Top LPN/LVN Programs

11 Min Read Published November 7, 2023
Top Hybrid & Online LPN Programs |

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are healthcare professionals who work under the supervision and direction of physicians and registered nurses to provide basic nursing care to patients. In order to become one, you’ll need to complete an LPN program that combines classroom education and hands-on patient care training. We've rounded up the top LPN/LVN programs for 2024. 

Fast Facts About LPN/LVN Programs

Salary $26.26 per hour or $54,620 annually via the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Program Length One year
Requirements  Must be 18 or older and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Top LPN/LVN Programs 2024 

1. Helena College, Helena, Montana 

This public community college teaches its LPN students practical nursing skills through a combination of lectures, simulations, hands-on practice, and independent study. 

This program allows enrollment for only eight students per year during the spring semester and awards certifications at the end of the fall semester.  

The most recent NCLEX pass rate for the school’s LPN program is 100%, which is the same for its job placement rate within six months of graduation. 

  • Tuition: $108.59 per credit hour
  • Program Length: One year
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Application Deadline: December is the deadline for entry to the Spring semester
  • Requirements: 
  • Contact Info: Program Director is Debra Rapaport MSN, RN, Director of Nursing
  • Are online options available?  No

2. River Valley Community College, Claremont, New Hampshire 

This public community college has campuses throughout western New Hampshire and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Their licensed practical nurse program combines in-class learning with simulation laboratory activities to prepare students for a healthcare career. 

This program also offers graduates the chance to continue to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Eight percent of students who enter the program graduate with an ADN within three years of initial admission. Also, graduates’ first-time pass rate is equivalent to or exceeds the national pass rate. 

Within six months of graduation, ninety percent of River Valley Community College’s nursing program are working in their first professional jobs. 

  • Tuition: $215 per credit hour
  • Program Length: Three semesters
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Application deadline: September 30th of the year prior to program entry
  • Requirements: 
    • A high school diploma or equivalency program such as Hi-Set or GED
    • TEAS exam
    • Attendance at/viewing of Nursing Informational Session presentation
    • Science course prerequisites
  • Contact Info: Dolores Gifford, Associate Professor & LPN Program Director
  • Are online Options Available? No

3. Bridgerland Technical College, Logan, Utah

This public community college is part of the Utah System of Technical colleges and includes the main campus and two satellite campuses. 

After completing hands-on training, classroom instruction, and laboratory simulations, this program awards an LPN certificate. 

Graduates can also continue on into nursing school by integrating with the Weber State University Practical Nurse-to-Registered Nurse program located on Bridgerland’s main campus. 

The program is completed by 92% of students in two years and has a job placement rate of 98%. Graduates’ pass rate for the licensure examination is 100%. 

  • Tuition:$2,445
  • Program Length: Two semesters
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Application Deadline: The deadline for applying for the fall semester is June 1 and for the spring semester is November 1.
  • Requirements: 
    • High school diploma or GED equivalent
    • Level 5 achievement of the Workkeys Assessment in workplace documents, graphic literacy, and applied math 
    • Required immunizations
  • Contact Info: Jake Angell, Nursing Student Advisor
  • Are Online Options Available? No

4. Holmes Community College, Goodman, Mississippi 

Holmes Community College has offered classes in Goodman, Mississippi, for over 100 years. It is home to several campuses and satellite campuses that offer both:

A full-time day track practical nursing program that spans three semesters, and 

A hybrid option that spans five consecutive semesters

Additional program details include:

  • Tuition: $120 per credit hour
  • Program length: Three semesters for full-time day track and five semesters for the hybrid option
  • Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC) and the Mississippi Community College Board (MCCB)
  • Application Deadline: April 30th
  • Requirements:
    • High school diploma or GED certificate
    • Transcripts from all schools/colleges previously attended
    • Minimum composite score of 16 on the ACT for the full-time program or 20 for the hybrid program
    • Proof of current CPR certification
    • Passage of a physical examination
    • Background check and a drug screen
  • Contact Info: Wyndy Peeples
    • Phone: 662-472-9098
  • Are online options available? Yes 

5. Northland Community and Technical College, Thief River Falls, Minnesota 

This public, two-year community and technical college has an LPN program at its campuses in Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks, Minnesota. 

Students benefit from hands-on training in a variety of clinical settings as well as classroom and laboratory education. Northland also offers a distance/hybrid program. 

6. Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, South Dakota 

Lake Area was South Dakota’s first public community college. Since its founding in 1965, it has expanded to include 30 programs of study, including 15 online degrees. 

