mini logo

Best LPN Programs Online 2021

mini logo

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) — in some states called licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) — take on important roles within the healthcare industry. They provide basic care and make sure patients are comfortable in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings.

LPNs earn a median salary of about $47,480 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also projects that the LPN profession may grow by 9% from 2019-29 — much faster than average.

In addition, LPNs can enter the industry relatively quickly. They typically earn the proper credentials after LPN training programs, which last 12-18 months. Interested individuals can find LPN programs at community colleges and technical schools.

Some schools also offer online programs, which allow students to learn on their own schedule within their own home. LPN classes online cover much of the same material as traditional programs, including LPNs’ scope of practice and responsibilities, nursing ethics, and foundational anatomy and physiology.

If enrolling in an LPN school online appeals to you, then you can find a list of the best online LPN programs below.

Top 6 Online LPN Programs 2021

View ranking methodology here.
Advertisement NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

  1. Lake Area Technical College
    Location

    Watertown, SD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Description:

    Founded in 1965, LATC is a public community college. Full-time students can complete the college's 47-credit online LPN program in 11 months. Part-time students take up to 23 months to graduate.

    While all coursework is available online, candidates complete four clinicals at LATC's Watertown campus or another accredited community college. Students also perform five additional clinicals in their local communities for a total of 674 hours. Graduates can apply their credits toward LATC's RN program.

    This program is open to students living in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Classes start every fall in 40-student cohorts.

    Details:

    • Program(s): Practical nursing e-degree
      • Campus: Watertown, South Dakota
      • Type: Public
      • Accreditation(s): ACNE
      • Tuition: $121 per credit
      • Admission Requirements: Complete ATI TEAS entrance exam; high school or college transcripts; minimum 2.5 GPA
      • Minimum Time Commitment: 11 months
      • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
    • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98%
  2. Maysville Community and Technical College
    Location

    Maysville, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Description:

    Maysville was established in 1968 and boasts five campuses today. The college's online LPN programs prepare graduates to take the NCLEX-PN in about one year.

    Students complete 51-63 credits, including general education classes, prerequisites, and core classes. Core courses in pharmacology, mental health, and nursing care, along with labs at the Maysville campus, offer the fundamental skills needed to work in practical nursing. While students take classes online, they must complete clinicals at local healthcare sites.

    Maysville also offers an online LPN-to-RN program and certificate programs for candidates who wish to become a Medicaid nurse aide or Kentucky medication aide.

    Details:

    • Program(s): Practical nursing diploma
      • Campus: Maysville, Kentucky
      • Type: Public
      • Accreditation(s): Approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing
      • Tuition: $179 per credit hour for Kentucky residents; $358 for non-residents
      • Admission Requirements: High school diploma or GED; ACT scores of 18 or higher and TEAS scores; CPR certification; active Medicaid Nurse Aide Registry member
      • Minimum Time Commitment: 11 months
      • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
    • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96%
  3. State Fair Community College
    Location

    Sedalia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Description:

    SFCC opened its doors in 1968 near the Missouri State Fairgrounds and now offers more than 260 online classes.

    Students seeking an LPN school online can graduate from SFCC in one year. The 55.5-credit hybrid program requires candidates to visit campus. Field experiences in adult health and child rearing family prepare students to care for diverse client bases.

    Graduates meet the requirements to take the Missouri State Board of Nursing's LPN license exam. Learners can also complete an additional year of studies to become an RN.

    SFCC's admission process is free. New students begin in the fall and spring semesters.

    Details:

    • Program(s): Professional certificate in practical nursing
      • Campus: Sedalia, Missouri
      • Type: Public
      • Accreditation(s): HLC (Regional)
      • Tuition: $117 per credit hour for in-district residents; $175 per credit hour for Missouri residents; $237 per credit hour for non-residents.
      • Admission Requirements: Official transcripts with minimum 2.75 GPA; ATI TEAS test score of 58.7% or higher
      • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
      • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
    • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  4. Ashland Community and Technical College
    Location

    Ashland, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Description:

    ACTC serves 2,400 students through three campuses across the state. The college's online LPN program trains students to take the NCLEX-PN in 11 months.

    Over three semesters, learners complete anatomy and physiology courses and labs. They also take part in stimulations to prepare for the practical nursing field. The last summer session includes a clinical practicum.

    Candidates complete between 46-53 credits, unless they want to pursue an associate degree in general occupational/technical studies, which requires additional courses.

    ACTC offers certificate programs for prospective Medicaid nurse aides and Kentucky medication aides.

    Candidates must complete applications for both ACTC and the program itself before attending an online advising conference.

    Details:

    • Program(s): Practical nursing diploma
      • Campus: Ashland, Kentucky
      • Type: Public
      • Accreditation(s): Approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing
      • Tuition: $179 per credit for in-state residents; $358 per credit for out-of-state residents in contiguous counties; $627 per credit for other out-of-state students
      • Admission Requirements: ACTC application; high school transcripts; minimum 2.5 GPA; CPR certification; a "C" grade or better in all prerequisites
      • Minimum Time Commitment: 11 months
      • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
    • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 73%
  5. Hazard Community and Technical College
    Location

    Hazard, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Description:

    One of 16 colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, HCTC maintains five campuses and an online learning division.

    The college's online LPN program trains candidates for practical nursing jobs in three semesters. The credential also serves as the foundation toward an associate degree in nursing.

    Nursing students take LPN classes/courses online that include nursing assistant skills, introduction to computers, basic anatomy and physiology, and general psychology. During the summer session, learners study in a healthcare setting to satisfy their practicum requirements.

    Candidates can sit for the NCLEX-PN exam after completing 46 required courses.

    Details:

    • Program(s): Practical nursing diploma
      • Campus: Hazard, Kentucky
      • Type: Public
      • Accreditation(s): Approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing
      • Tuition: $179 per credit for Kentucky residents; $358 per credit for non-residents in contiguous counties; $627 per credit for non-residents
      • Admission Requirements: Above average academic record from high school or minimum 3.0 GPA with at least 12 college credits
      • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
      • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
    • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 79%
  6. Highland Community College
    Location

    Highland, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Description:

    HCC is widely known for being Kansas' first college. The school offers a nine-month fast track to becoming an LPN. The online LPN program requires 46 credits, which students complete over two intensive semesters.

    Coursework and clinical components train candidates to provide adults, children, and families with specialized nursing care. Students complete four clinicals, spending a total of 337.5 hours on field- and lab work.

    About 40 students begin the program every August and graduate in May. While graduates hold the nursing skills needed to take the NCLEX-PN, they can enroll in the LPN-to-RN program for another 2-3 semesters.

    Details:

    • Program(s): Practical nursing certificate
      • Campus: Highland, Kansas
      • Type: Public
      • Accreditation(s): ACEN
      • Tuition: $105 per credit for Kansas and out-of-state residents; $318 per credit unit for international students
      • Admission Requirements: Active certified nursing aide certificate; TEAS exam score of 58.7%; ACT Workkeys 5 score in math and 6 in reading; high school diploma or GED; letter of reference; transcripts showing a "C" or better in prerequisite classes
      • Minimum Time Commitment: Nine months
      • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
    • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 66.67%

Applying to an Online LPN Program

Online LPN programs follow the same requirements as on-campus programs. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED, and most programs look for prospective students with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants need to submit their transcripts and often undergo a background check.

LPN programs do not usually require prospective students to take standardized tests like the ACT or SAT. However, interested individuals for whom English is a second language usually need to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Sometimes certified nurse assistants (CNAs) can find CNA-to-LPN bridge programs in their areas. These programs offer an accelerated pathway to becoming an LPN. CNAs can apply to these programs as long as they possess certification and, in some cases, work experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the difference between an LPN and an RN?

    Although LPNs work as nursing professionals, they do not take on the same duties as RNs. LPNs provide basic care to patients, such as checking blood pressure and making sure patients are comfortable in nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities. Because LPNs do not have the same responsibilities as RNs, they do not need to graduate with a nursing degree. Instead, they can earn certification after completing an LPN program.

  • What is accreditation and why is it important?

    Accreditation ensures that students receive a quality education. When it comes to LPN programs, students must enroll in accredited programs in order to apply for licensure and get legally hired. When searching for potential LPN programs, look for programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

  • How many years does it take to become an LPN?

    Aspiring LPNs need to enroll in LPN prep programs, which typically take around one year. Some might last up to 18 months, while others could allow students to complete the program within six months. If you already work as a certified nursing assistant, CNA-to-LPN bridge programs are the quickest track to become an LPN.

  • What can licensed practical nurses do?

    An LPN provides basic care to patients. That includes duties like dressing wounds, administering medication, inserting and monitoring catheters, and checking blood pressure and other vital signs. These nursing professionals help patients with certain tasks or movements, such as bathing or dressing. They also ensure that patients are comfortable within their nursing home or hospital setting.

Advertisement NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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.