The Best LPN Programs Online

Ayana Dunn, RN
Updated May 22, 2024
Edited by
What is the best online LPN program? Start determining the right fit for you by learning about our top programs, methodology, and more.
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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Nurse comforting a patientCredit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Aspiring licensed practical nurses (LPN) no longer need to set aside time for their commute. Online LPN programs enable students to take classes from home or anywhere with internet access.

Although you must still attend clinical experiences in person, online options save time and money. Virtual learning leaves room for adaptable schedules, making it easier to work while in school.

Interested in becoming an LPN? You have plenty of choices, but which is best for you? Explore our top choices, what to look out for when choosing a school, common required application materials, and other important factors to consider.

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

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The Best Online LPN Programs

#1 The Best LPN Programs Online

Lake Area Technical College

  • Location-markerWatertown, SD
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,720
  • Out-of-state$3,720
  • Retention Rate76%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,190
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment44%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best LPN Programs Online

Montgomery Community College

  • Location-markerTroy, NC
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,432
  • Out-of-state$8,576
  • Retention Rate50%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled712
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment48%
  • AccreditationYes

What Can You Do as an LPN?

LPNs are known as licensed vocational nurses (LVN) in California and Texas, but the training, scope of practice, and skills are identical between the two titles. Rather than a college degree, LPNs earn a diploma, although some programs are housed within community colleges.

These nurses perform many duties, including wound care, assessing vital signs, taking patient histories, documenting patient information, administering tests, and giving medications. LPNs are allowed to start and monitor IVs. In some facilities, they can administer certain IV push medications if delegated by a supervising nurse. Overall, LPNs’ scope of practice is limited compared to that of a registered nurse (RN).

LPNs generally have much less autonomy than RNs. In most clinical situations, they work under RN supervision. Both LPNs and RNs can supervise certified nursing assistants (CNAs), who perform day-to-day patient care tasks, such as feeding, bathing, dressing, and toileting. LPNs are frequently employed by skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, memory care facilities, and home health agencies.

An LPN program can serve as a fast track into the nursing field, since most programs can be completed in as little as 12 months.

Why Attend an Online LPN Program

An online LPN program offers the flexibility to study on your own schedule. However, you must attend in-person clinical assignments and skills training labs.

Once you’re working as an LPN, you can consider transitioning from LPN-to-RN to increase your earning power and marketability.

Bridge programs, such as the LPN-to-RN, allow nursing professionals to apply their prior education and experience to a more advanced degree program. Since online LPN-to-RN and LPN-to-BSN programs offer flexibility and part-time options, LPNs seeking to become RNs can complete their education while working as an LPN. With some employers covering the cost of education, this can be an excellent avenue for advancing your nursing career.

Average Salary as an LPN

LPNs can earn a promising salary after a comparatively short course of study. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2023, LPNs and LVNs earned a median annual salary of $59,730.

The highest-paying states for LPNs by average salary are:

  • California: $76,580
  • Rhode Island: $75,470
  • Washington: $75,410
  • Alaska: $74,260
  • Massachusetts: $73,400

By comparison, the BLS reports that RNs who undertake a longer and more intensive education earn a median annual salary of $86,070. Advancing from LPN to RN can significantly increase your earning power.

What to Look for in an Online LPN Program

With so many online LPN programs to choose from, you should carefully research different schools to find the right fit for your personal needs and career goals.

Before enrolling in an LPN program, explore these key signs of academic quality.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements explain what you need to submit when applying to a program. For example, schools may require proof of high school graduation or GED certificate completion.

Program Curriculum

The curriculum offered by different LPN programs may influence which program you choose. Read the descriptions carefully and choose a program that appeals to what you’re looking for in an LPN education.


Accreditation is extremely important, since some employers may only hire nurses from accredited programs. If you want to continue your education and earn an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree, the accreditation of the programs you have attended will be examined closely.

Program Retention Rate

The retention rate of an LPN program can give you a sense of what students think of the program and whether they feel it is worth their while to complete their education. An LPN program with a low student retention rate should be a red flag that perhaps the quality of the education may be lacking.

Online Learning Format and Requirements

If you’re going to be attending online classes, the course format and technical requirements will be very important. Online education generally requires that you own a laptop computer. You will also likely need a webcam and a relatively fast and reliable internet connection.

Why Is Online LPN Program Accreditation Important?

Nursing school accreditation occurs when an independent organization monitors, reviews, and approves (or rejects) nursing education programs. These accrediting bodies assess the quality of the program and its ability to successfully prepare students for the NCLEX and nursing practice.

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits LPN programs, and its website allows visitors to search a database for accredited programs. The state boards of nursing handle licensing and discipline issues.

Choosing accredited nursing schools has both immediate and longer-term benefits. Completing an accredited training program is for:

  • Taking the NCLEX, the exam required to receive your RN license
  • Receiving government financial aid
  • Transferring to other nursing schools
  • Working with healthcare employers

Applying to Online LPN Programs

Applying to online programs is similar to a traditional application process. Most schools have similar requirements, but some may include application materials unique to that program. The requirements may also vary depending on whether the program is an undergrad or graduate program.

In all cases, ensure you understand your program’s specific requirements and reach out when you have questions.

Common admission materials include:

  • Background check
  • Completed prerequisite courses
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Standardized test scores
  • Recommendation letters
  • 2.5-3.0 minimum GPA
  • Personal statement

Paying for Online LPN Programs

The cost of LPN online training depends on several factors. While taking LPN classes online rather than on campus may save money on housing and transportation costs, you still must budget for tuition, distance learning fees, and books.

Public schools may offer more affordable tuition than private schools. However, some programs charge higher tuition rates for out-of-state students. If you plan on working while taking online LPN courses, consider if the program offers enough flexibility to set your own schedule.

You can apply for financial aid opportunities for nursing students to help offset the cost of a nursing education. Begin your search by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to see if you qualify for federal loans or grants.

In addition to government-sponsored programs, you may consider private loans or nursing scholarships and grants from private foundations, professional nursing associations, and individual schools.

Some scholarships provide funding for specific nursing specialties. Scholarships for minorities are typically based on race, ethnicity, or gender. If you are working, determine if your employer participates in a tuition reimbursement plan.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online LPN Programs

There’s no single LPN program that’s faster than the rest. Generally speaking, the shortest program length is about six months. Be thorough in your research to ensure you’re getting a high-quality education, no matter how long it takes.

Are You Ready to Earn Your Online Nursing Degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.