The Top Online LPN & LVN School Programs in 2021

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Online LPN & LVN Class Programs

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) provides basic nursing care to patients. They work under the direction of registered nurses (RNs) and doctors. To become an LPN/LVN, students enroll in a vocational school diploma LPN program or LVN program. The fastest way to enter the nursing field, these programs typically take 12-13 months to complete. Curricula include topics such as anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and restorative nursing care

Graduates who completed a licensed practical nurse program or licensed vocational nurse program often find employment in hospitals, long-term care facilities, independent doctor’s offices, and schools. Their responsibilities include monitoring patient health, administering basic patient care, making patients comfortable, and keeping patient records. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPNs/LVNs earn a median annual salary of $47,480 with a projected job growth of 9% from 2019-2029, much faster than the average job growth rate.

Top Online LPN/LVN Programs

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Northland Community and Technical College $4900
2 Western Wyoming Community College $2136
3 Lake Area Technical Institute $2616
4 Henderson Community College $3744
5 Ashland Community and Technical College $3744
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  • What degree do you need to be a LPN?

    LPNs complete a state-approved nursing program that culminates in a diploma in practical nursing.

  • How many years does it take to be a LPN?

    It takes roughly one year to become an LPN. Aspiring LPNs complete a vocational program in practical nursing and pass a licensing exam.

  • What is the difference between an RN and LPN?

    LPNs provide basic nursing care and maximize comfort for patients. RNs administer treatments, medications, and offer health advice to patients. It takes longer to become an RN than an LPN.

  • Is LPN the same thing as LVN?

    Yes, LPNs and LVNs work the same job. Both LPNs and LVNs work under RNs and doctors. The term LVN occurs more frequently in California and Texas, while LPN occurs more frequently in other states in the U.S.

The Top Online LPN/LVN Programs 2021

  1. Northland Community and Technical College

    Thief River Falls, MN



    Northland Community and Technical College is a 2-year institution locationed in East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls, Minnesota. This school offers an online practical nursing diploma for distance learners. Northland's online students have academic advisors to ensure you choose the right program to meet your career goals. You will also receive close guidance in your classes, with supervised training experiences in caring for clients in a variety of health care settings and scenarios. You will also learn about administering medication, using diagnostic testing devices, IV pumps, syringes and cardiac monitors. Graduates of this program often pursue careers working in long-term care facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, clinics, acute care hospitals, group homes, childcare facilities and school nursing. Admission to this program is competitive. Prospective students must complete the Northland college admission process and declare their major in practical nursing. You can test out of the required developmental courses with Accuplacer scores of 50 and 60 or higher in arithmetic and elementary algebra, respectively. All distance education students pay the same tuition rates at Northland regardless of their location. Full-time students can complete the 44 credit hours and requirements for the diploma in 3-4 semesters.

  2. Western Wyoming Community College

    Rock Springs, W



    Western Wyoming Community College is a 2-year institution located in Rock Springs. This practical nursing certificate is offered in a hybrid format and requires 42 credits for graduation. While most of your training and coursework must be completed on campus, some theory-based courses are available online. Certificate seekers must complete 22 credits of prerequisites in general education areas such as general biology, anatomy, English composition, psychology and algebra. Additionally, the core nursing curriculum can be completed by taking 1 nursing course in the fall, spring and summer semesters). All prerequisite courses must be complete, however, by the end of your spring semester, before fall admission into the nursing program. You must earn a "C" or higher to stay in good standing. Students may obtain credit for previously earned credits from other accredited institutions, advanced placement courses taken in high school and credit by examination.

  3. Lake Area Technical Institute

    Watertown, SD



    The Lake Area Technical Institute's hybrid practical nursing program is only open to residents of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. All required practical nursing courses (except English, math, anatomy and psychology) can be completed online. General education courses may be completed at another regionally accredited school and transferred toward your degree. As a distance learner, you are required to visit the Lake Area Tech campus for clinical training programs. Full-time students can complete the degree in 11 months, while part-time students need about 23 months to finish. By training with the latest medical technology, Lake Area Tech graduates are prepared for a variety of areas within the nursing field such as obstetrical, pediatric, medical, psychiatric, surgical and geriatric. Applicants must complete an online application and the 3-hour ATI-TEAS entrance exam, which you take on campus. Applicants must also submit their high school and college transcripts and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Nursing students must also have a physical examination and current immunization records. Students can transfer credits toward their LPN degree if they earned a C or higher. Credit for prior learning is also available, including national standardized tests, professional certifications, experience-based credit, military experience and some AP high school courses. All credits must be approved by the registrar and will not count toward your GPA at NJC.

  4. Henderson Community College

    Henderson, KY



    Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Henderson Community College's hybrid Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing requires a minimum of 62 credits to graduate. Students will need to spend 3-4 days a week on campus which is quite similar to a traditional degree trajectory. As a Henderson graduate, you will be ready to work in health care facilities and clinics, child care centers and doctors' offices. Some students even go on to work as teachers at educational facilities. You will acquire the necessary skills for a variety of nursing positions in the health care industry, including beside care, evaluation of client needs, taking vital signs, applying dressings and keeping records. Admission to the nursing program at Henderson is competitive, and applicants must meet the minimum standards to be included in the qualified applicant pool. Applicants must attend a preadmission conference, complete the standard application and submit official ACT, SAT, and/or HESI A2 results. You must also submit your high school and any post high school transcripts. Full-time students can finish this degree program in 2 years.

