Want to become a Licensed Practical Nurse? I get how hard it is to choose the most reputable nursing schools, largely because of the plethora of nursing schools offering practical nursing programs right now.
With this article, you can take the edge off picking the best LPN programs and schools for yourself.
Whether you’re looking to take an LPN program in-person or online, you can achieve that dream with this compilation of the Top 20 LPN Schools In The Nation for quality nursing education and a fast, affordable path to becoming a certified nurse.
What Is an LPN?
An LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) is an entry-level practical nurse that handles basic patient care and monitoring (mostly to do with the comfort of a patient) under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or a doctor. To get the idea of an LPN, think of them as a Registered Nurse’s / Doctor’s sidekick.
What Is the Difference Between LPN and RN?
The stand-out difference between an LPN and an RN is that you can become an LPN by taking an LPN program in 12-18 months, with an award of a practical nursing certificate on successful completion of the course. Whereas, to become an RN, you need to complete either an approved nursing diploma (2 years), an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) – 2/3 years, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program – 4 years.
However, the main difference between licensed practical nurses and regular nurses comes in their roles as LPNs are mostly tasked with;
- Taking down patient history
- Entering patient information into computer systems
- Noting down vital signs, e.g. temperature, blood pressure, weight
- Administering medication as instructed by the physician
- Moving patients safely
- Assisting the patient in basic daily needs
- Basic wound care
- Monitoring patient reaction to the medication
How Much Does an LPN Make?
The average salary of an LPN varies by state. The state of Connecticut pays practical nurses the highest salary at about $55,720. And West Virginia with the lowest average LPN salary at about $36,050. However, the average national salary of an LPN sits at approximately $49,465 annually. Or about $28.08 per hour and $25 per hour for practical nurses that are just starting out.
What Are the Requirements for Being an LPN?
Different schools and states employ different criteria to enroll students in a practical nursing program. Still, most schools and states might need you to have/take;
- A high school diploma
- High school grade point average of 2.0-2.5 or higher
- An eligible GED / Notarized home school academic record
- CPR certification in some cases
- Achieve success on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
- Prerequisite college courses in writing, human anatomy, math, and physiology
- Pre-admission examination
- ACT composite scores of 12 or more in reading and math
Best USA Schools for a Practical Nursing Education
1. Lake Area Technical College – Best Overall LPN Program / Several Nursing Programs
Lake Area Technical Institute is a public institution in Watertown, South Dakota. Its campus is located in a town with a total enrollment of 2,245. The school utilizes a semester-based…....Agricultural Studies Automotive Technology Business Finance
Campus: Watertown, South Dakota
Tuition: $5,514 In-State / $6,862 Out-Of-State
Graduation Rate: 68.5%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 89.6%
Lake Area Technical College is all about convenience and preference; as the nursing school gives you four ways to take your LPN diploma.
The options are a full-time campus or online nursing program, which you can complete in just 11 months. And the part-time online or on-campus LPN nursing programs which take 22 months. So you can choose the best program for yourself depending on where you live and how much you have to balance life and school.
The nursing school boast highly qualified faculty, a human anatomy lab, two prosected (dissected) cadavers, and a high-fidelity simulation lab to give you hands-on practical nursing skills
Just so you know, they also offer an RN program just in case you might want to take an RN degree faster by using your LNP certification to save you on some prerequisite nursing programs.
2. Northland Community and Technical College – Best In-person Practical Nursing Program
Northland Community & Technical College (Northland) is a public, two-year community and technical college with campuses located in Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, United States. Northland also…....Agricultural Studies Automotive Technology Business Education
Campus: East Grand Forks, Minnesota
Tuition: $5,715 In-State / Out-Of-State
Graduation Rate: 40%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 90%
Well, although online nursing programs are a great option for most people, some people just prefer the classic interaction that in-class learning affords nursing students.
Northland Community and Technical College seek to give LPN students the most interactive class and practical nursing experience possible, with their well-equipped simulation medical facilities and a team of registered nurses to guide students through practical learning.
Online learning? Yes. Although not popular, you still have the option to apply for the online or hybrid practical nursing program and save some money along the way.
Better yet, if you’re an exceptional student you might be rewarded with a scholarship in the spring and fall semesters. Students in need of financial aid are also eligible for the scholarship if they meet the school’s requirements.
3. Holmes Technical College – Reputable Hybrid Practical Nursing Program
Holmes Institute, Australia, established in 1963, was previously called Holmes College of Management or Holmes College. The institute is providing quality education and has earned a great reputation in the field…....Business Administration Business Analytics Business English Business English for Entrepreneurs
Campus: Goodland, Mississippi
Tuition: $3,410 In-State / $6,010 Out-Of-state
Graduation Rate: 40%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 93.84%
Have other commitments and wish to balance school and work, family, and other day-to-day responsibilities?
