Top Online LPN Programs

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What are Online LPN Programs?

Online LPN programs help you prepare to pursue a Licensed Practical Nurse career path. In this program, you will learn about subjects important in a nursing role. Study topics might include anatomy and pharmacology. You will cover theory, and you will also learn practical knowledge. You will practice, for example, how to check blood pressure. LPN programs will require you to have supervised clinical experience.

If you are interested in an LPN program, you must ensure it is approved by your state. This is important if you wish to pursue nurse licensure. So, when you are choosing your LPN program, it would be wise for you to check with your state board of nursing.

What does an LPN do?Where do LPNs Work?Types of LPNs
  • You will monitor patients’ health
  • Provide basic patient care, such as change bandages or help with bathing
  • You will listen to patients’ concerns and discuss their care with them
  • Keep patient records.
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • State, local, and private hospitals
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Home healthcare services
  • Government
  • Gerontology
  • Intravenous (IV) therapy
  • Urology
  • Nephrology
  • Hospice and palliative care
  • Maternal and pediatric nursing

Can You Take an LPN Program Online?

Are you interested in taking an LPN program online?  You could potentially do so, if the program meets your state’s requirements. However, you will still need to complete some in person experiences.

In an LPN program, you will complete a blend of coursework, laboratory work, and supervised clinical practice. You could pursue some courses online, such as general education. However, for other components of your program, you will be required to visit campus or another location. You could visit a hospital or clinic, for example.

Why do you need to be on site? There are a couple reasons. For one, you will best learn some aspects of patient care firsthand. When you are in a simulation lab, you will receive guidance from instructors. This may help you pick up more practical nursing functions. Also, when you pursue an LPN education, part of the experience is that you will learn how nurses work in different settings. You will thrive if you can be in different healthcare environments, such as hospitals and clinics. This may be a key part of your program.

How will your courses be? Your theory, laboratory and clinical practice courses may be offered in a hybrid format. That means you could do some parts of the course online. However, you will need to experience parts of the course in person.

You can look for programs like a diploma or certificate in practical nursing.

What Classes Do You Take in an LPN Program?

Your LPN courses may cover nursing skill areas and science courses, such as biology, pharmacology, and more. You can expect to study both the theory behind nursing, and the practical knowledge you need in order to provide patient care. In some programs, you will also take courses in a specialty area. One example would be geriatric nursing. Or, you could focus on maternal and pediatric nursing.

Introduction to Practical Nursing: This course launches you into your studies, covering the key concepts you need to move forward. You’ll learn the scope of practice for LPNs, and what’s expected in the role. And, you’ll learn how to provide high quality patient care in various health settings.

Human Anatomy and Physiology: To provide ideal patient care, you need to know how the body works. This course covers the body’s structure, function, and chemistry. You’ll learn about organs and body systems, plus common diagnoses and health procedures.

Pharmacology for Practical Nurses: Pharmacology is the branch of medicine that focuses on drugs. In this course, you’ll learn how drugs work and how they’re prepared and administered. You’ll learn the difference between types of drugs, from OTC medications to vitamins. And, you’ll study principles of safety and professional ethics.

Pediatric Nursing: Children and infants call for special considerations in nursing. You’ll study topics like growth and development, nutrition, and care that involves the whole family. And, you’ll study legal and ethical issues that factor into working with children.

How Long Does It Take You to Become an LPN?

Most LPN programs take you about one year to complete. Some, however, may take you longer. If you have successfully completed an LPN program, you must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). The time it takes for you to study and pass this exam may vary.

LPN Program Examples

SchoolDegree Level# of Credits RequiredMinimum Months to Complete
Rasmussen CollegeDiploma6212
Herzing UniversityDiplomaN/A12
Pennsylvania Institute of TechnologyCertificate5012

How Much Does an LPN Program Cost to Enroll In?