The Licensed Practical Nursing program offers four paths to a diploma, including:

  • A full-time campus option
  • A part-time campus option
  • A full-time online option, and
  • A part-time online option  

The full-time options take 11 months to complete and begin with the fall term, while the part-time options start in January and take 22 months to complete. 

The program’s most recent licensure examination pass rate is 83.03% nationally and 92.61% in the state of South Dakota. The program’s job placement rate is 99%. 

  • Tuition: $5,828 per year
  • Program length: 11 months for the full-time programs and 22 months for the part-time programs
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Requirements: 
    • High school diploma or equivalency
    • Official high school and college transcripts
    • Completion of prerequisite and recommended courses
    • Physical examination
    • Current immunizations
    • Background check
    • Completion of the TEAS examination
  • Contact info: Darren Shelton, Lead Admissions Representative
  • Are Online Options Available? Yes 

7. Central Oregon Community College, Bend, Oregon 

Founded in 1949, Central Oregon Community is the oldest two-year college in Oregon. Its main campus is on the westside of Bend, but the college has several other campuses located throughout the Central Oregon Region. 

The school’s practical nursing certification program encompasses two years, though students can exit after one year and qualify to take the national licensure exam. Those who remain for and complete the second year will graduate as registered nurses without having to meet or satisfy any additional application requirements. 

  • Tuition: $109 per credit hour
  • Program Length: One year for the LPN program
  • Accreditation: Oregon State Board of Nursing
  • Requirements:
    • Achieve a minimum score on the Teas exam and Health Sciences Reasoning Test
    • Complete prerequisite courses with a C grade or better and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
    • Hold current CPR certification
    • Complete and pass criminal history checks and urine drug screen
    • Provide documentation of completion of all required immunizations and screening
  • Contact Info: Daura Bowman, Administrative Assistant
    • Email: 
    • Phone: 541-383-7569
  • Are online options available? No 

8. Wayne Community College, Goldsboro, North Carolina 

This public community college first opened its doors in 1962 to 47 students, but today it educates over 14,000 students each year. Practical nursing was one of the first full-time programs offered, and it continues to be one of its most popular programs.

The practical nursing curriculum includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical practice. In addition, the school offers an ADN program and an Advanced Standing program for LPNs who want to earn their ADN and become registered nurses. 

  • Tuition: $1,216 per semester
  • Program Length:  One year
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Application Deadline: April 1, for the fall semester
  • Requirements: This limited admissions program assigns points based on criteria for selection into the program. 
    • Submit an official high school transcript or equivalent and all college transcripts
    • Meet a math proficiency and English/reading proficiency requirement
    • Have completed high school or college chemistry within ten years of admission
    • Present evidence of required immunizations, good physical and mental health 
    • Pass a criminal history record check 
    • Have current CPR certification 
  • Contact Info: Janet Grant, Secretary, Nursing/Medical Assisting/Allied Health
    • Email: 
    • Phone: 919-739-6770
  • Are online options available? No 

9. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia 

This two-year branch of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University offers a practical nursing certificate program over five sequential semesters, including a summer semester. 

Students start with two preclinical semesters and finish with three clinical semesters. Classes are held two days per week for the first two semesters at the school’s Crossroads Institute location in Galax, Virginia, followed by four days per week during the last three semesters. 

  • The school’s most recently published NCLEX-PN pass rate was 85%. 
  • Additional program details include:
  • Tuition:$154 per credit hour
  • Program Length: Five semesters, including a summer semester
  • Accreditation: Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and the Virginia State Board of Nursing
  • Application Deadline: The LPN program is a waitlist-based program that does not follow standard deadlines. Students are offered admission from the waitlist in the order that they are placed on the list after completing the application requirements.
  • Requirements:
    • High school or equivalent transcripts
    • Completion of one unit of high school or college Biology with a “C” or better
    • Completion of the Virginia Placement Test for English unless the applicant has previously completed college-level English coursework and earned a “C” or better.
  • Contact Info: Jacqueline Evans, Program Head
  • Are online Options Available? No  

10. Rowan College of South Jersey, Mantua, New Jersey

This public community college boasts two campuses. Originally known as Gloucester County College, it was renamed in 2014 and expanded in 2019. The school offers both a practical nursing certificate and an LPN-RN track. 