Then Holmes Technical College’s hybrid practical nursing program will help take the pressure off with their 5-semester blended online-physical learning nursing program. The remote learning part also makes the LPN program much more affordable in the long run compared to other schools.
However, if you want to complete your LPN diploma faster, you can take the full-time track for just 3-semester and get ready for a National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).
Holmes seems to have very qualified medical faculty to get you through your course, with patient simulation and other healthcare settings/equipment to hone both your critical thinking skills and experiential professional skills.
4. Utah State University – Top Public University LPN Program
Utah State University is a public institution that was founded in 1888. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 24,647 (fall 2020), its setting is city, and the campus size…....Accounting Art Art History Biology
Campus: Logan, Utah
Tuition: $8,402 In-State / $23,042 Out-Of-State
Graduation Rate: 59%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 94%
If you don’t mind spending more on a quality LPN education in a university, then Utah State University might be the go-to school to pursue a practical nursing certificate. And the fact that their tuition is higher might just mean they have more funding for the best learning resources for students.
Their school of nursing has a wide variety of teaching staff and nurses to help you through your medical-surgical, mental health, family health nursing, pharmacology, and other Licensed Practical Nursing courses for the necessary practical nursing skills.
Additionally, the school offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing (AAS) that you can get into to become an RN after successful completion of your LPN program.
5. South Florida State College – Resourceful Student Support for Nursing Students
South Florida State College is a public institution that was founded in 1966. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,985 (fall 2020), its setting is rural, and the campus…....Accounting Agricultural Studies Automotive Technology Business
Campus: Highlands County, Florida
Tuition: $3,165 In-State / $11,859 Out-Of-State
Graduation Rate: 51.7%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 86.76%
Southern Florida State College’s full-time day LPN program ensures you finish your course within just 11 months and prepare for your NCLEX exam. Suffice to say the school is ideal for people who want to kick-start a nursing career fast.
The school is set in the warm weather of South Florida, which can help ease things a tad when the schoolwork gets tough. Yeah?
You get the option to access additional student support, e.g. tutoring to get the most out of your nursing education. And the school offers a transitional LPN-RN course if you wish to go for an RN degree after you complete your LPN program.
6. North Central Texas College – Leading Real-life Training LPN Program
North Central Texas College is a public institution in Gainesville, Texas. Its campus is located in a town with a total enrollment of 10,525. The school utilizes a semester-based academic…....Agricultural Business Business Administration Criminal Justice Heating/Refrigeration/Air conditioning
Campus: Gainesville, Texas
Tuition: $4,560 In-State / $7,080 Out-Of-State
Graduation Rate: 25%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 89.11%
North Central Texas College’s Nursing School is what the Harvard Business School is to Harvard. As the school is probably the biggest and most advanced facility in Gainesville college.
The LVN (Licensed Vocational Nursing/LPN) course takes 12 months to complete and depending on your preference or where you are, you can either opt for the classroom, online, or the blended nursing program.
Although the school of nursing already seems to do a great job in the classwork, nursing students are sent to real hospitals, physician offices, nursing home healthcare facilities, community health events, and more health-related facilities for a real practical nursing experience.
7. Western Wyoming Community College – Most Notable Practical Nursing Program in Wyoming
Western Wyoming Community College is a public institution in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Its campus is located in a town with a total enrollment of 3,183. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 13-to-1. The highest degree offered at Western Wyoming Community College is…....Biology Business Business Administration Business Analytics
Campus: Rock Springs, Wyoming
Tuition: $3,930 In-State / $9,870 Out-Of-State
Graduation Rate: 35%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 90.63%
Set in the silent ambiance of Wyoming’s Rock Springs, Western Wyoming Community College’s remarkable learning environment plays as one of its biggest selling points.
The practical nursing program can be taken on campus or online. The school prepares students for the nursing healthcare industry using simulation mannequins and medical technology to give nursing students actual, safe healthcare settings to practice.
You’ll like that the school’s LPN exams are computerized to accustom you to the style of your final NCLEX-RN exam. Also, there’s an Associate’s Degree in Nursing program you might take advantage of and cash in that diploma into a nursing degree.