What will your tuition be? DataUSA states that your median annual cost to attend an in state public, four year school is $3,468. You will find that the median tuition was higher for out of state private and for profit schools, at $13,000. Below, you can compare tuition for these schools that offer practical nursing certificate programs:

School# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Certificate Cost
Cecil College35$283$9,905
College of Saint Mary35$337$11,795
Delta College44$371$16,324

Top Schools That Offer LPN Programs

You will find that DataUSA lists 1,401 institutions with Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurse Training programs. From those schools, you can see students were awarded 91,068 degrees in 2017 (the most recent data). What was the most common credential awarded in this field? You can see it was a one to two year post secondary certificate.

School2017 Degrees awarded2019/20 Tuition (out of state unless *)
Madison Area Technical College788$6,622
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College737$6,625
William Rainey Harper College733$11,754
Davis Technical College648$3,763*
Gateway Technical College644$6,575
Mountainland Technical College604$599
ECPI University589$16,739
Columbus State Community College585$9,540
Hondros College of Nursing575$19,047
College of Southern Nevada563$10,842

Choosing an Accredited LPN Program

How do you choose the right LPN career path? To pursue a career as an LPN, you must graduate from a state approved nursing program. You can check with your state board of nursing for more information.

You will find that some state regulatory agencies require your LPN program to be accredited. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) will accredit your program in practical nursing and other areas. How is this done? They use a peer review process to help ensure your program’s quality. So, if you choose an accredited LPN program, you can take one step toward feeling confident. You are ensuring that your education will prepare you for the challenges of nursing.

What Can You Do with an LPN Degree or Certificate?

You will find the most current data states that there are 4.28 million Health degree holders in the workforce. That includes those who graduated from LPN programs. As such, you can see the healthcare field is expanding. Employment is projected to grow 14% between 2018 and 2028. You can see that is much faster than average for all occupations.

So, do you see yourself as an LPN? The field is female dominated, with 88.4% of graduates identifying as women. The average graduate was 42.8 years old.

Top Salaries for Licensed Practical Nurses

In the table below, you can see the states with the highest average median salary for LPNs. This career path often requires a degree.

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
Alaska390$63,850
Massachusetts15,910$60,340
California67,590$60,240
Rhode Island980$59,860
Nevada2,920$58,470

Jobs Similar to an LPN

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LPN / LVN)

As an LPN or LVN, you may need to care for elderly patients both at home and in residential care facilities. The rise of conditions like diabetes and obesity may also create demand for more nurses. And, the rise of outpatient care centers may lead to more LPN roles.

Median Salary: $46,240 per year
Job Growth Through 2028: 11% (Much faster than avg)
Typical Entry level Education: Post high school, non degree award

Medical Assistant

As a Medical Assistant, you may help keep healthcare facilities running smoothly. You will do both administrative and clinical tasks. Administrative tasks you take on may include scheduling patient appointments and entering patient records. Clinical tasks could see you taking vital signs, like blood pressure, preparing blood samples for lab tests, and more. In some states, as a medical assistant, you can give injections or medications.

Median Salary: $33,610 per year
Job Growth Through 2028: 23% (Much faster than avg)
Typical Entry Level Education: Post secondary non degree award

Occupational Therapy Assistant

As an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you will work with occupational therapists to develop a treatment plan for patients. As an OTA you might also help patients work on the skills they need in order to heal. You could help patients do stretches and exercises, teach them to use assistive devices, and more. Working in the offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists, as well as audiologists is common.

Median Salary: $57,620 per year
Job Growth Through 2028: 31% (Much faster than avg)
Typical Entry level Edu: Associate’s degree

Surgical Technologist

As a Surgical Technologist, you may help medical teams and surgeons before, during, and after operations. Before the operation, you may do tasks such as sterilizing equipment and preparing the patient. During the operation, you may assist doctors by passing instruments and keeping track of supplies. Afterwards, you may handle duties like applying the patient’s bandages and restocking the operating room.

Median Salary: $47,300 per year
Job Growth Through 2028: 9% (Faster than avg)
Typical Entry Level Education: Post secondary non degree award

© Education Connection 2019. All Rights Reserved.

EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.