Do you have a compelling desire to save lives and help others? A career in nursing is an excellent way to do just that. If you are thinking about entering this rewarding field, then completing one of many on-campus or online LPN programs is one of the first steps you can take.
An LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse – provides basic bedside care for patients who are convalescent, sick, and/or injured. They work under the direction of doctors and RNs – Registered Nurses, the next step in a nursing career – in hospitals, community health clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Tasks that fall under the LPNs wheelhouse include dressing wounds, taking vitals, giving injections, administering medication, and performing diagnostic testing.
To become an LPN, you must first enroll in an accredited program that generally includes a year of coursework. In addition to the successful completion of an LPN program, you will need to complete a year of practical application within a nursing community college, vocational technology school, or hospital. The third component of LPN certification is passing the National Council Licensure Exam.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for LPNs will grow by 12 percent in the decade between 2016 and 2026. Furthermore, they state that the employment prospects for dedicated LPNs nationwide is excellent. This is especially true in rural and underserved areas where LPNs – and all nurses – are in high demand.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics goes on to estimate the median annual wage for LPNs – as of May 2017 – to be $45,030. This amount shows a marked increase annually as the demand for quality LPNs grows. The prospects for future LPNs look bright at this point.
To help you find the best LPN program to fit your needs, we have gathered a list of the top schools offering LPN coursework. These entities have all been held to the same standard metric for evaluation that considers the tuition costs, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of degrees offered in the field of nursing.
Located in scenic Auburn Washington, Green River College offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Practical Nursing. Their admission requirements include having BLS (Basic Life Support) and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) certifications, up to date immunizations, a criminal background check, drug testing, as well as passing grades for their high academic thresholds.
Part of Avon Park, Florida since its doors opened in 1965, South Florida State College offers several different nursing majors. They require that candidates for the Practical Nursing program demonstrate competency in Math, Reading, and English. They also must submit references, complete a Minimum Admissions Requirements (MAR) review, and achieve a competitive score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).
Part of the California Community College system, Feather River Community College is located in Quincy, California. They offer Practical Nursing as a Certificate program and an Associate of Applied Science degree. As with all California Community Colleges, Feather River provides quality post-secondary education at a guaranteed tuition. They boast an 88.89% pass rate for the NCLEX-PN.
Found in Lake City Florida, Florida Gateway College began its history in 1947. Today it offers open admission to all. Their Nursing programs – three to choose from – require acceptance into the college, adequate demonstration of basic academic skills (via TEAS testing, transcript, or otherwise), transfer of transcripts, and ability to meet the demands of Florida nursing guidelines.
Located in scenic Lynnwood Washington, Edmonds Community College has provided stellar post-secondary education services since 1967. Their only nursing program is for an LPN program. Their LPN program is approved by the Washing State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. To gain admission, candidates must successfully complete the required prerequisites with a minimum GPA of 2.75, hold a valid Washington State CNA certification, have a minimum of six months recent experience in patient care, completion of the New TEAS or TEAS V, undergo a nationwide criminal background check, provide documentation of technological skills, and provide two professional recommendations.
As the name suggests, Bismarck State College is located in the capital city of North Dakota – Bismarck. Their history began in 1939 and their campus now occupies 120 acres. Enrollment in their Practical Nursing program is limited and subject to a competitive interview process. They offer several levels of practical nursing education that include a 12-month certification, a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree, and a progressive program that transitions to an RN degree.
In 1957, North Florida Community College opened in Madison Wisconsin and now occupies 165 acres of scenic campus. They require students to be 18 years of age or older, hold a High School diploma or GED, pass a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) level two criminal background check, pass a drug screening, score successfully on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TABE), and the Admissions Assessments.
Since 1968, Lake Jackson Texas has been home to Brazosport College where it occupies 156 acres. The school has similar requirements to those of other schools such as transcripts, references, a relevant work history, TEAS results, current immunizations, and successful completion of prerequisites. The final decision about whether or not to admit a student to the nursing program comes down to selection by a committee. They offer LVN, ADN, and LVN to ADN programs to help train the future of nursing.
While Eastern Florida State College has multiple locations across the eastern portion of Florida, their school in Melbourne is the base for their LVN certification program. Their program is by special application only and admission is limited. The requirements can be found on their website and include TEAS, TABE, and other testing and metrics.
In Panama City Florida, Gulf Coast State College has been open since 1957 and occupies 80 sunny acres of Florida real estate. Their requirements are relatively basic. They require that applicants be 18 years or older, complete an application, submit TEAS results, and adhere to the legal requirements of the state of Florida.