8. Texas State Technical College – Best Exclusively Hybrid Practical Nursing Program
Texas State Technical College is a public institution in Waco, Texas. Its campus is located in a city with a total enrollment of 12,445. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 15-to-1. The highest degree offered at Texas State Technical College is an…....Agricultural Business Agricultural Studies Architectural Engineering Architecture
Campus: Waco, Texas
Tuition: $5,877 In-State / $10,191 Out-Of-State
Graduation Rate: 42%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 87.22%
Texas State Technical College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing course (LVN) is blended as an on-campus and online course, which is quite convenient if you have other things to take care of outside schoolwork.
Apart from the simulation learning labs, interactive online sessions, and virtual nursing practice, nursing students are further distributed to on-site healthcare settings like nursing homes and hospitals to interact with their line of study in the actual healthcare industry.
The practical nursing program takes 16 months, and you can choose to take an ADN degree course after.
9. Indiana County Technology Center – Highest NCLEX PN Pass Rate
The Indiana County Technology Center is a regional technology center dedicated to providing students with industry-certified technical and academic-enriched career programs. The Indiana County Technology Center (ICTC) is considered a…....Automotive Technology Construction Management Digital Arts Information Technology
Campus: Indiana, Pennsylvania
Tuition: $14, 276
Graduation Rate: 82%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 100%
Indiana County Technology Center has built its forte on its consistently high NCLEX PN pass rates, making it one of the best Pennsylvania LPN programs.
And the high pass rates seem to be deserved, due to the small classrooms that allow for a much more individualized practical nursing learning experience.
The Indiana-based school further boasts innovative medical technology and they offer financial aid on merit to students that might not be able to fully foot their tuition.
10. HACC Central Pennsylvania Community College – Best Alternative School of Nursing in Pennsylvania
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, offers a high-quality academic experience in a supportive environment at five physical campuses in Central Pennsylvania. We offer more than…....Accounting Advertising Applied Mathematics Architecture
Campus: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Tuition: $8,085 In-State / $9,585 Out-Of-State
Graduation Rate: 27.5%
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 95.65%
HACC Central Pennsylvania Community College’s full-time 4-semester LPN program is usually a hybrid program, but they currently cover the course online currently owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The school prepares students for a nursing career using the necessary simulation facilities and medical equipment for teaching. And at the end of the practical nursing program, every student is placed in nursing practice to instill a real-life situation nursing experience.
Better yet, there’s an ADN program if you’d wish to take a step further from a practical nurse to a registered nurse.
11. Lehigh Carbon Community College – Really Affordable School of Nursing
Lehigh Carbon Community College is a public institution in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. Its campus is located in a suburb with a total enrollment of 7,109. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 18-to-1. The highest degree offered at Lehigh Carbon Community College is an…....Biology Biomedical Laboratory Science Business Business Administration
Campus: Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Lehigh Carbon Community College thrives on affordable tuition and its first-time NCLEX average 94% pass rate affirms its place amongst the best nursing schools right now. With a supportive faculty, wide financial aid initiatives, and educational program support for any student that might need special educational attention during their practical nursing program.
12. Florida Gateway College – Wide Range of Student Resources for Nursing Students
Florida Gateway College is a public institution. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,406 (fall 2019), and the setting is Rural. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Its in-state…....Computer Engineering Computer Science
Campus: Lake City, Florida
If Florida Gateway College’s 91.4% first-time NCLEX-PN licensure examination pass rate is anything to go by, then the LPN school is worth taking the leap for to achieve your 12-month LPN diploma. Every student is assigned an advisor to keep them on track. And learning practical nurses have further access to a variety of student resources like tutoring for efficient learning.
13. Rasmussen College – Great Private Minnesota LPN Program School
Rasmussen College-Minnesota is a private for-profit institution in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Its campus is located in a city with a total enrollment of 4,124. The school utilizes a quarter-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 17-to-1. The highest degree offered at Rasmussen College-Minnesota is an associate degree. The…....Business Research Bussiness Computer Engineering Computer Science
Campus: Bloomington, Minnesota
A private school, Rasmussen College integrates its on-campus LPN classes with a couple of online nursing courses. There’s also 24/7 technical support on standby if you need some help. To give aspiring practical nurses the relevant practical skills, the school has a simulation lab and students are sent to public healthcare facilities, e.g. nursing homes for real-life clinical practical nurse experience.
14. North Florida College – Great Practical Nursing School for Bridging
North Florida Community College is a public institution in Madison, Florida. It has a total enrollment of 1229. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 18-to-1. The highest degree offered at North Florida Community College is an associate degree. The…....Bussiness Communication Communication Disorders Education
Campus: Madison, Florida
North Florida College has one of the most affordable LPN programs here. But the best part is you can choose to bridge to RN if you want to better your job prospects and stand a chance of a rewarding career. Whenever you encounter a problem, you can access an academic advisor, with the help of a complimentary peer tutor lab that can help you catch up with the challenging parts of your course.