  • Tuition: $111 per credit hour
  • Program length: One year
  • Accreditation: New Jersey Board of Nursing
  • Application Deadline: February 1, for the fall semester
  • Requirements: 
    • High school diploma or equivalent degrees 
    • A minimum overall GPA of 2.5
    • Completion of all basic skills courses as required by the Accuplacer test
    • Students must be eligible to take English 101 and anatomy & physiology
  • Contact Info: Deirdre Conroy, DNP, Associate Dean, Clinical Studies in Nursing and Health Professions
    • Email: Dconroy1@rcsj.edj
    • Phone: 856-468-5000 x4732
  • Are online Options Available? No 

Types of LPN Programs 

Technology has introduced tremendous flexibility for students to continue working and managing family responsibilities while pursuing their education. As a result, many LVN and LPN students take advantage of online or distance programs.  

Online LPN Programs

Because LVN students must expand their knowledge of nursing theory, ethics, and similar classroom-based lessons and engage in hands-on training with actual patients in clinical settings, online LPN programs will still need to require some in-person clinicals. Still, many schools – including some of those listed above – offer hybrid programs that give students access to didactic material online. 

In-Person LPN Programs

Others exclusively offer their programs in a traditional, in-person format and setting. Choosing the nursing school program that is right for you will depend upon your specific needs and circumstances. 

What to Expect in an LPN/LVN Program

Choosing to start your nursing career as an LPN or LVN means you’ll have a quick entry into healthcare. Most programs take just one year or less to complete and offer financial aid. Although they do not lead to a degree, they provide an invaluable base of healthcare knowledge to build on. 

Upon graduation, some students continue their education by attending nursing school to achieve an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelors Degree in Nursing (BSN) while working in the field.

LPN Classes

These nursing courses consist of classroom education and clinical training in a healthcare setting. In class, your instructors will cover such topics as: 

  • Basic nursing theory
  • Nursing ethics
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Human growth and development 
  • Basic nutrition
  • Pediatric patient needs
  • Geriatric patient needs
  • Patient assessments
  • Medical records keeping
  • Medication administration
  • Patient communication
  • Hygiene
  • Ambulation and mobility 

LPN Clinicals

LPN/LVN students will eventually move on and have clinical experiences working with patients under the supervision of registered nurses, providing care that may include:

  • Administering medications including oral, topical, rectal, and ophthalmic and otic solutions
  • Measuring and charting vital signs
  • Insertion and removal of nasogastric tubes, as well as cleaning these tubes and using them to feed patients
  • Helping patients with basic needs, including feeding, hygiene, toileting, dressing, and transferring from bed to chair, chair to bed, and chair to toilet.
  • Performing basic assessments
  • Caring for patients with tracheostomy tubes and ventilator tubes
  • Treating wounds and changing wound dressings
  • Collecting urine, stool, and blood samples
  • CPR training
  • Acting as a liaison between patients, their families, and the care staff 

LPN programs usually provide didactic lessons and laboratory training during the first semester and move into hands-on clinical training during the second semester.

LPN Career Growth

Between 2022 and 2032, the LPN field will grow by 5%, according to BLS reports. We can expect a need for 34,900 new LPNs during that period. This growth is faster than average compared to all other occupations nationwide.

For some, working as an LPN or LVN is the perfect way to make a difference in people’s lives, while others view the position as a stepping-stone to higher-level positions in the medical field, like an LPN to RN. Either way, becoming an LPN or LVN can be an excellent investment in your healthcare career.

FAQs About LPN Programs 

  • What is the fastest way to become an LPN?

    • The fastest way to become a licensed practical nurse is to enroll in a full-time practical nursing program. Most programs take one calendar year.
  • Can you become an LPN in 6 months?

    • Most licensed practical nursing programs can be completed within 11 months, though some offer more concentrated programs.
  • What salary do LPNs top out at?

    • The BLS reports that LPNs earn a median annual salary of $54,620 or $26.26 per hour. The top 10% of LPNs make $72,650 or more a year, while the bottom 10% earn $40,490. 
  • Are LPNs still in high demand?

    • As the American population grows older, licensed practical nurses will become more and more valued within the healthcare system. The BLS predicts the profession to grow by 5% over the next ten years.
LPN Career Overview >> LPN to RN Programs >> Top Online LPN Programs >>

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Terri Heimann Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer Contributor

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is a freelance writer and editor who is driven by details. She loves to dive into research, ensuring that the information she provides educates, engages and illuminates. Before starting her own business she spent years working in advertising and raising three kids. Today she lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where her she and her husband enjoy travel, the Jersey Shore, and spoiling their grandchildren.

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