The history of Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington began in 1930. Their requirements – like those of other nursing programs – include being 18 or older, CAN licensure, a GPA of 2.5, sufficient TEAS scores, and completion of prerequisites. In addition to the Practical Nursing program, they offer a two-year RN program.
Located in a town that is better known for Spring Break than higher education – Daytona Beach Florida – Daytona State College started in 1957. Their requirements include standard items like BLS CPR, drug screening, health screening, TEAS testing, prerequisites, and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.
Gainesville, Florida has been home to Santa Fe College since 1965. They offer Practical Nursing programs that have requirements much like those of other public institutions in Florida. This includes drug, criminal background, and health screenings; TEAS test scores, completion of prerequisites, and BLS CPR certification, among others.
A newer postsecondary institution than most, Pennsylvania College of Technology began in 1989. It calls the town of Williamsport – in north-central Pennsylvania – home.
Located on 56 acres in beautiful Wenatchee Washington, Wenatchee Valley College began in 1939. It offers Practical Nursing in addition to the opportunity to progress in a nursing career in Washington.
Once borrowing its name from the Georgia town it calls home, Bainbridge State College is now part of Southern Regional Technical College. It offers a Practical Nursing program that requires admission based on a scoring system that includes transcripts, test scores, drug and disease screening, and prerequisite cumulative GPA, among other qualifying factors.
This Texas college borrows its name from Midland where it originally opened under a different name in 1969. It has been at its present location with its current name – Midland College – since 1975. Its Practical Nursing program requires candidates to successfully complete the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), submit to a background check, get immunizations, complete prerequisite classes with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or more, and provide a High School diploma or GED.
Located in Alpena Michigan, Alpena Community College offers small class sizes with a higher than average graduation rate. It has two levels of LPN programs: level one is a one-year certificate and level two is an AAS degree.
In Washington, Bellingham Technical College is located in Bellingham, of course. It offers the highest graduation rate coupled with a middle of the road per credit tuition and student-to-faculty ratio.
Northern New Mexico State College is located in Espanola, New Mexico and began all the way back in 1909 before New Mexico was even a state. Today it offers a quality LPN program with the lowest student-to-faculty ratio of the schools on this list.
Located in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, Lake Superior State University began in 1946 and occupies 115 acres in the beautiful Upper Peninsula. All of this school’s stats are on the high end of the scale as it prepares future nurses.
Beautiful Oceanside, California is home to MiraCosta College. In addition to their LVN program, they offer a transitional program and an RN program as well.
Proudly located in Madison, Wisconsin, Madison Area Technical College first began in 1912. They require an online application to their LPN program and admission requirements that are comparable to other schools. They share the distinction of tying for the lowest student-to-faculty ratio.
Skagit Valley College is located in Mt. Vernon, Washington. It offers prospective students an Advanced Placement LPN Registered Nursing AAS. It has smaller class sizes, and middle of the road tuition cost and graduation rate.
As one would guess, Tyler Junior College is located in Tyler, Texas. Their 48 credit LPN program prepares students for a career in nursing. Their program is competitive and eligibility determination takes a minimum of four to six months.
The main campus for Olympic College is located on 33 acres in Bremerton, Washington and opened in 1946. It also has two satellite locations in Washington. They have an extensive list of requirements for their limited LPN program that include those of other schools as well as non-refundable liability insurance, proof of personal health insurance, and a score of 78 or more on the Accuplacer Reading Comprehension Test.
Located in Logan Utah, Utah State University started in 1957. It has strict requirements for entry into its LPN program that include three references, ATI TEAS test scores, transcripts, prerequisites, and more.
Located in scenic upscale Traverse City, Michigan, Northwestern Michigan College lands in the middle of the road on all fronts. Their LPN program has a waitlist for admission and candidates are rated on a scale based on the basic requirements of nursing programs as well as minimum SAT and ACT scores.
Located in Ephraim, Utah, Snow College is one of the oldest junior colleges in the western half of the United States. It became Snow College in 1923 and was turned over to the state of Utah by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1931.
Florida State College at Jacksonville’s LPN program is led by highly-qualified medical professionals. They proudly display an 80% pass rate for the NCLEX-PN.
Located in Fort Pierce, Florida, Indian River State College offers a PN program that encompasses 1350 hours of study and practical experience. They have one of the higher student-to-faculty ratios of public institutions with LPN programs.