15. Fayetteville Technical Community College – Fast Full-time LPN Program
Fayetteville Technical Community College is a public institution in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Its campus is located in a city with a total enrollment of 11,534. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 19-to-1. The highest degree offered at Fayetteville Technical Community College is…....Accounting Agricultural Business Agricultural Studies Agriculture and Natural Resources
Campus: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fayetteville’s continuous 3-semester full-time LPN program means you can finish your practical nursing program in about 11 months and start a nursing career as a practical nurse when you pass the NCLEX-RN exam. The school of nursing prepares students with their wide learning center, which includes a science lab fully equipped with patient simulation and helpful staff and faculty.
16. Washington State Community College – Go-to Part-time LPN Nursing Education
Washington State Community College is a public institution in Marietta, Ohio. Its campus is located in a rural with a total enrollment of 1,797. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 14-to-1. The highest degree offered at Washington State Community College is an…....Accounting Biology Business Administration Computer Science
Campus: Marietta, Ohio
Want to become a licensed practical nurse and still have to keep a job or run a family perhaps? Washington State Community College’s 2-year part-time LPN course will ensure you don’t have to sacrifice much of your usual life. To cultivate the necessary practical skills, students are assigned school nurse roles and hospital rotations in nearby hospitals, e.g. Marietta Memorial Hospital
17. Green River College – Really Impressive Nursing Program Simulation Lab
Green River: Where the World Meets Green River College is a public college founded in 1965. More than 11,000 students study at Green River, with over 1,300 international students from…....Accounting Aeronautical Engineering Aeronautical Science Agriculture and Natural Resources
Campus: Auburn, Washington
How does an average 98% first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate sound? Green River College’s licensure exam pass rate is quite assuring for prospective students looking to enroll in their school of nursing. And the class sizes are a manageable 40 students for effective teaching. Their SIM lab is something of awe, as it is multimedia connected and computerized to give you the best practical learning experience.
18. Alpena Community College – Best Michigan Community College for an LPN Nursing Program
Alpena Community College is a public institution in Alpena, Michigan. Its campus is located in a rural with a total enrollment of 1,429. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 14-to-1. The highest degree offered at Alpena Community College is an associate degree. The…....Accounting Bussiness Criminal Justice Economics
Campus: Alpena, Michigan
Letting you choose between online or in-person learning, Alpena Community College’s 1-year practical nursing program diploma schedule might just fit right up your alley. And the school of nursing further prides itself on the latest technology which includes an anatomage table, birthing manikins, and patient simulators to build the backbone of your nursing field skills.
19. Wallace State Community College – Leading Practical Nursing Education in Alabama
George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville is a public institution in Hanceville, Alabama. It has a total enrollment of 5057. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 16-to-1. The highest degree offered at George C Wallace State Community…....Accounting Agricultural Studies Arts and Design Business Administration
Campus: Hanceville, Alabama
Wallace State makes its mark among the most sought-after nursing schools in the South for its small classes. And the school enrolls LPN students just twice a year; in fall and spring, because of its competitive applications. The LPN program is offered on two college campuses; Wallace Campus in Dothan and Sparks Campus in Eufaula.
20. Helena College – Fast-growing Practical Nursing Program
Helena College University of Montana is a public institution in Helena, Montana. Its campus is located in a town with a total enrollment of 1,520. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 12-to-1. The highest degree offered at Helena College University of…....Accounting Business Administration Computer Science Marketing
Campus: Helena, Montana
Helena College’s school of nursing averages an 100% NCLEX-PN pass rate. And the school’s success in nurturing students for the nursing profession has seen an increase in students enrolling for their LPN course.
Unlike some nursing schools that might wait for clinicals for hands-on experience, Helena College goes a step ahead and assigns patient care roles to their students in a health setting during the course work to test their grasp of the coursework.
Now that you know how the roles of licensed practical nurses differ from other nurses, all you need to make up your mind is determine whether an on-campus, hybrid, or online practical nursing program is the best school program for you.
For a start, Lake Area Technical College, Northland Community, and Technical College Holmes Technical College aren’t just top LPN schools. But they seem to offer the most flexible online, blended, and on-campus learning practical nursing programs – making them a great option for older students.
Still, the traditional on-campus practical nursing programs might appeal to you if you want that classic college student experience and environment.
I hope you had fun with this guide to the best LPN schools in the USA. Good luck in your LPN program and nursing career!