  5. Ashland Community and Technical College

    Ashland, KY



    Ashland Community and Technical College in Kentucky is a 2-year, open admission institution that offers distance learners associate degrees, certificates and diplomas. Online students can earn a licensed practical nurse diploma (LPN) in a hybrid format. This program will position students for future work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and doctors' offices. Unlike most other programs at ACTC, admission to the LPN program is selective. All prospective students must submit both a program application and the standard ACTC application. Most hybrid students can finish this 57-credit hour degree over the course of 3 semesters. Applicants must provide proof of immunizations and annual TB skin testing. While in the program, students must also pass a drug screen and background check every 18 months. After completion of the program, graduates can apply to a state board of nursing to sit for the NCLEX-PN national licensing exam.

What Are the Goals of an LPN/LVN Degree?

LPN/LVN program objectives primarily include preparing students to take the NCLEX-PN licensing exam and obtain a career in the nursing field. Programs cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, nutrition, emergency care, pediatric nursing, and long-term care. Students also take courses in the psychosocial impact of disease, nursing administration, and cultural differences in medical care.

Some LPN/LVN programs offer the option to specialize in a particular area like obstetric nursing or rehabilitation. Students also gain hands-on experience through completing supervised clinical hours at a hospital, nursing home, or other healthcare environment.

Why Get an LPN/LVN Degree?

Pursuing an LPN/LVN degree comes with several personal and professional benefits, including affordability, career advancement, and a holistic overview of the nursing profession.

Fastest Way to Enter the Nursing Field
LPN/LVN programs allow students to enter the nursing field quickly and typically take 12-24 months to complete.
Many community colleges and vocational schools offer affordable LPN/LVN programs. Some hospitals and healthcare environments reimburse tuition for an LPN/LVN program if students agree to work for them for a number of years after graduation.
Options for Career Advancement
Graduates of an LPN/LVN program often qualify for bridge programs to more advanced nursing degrees, such as an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Students need these degrees to become an RN.
Options for Specialization
LPNs and LVNs can earn certifications to demonstrate mastery of a specialization and earn a higher salary. Certifications for LPNs include gerontology, rehabilitation, long-term care, and pharmacology.
Well-rounded Education in Nursing
LPN/LVN programs provide a well-rounded foundation in the field, combining instructional classes with hands-on clinical experience to train students in patient care.

What Are the Requirements for an LPN/LVN Degree?

Community colleges and vocational schools house most LPN/LVN programs. Admission requirements for an LPN/LVN degree coincide with entrance requirements for the college. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Some schools and programs require students to meet specific GPA or standardized test score minimums. LPN/LVN degrees often require prerequisites such as high school biology or advanced math courses.

To graduate from an LPN/LVN program, students must complete required courses and a certain number of supervised clinical hours. The exact amount of clinical experience required varies depending on the state and specific program.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

Professional Organizations for LPN/LVN Students

Professional organizations provide students and practicing nurses with opportunities to network with colleagues in their field, access to continuing education and certification, educational and research resources, and career services. Some professional organizations also offer scholarships and preparatory resources for the NCLEX exam or certification exams. Organizations often specialize in a specific field or level within nursing. Others remain open to all nursing practitioners.

  • American Nurses Association The ANA advances the nursing profession by supporting individuals and organizations. They offer several certifications, including the adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner certification (AGACNP-BC) and the family nurse practitioner (family NP) certification. Members also benefit from continuing education workshops, scholarships, and career services.

  • National Student Nurses' Association The NSNA mentors nursing students and prepares them for careers as registered nurses. The organization boasts 60,000 members in all 50 states. Nursing student members gain access to professional development opportunities, the NSNA annual convention and midyear conference, and publications.

  • Emergency Nurses Association The ENA supports the education and practice of emergency nurses. Members enjoy access to continuing education courses, certified nursing education (CNE) certification preparation resources, evidence-based resources for emergency nursing practice, and an annual conference. The ENA also advocates for emergency nursing professionals with government agencies and public policy.

Scholarships for LPN/LVN Students

Scholarships for LPN/LVN programs allow students to earn their degree more affordably. Organizations offer scholarships based on financial need, merit and achievement, and field of specialty. Other scholarships support students from underrepresented groups pursuing a career in nursing. See below for scholarships for nursing students.

  • DAR Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Daughters of the American Revolution award this scholarship to three students admitted to an accredited school of nursing who demonstrate financial need. To apply, candidates include a nursing program acceptance letter or transcripts showing enrollment in a nursing program.

    Amount: $2,500

    Explore Here

  • AACN Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Hurst Review Services and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing partner to award students pursuing professional nursing degrees. Applicants must show enrollment in an LPN or RN program at an AACN member school. Eligible applicants have not obtained licensure at the time of application.

    Amount: $2,500

    Explore Here

  • FNSNA Undergraduate Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: The Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association awards scholarships to students enrolled in nursing programs across the U.S. Each scholarship in the general scholarship program typically focuses on a particular area of specialization underrepresented in the nursing field, such as critical care, oncology, or emergency nursing.

    Amount: Up to $7,500 per year

    Explore Here

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