications

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, NCLEX-PN Pass Rates, https://www.ncsbn.org/Table_of_Pass_Rates_2014.pdf

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, NCLEX-PN, https://www.ncsbn.org/2014_PN_TestPlan.pdf

NFLPN, Certifications, http://www.nflpn.org/certification.html


Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), also commonly called licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), are typically entry-level medical professionals within the nursing industry. Although LPNs do not have the same training as registered nurses, they remain important, critical members of the health care system. In fact, more than 700,000 individuals worked at licensed practical nurses across the country in 2007, according to employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov).

LPNs typically perform a range of duties, from observing and reporting about a patient's condition to administering medications, providing therapy assistance to handling wound care. Health care settings may also impact LPN responsibilities, as a licensed practical nurse working in an ambulatory care center may have different tasks than an LPN working in a hospital.

Whether it is managing oxygen supplies or helping a patient bathe, LPNs develop the skills and fundamental knowledge necessary to assist patients through licensed practical nurse training programs.

Licensed practical nursing education and training

Students thinking about a career as an LPN have several educational tracks to consider, including diploma and associate degree programs. According to information from the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, these programs may be completed by some students in as little as seven months to two years of full-time study.

For nurses desiring upward mobility, completing an associate degree can serve as the first step towards earning a registered nurse designation. On the other hand, diploma programs are traditionally designed to prepare nurses to earn their LPN/LVN license.

Diploma programs. These programs are usually created to help nurses finish their study in approximately one year and focus on core technical skills to apply for LPN licensure in their state of residence. Prospective students should contact their school, university or college about specific program requirements prior to enrolling in classes.

Associate degrees. Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees can be considered part of a larger nursing education ecosystem, preparing licensed practical nurses to work in the field and eventually move into registered nurse educational programs (LPN-to-RN).

As noted above, associate degrees for LPN and LVN are usually part of a larger LPN/LVN-to-RN programs, preparing students to work as an LPN/LVN and then moving into the registered nurse profession.

Licensed practical nursing licensing

Completing an associate degree or diploma program does not qualify graduates to work as LPNs. They must also complete licensure requirements, which are managed individually by state boards of nursing. Prospective students should be aware of their state's licensing requirements and can contact the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to get their state's contact information.

Generally speaking, LPN licensing requirements are founded on education and examination. For education, applicants must attend and successfully graduate from a state-approved LPN program of nursing.

Examination includes successfully passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical/Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN), which is operated by the National Council State Boards of Nursing. In addition to education and examination requirements, prospective LPNs/LVNs may also have to complete other items, including paying fees or passing a criminal background check.

Licensed practical nursing certifications

Two major organizations offer certifications to LPNs: National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc. (NAPNES) and the National Federation for Licensed Practical Nurses (NFLPN).

NAPNES offers three certification paths: IV therapy (IVT), long-term care (CLTC) and pharmacology (NCP), while NFLPN offers two: gerontology (GC) and IV therapy (IVC).

Licensed practical nursing salaries

According to earnings data from the BLS, LPNs/LNVs earned a national average salary of $42,910, with the top 10 percent taking home at least $58,000. The top paying industries included medical and diagnostic laboratories, home health care services and outpatient care centers.

Below is a list of the top five paying industries for LPNs in 2013:

  1. Medical and diagnostic laboratories: $46,070
  2. Home health care services: $44,970
  3. Outpatient care centers: $44,870
  4. Privately owned specialty hospitals: $44,870
  5. Continuing care retirement communities: $44,230

Location, just as industry, impacts earning potential. The best paying states for LPNs in 2013, according to the BLS were Connecticut, Alaska and Nevada. Here is a list of the top five paying states in 2013:

  1. Connecticut: $54,690
  2. Alaska: $54,010
  3. Nevada: $53,490
  4. Massachusetts: $53,020
  5. New Jersey: $52,080

Job growth projections for LVNs/LPNs

The entire health care industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country, and additional employment data from the BLS projects national career growth for LPNs could reach 25 percent between 2012 and 2022.

The five states with the largest number of LPNs in 2013 included: Texas (71,890), California (60,700), New York (50,010), Florida (43,950) and Ohio (40,970). The five states expected to see the largest employment gains between 2012 and 2022 include the following:

  1. Utah: 34.5%
  2. Arizona: 30.1%
  3. Texas: 27.6%
  4. Virginia: 26.7%
  5. California: 25.7%

With its faster-than-average employment projections, average salaries topping $42,000, multiple educational avenues and potential upward mobility, licensed practical nursing training programs may be attractive for students seeking new career opportunities.

Article Sources
Lpn Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
  • Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions
  • Degree Variety: GCU offers a full-spectrum of nursing programs including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-master’s certificates.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu-accreditation).
  • GCU provides a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Depending on the degree you choose, you could take online, evening, or on-campus classes. Speak with an enrollment counselor to discuss your options!
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Vocational Nursing
  • Offers accelerated programs w/ flexible schedules & professional instruction
  • Multiple accredited campuses across 9 states including CA, TX, NV, & PA
  • 10 + programs including Practical Nursing, Dental and Medical Assisting
  • Provides professional development training & career planning resources
  • Military Student Center (MSC) is committed to the success of military students
Show more [+]
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Began in 1909 as a single classroom in Los Angeles.
  • Offers no-cost dental clinic in Anaheim, where students gain experience by offering a selection of free dental services.
  • Involved in philanthropy, through partnerships with several organizations, such as the California Institute for Nursing and Healthcare (CINHC) and Shriner’s Hospital.
  • Accredited by The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.
  • Has 4 California campuses and 2 other campuses in Florida and Texas.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
MSN: Nursing Education Specialization
  • USM is a renown four-year Catholic liberal arts university founded in 1923
  • Received a 2017 Best Value School Award by University Research & Review
  • USM's 11:1 student-teacher ratio is one of the best in the nation
  • The Princeton Review named USM a “Best Midwestern College” every year since 2005
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission & with programmatic accreditations
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Presents stimulating, thoughtful programs for students in every academic field
  • SACS accredited w/many accreditations per program & 14:1 teacher-student ratio
  • 7 colleges with dozens of majors & programs to choose from for undergrads & grads
  • Beautiful 248 acre campus with ¾ mile waterfront located in Jacksonville, FL
  • Named an “America’s Best College” in the south for 10+ years, US News & World Report
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
RN to MS - Nursing Informatics
  • As a CCNE-accredited school of nursing, Wilkes University is fully committed to preparing our students for a career of lifelong learning and success in a constantly evolving, dynamic profession.
  • We offer online programs for nurses at any stage in their career. From our R.N. to M.S.N., to our Ph.D. in Nursing, choose the program that is right for you.
  • Learn from doctorally-prepared, highly qualified instructors. Our faculty are true "scholar-practitioners," and bring real-world experience to every subject.
  • Receive a supportive, student-focused online education. Our programs are designed so that you can complete coursework when and where it's convenient for you.
  • We offer accelerated completion options for qualified students in our R.N. to M.S.N. and M.S.N. programs – earn your master’s degree fully online and finish faster.
  • Our net tuition cost for nursing programs is among the most competitive for regionally accredited universities.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
B.S. in Nursing: RN to BSN
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits