Improving the Quality of Licensed Practical Nursing Education

All About LPN Programs

Are you looking for a career that will allow you to grow as an individual? Becoming an LPN (licensed practical nurse) may be just what you need. An LPN certificate gives you the unique opportunity to help others and provide financially for your family. It is also a gateway to other careers in the medical field.

General Considerations

There are many factors to consider when deciding on an LPN program. Different programs can vary in length, cost, and scheduling. Researching your options will lead you to the optimal program for your situation.

Admission Requirements

To be accepted in the program you must meet certain qualifications. There are both personal and academic standards to be met. Most LPN programs have similar requirements for acceptance.

  • Academic – Most LPN programs will require either a high school diploma or a GED. A 2.0 GPA is a basic requirement in most programs. As this is a competitive field, personal interviews and written admission tests may be required.
  • Legal – You will have to pass a drug test and a criminal background check. LPN students are usually required to be at least eighteen years old.
  • Skills Test – Potential students may be required to pass an entrance exam that will assess reading, writing, math, and science skills.

Length of Program

The length of an LPN program can be anywhere from six months to two years.


The program that you choose should be accredited by the Board of Nursing in your state. Graduating from an accredited program will allow you to be eligible for all LPN jobs.


There is a wide range of fees for an LPN program. Some schools charge one set fee per semester including books and materials, while other programs charge separately for extra materials.

Program Types

There are a variety of LPN programs available. When choosing a program you should consider your current situation. Some programs are more traditional while others allow a variety of options when scheduling classes.

Training Programs

Most vocational schools offer LPN programs. These programs often offer the flexibility of night and weekend classes.

Colleges and Universities

There are many colleges that offer LPN programs. There are also schools specifically for nursing degrees. Your choices will range from your local community college to public or private universities.

Online Schools

These programs allow you to do a large portion of your coursework at home. There are portions of the program that will require hands on training. If you choose an online program you need to make sure that these training portions are accessible from the area where you live.


LPN programs require a combination of traditional written work and working in a clinical setting. Both types of training will be needed to earn an LPN certificate.

Written Work

LPN nursing classes include basic nursing classes, anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology (drugs). Some classes focus on specialized areas such as adults, children, or mental health.

Practical Training

You will be required to complete a number of hours in a hospital or clinical setting. This will be the ‘hands on’ part of the program and includes learning to work with patients.

Licensure Exam

At the completion of your written studies and practical training you will have to take an exam to receive a state license.

A career in the medical profession is highly respected and rewarding. Take some time to check out the LPN programs available. The flexibility of training and variety of jobs available may be just for you.