The State University of New York College of Technology at Canton is located in Canton, New York. This institution of higher learning began its long history in 1906 and offers a 36-credit certificate LPN program. Unlike other schools, applicants only need to be 17 or older to apply.
Palm Beach State College is located in scenic Lake Worth, Florida. Established in 1933 as the first public junior college in Florida, they now offer an outstanding PN program.
Located in the town of Pocatello, Idaho State University provides a quality PN program of 71 credits. It takes an estimated two years to complete and is at the higher end in terms of cost while remaining near the middle in graduation rate.
Located in Spokane Washington, Spokane Community College offers an AAS in Nursing. Their stats are all relatively middle of the road and offer higher education at an affordable rate. Their admission requirements mirror those of other nursing programs across the country.
Russellville is home to Arkansas Tech University. Established in 1909, it sits in the scenic Arkansas River Valley providing PN courses in an idyllic setting.
The Terry Campus of Delaware Technical Community College calls the capital city of Dover home. There they provide an LPN program with a low tuition that is reflected in smaller class sizes and a low graduation rate.
Located in beautiful Marquette, Michigan, Northern Michigan University offers a 47-credit certificate in LPN. It has one of the higher tuition costs but also boasts a high graduation rate.
Borrowing its name from the city it calls home, Bakersfield College is found in Bakersfield, California. Their LPN program encompasses a 44-credit certificate.
The Columbia Basin College calls Pasco, Washington home. There they provide a PN program that consists of 69 to 71 credits in a beautiful setting.
Established in 1909, the University of Arkansas has many campuses throughout the state. Their Monticello campus offers a 42 credit LPN certificate program that is tied for 41st place with Columbia Basin College.
Another location of the 1909 University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, also offers a comparable LPN program. The Fort Smith area has higher tuition and class size as well as a higher graduation rate than its counterpart in Monticello.
The College of Central Florida in Ocala has been in operation for decades. Their LPN program does not top this list but still offers quality training for a career in nursing.
Shasta College in Reading, California follows the statewide guidelines for public colleges by offering per credit tuition based on the state-mandated amount. Their class sizes are among the largest on this list, however, and combined with their lower graduation rate found their way into the bottom ten. However, their 41 credit LPN certification is still well worth the time and cost.
Lakewood, Washington is home to Clover Park Technical College. Established in the 1940s, they offer LPN certificates that allow their students to begin a promising career in nursing.
Picturesque Kahului, Hawaii is the location of the University of Hawaii Maui College. They offer a two-year PN program of 73 credits that gives students a proper education in nursing procedures and prepares them to continue their education or build a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Dalton State College is located – where else – in Dalton, Georgia. They provide a 66 credit hour LPN program for students pursuing nursing as a career.
South Texas College is located in McAllen, Texas. Established in 1995, this school’s PN program may rest near the bottom of the list but is still quite impressive. With a lower tuition, it is only their high student-to-faculty ratio and a low graduation rate that has them nearing number 50.
Located in tropical Pensacola, Florida, Pensacola State College offers the last LPN program on this list. While it is not the best, it is still undoubtedly an excellent program that will help students reach their goal of working in the nursing profession.
Finding a good LPN program can be the difference between success or failure as a nurse. Each student has unique learning needs that different campuses may better serve. Find the one that suits your needs today!
The basis with which these schools are evaluated is three part:
This amount is calculated for each school to represent a per credit cost for tuition. All figures are based on full-time attendance. For those that are provided as “per term” or “per year” totals, the per credit amount is determined via a formula that assumes 2 semesters per year at 12 credits per semester – the average amount among schools in the United States.
Schools were then rated on their per credit cost of tuition from the least expensive to the most expensive.
These ratios were compared with the lower ratios rating higher and the higher ratios rating lower.
The percentage of students who complete their programs and graduate from the school is the final factor ranked for this list. The higher the rate of graduation, the higher the school is ranked. Conversely, those schools with lower graduation rates are rated lower on the scale.
These three rankings were then added together to determine which schools had the overall most to offer. By evaluating these schools using the same metrics, they can be ranked. Those schools with a lower student-to-faculty ratio coupled with the higher graduation rates and tempered by lower per credit tuition costs rise to the top of the list while the opposite schools – high tuition, high student/faculty ration, low graduation rates – fall near the bottom.
If you would like us to consider your school for this list next year, or if your school is on this list and you would like to make a change, please contact us here.