Online LPN Programs 2021

Earning an LPN can lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Here, we list the best online LPN programs.

January 11, 2022 , Updated on July 7, 2022

Online LPN Programs 2021 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.

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Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) perform many entry-level nursing tasks. They assist doctors and registered nurses (RNs) as part of a healthcare team. Online LPN programs build general nursing and patient-care skills. These programs prepare students to provide basic comfort and care.

LPNs typically report to RNs. LPNs earn a median annual salary of $48,820, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This figure exceeds the median annual salary of $41,950 for all occupations. Many of the top LPN programs take just one year to complete.

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Questions About LPN Programs

What degree do I need to become an LPN?

Aspiring LPNs must complete an LPN certificate or diploma program from a state-approved school. Learners can often find LPN programs at community colleges.

How many years does it take to become an LPN?

Students can complete LPN programs in one year. After earning an LPN certificate, graduates can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) exam and begin work as LPNs.

What is the difference between an LPN and an RN?

An LPN program builds entry-level nursing knowledge. An RN program builds more specialized knowledge. Students can complete an RN program in two years.

Why Become an LPN?

An LPN program trains students in basic healthcare and administration practices. Most programs only take about a year to complete, enabling graduates to begin work quickly. LPNs may also continue their education and become RNs.

Online LPN programs may help students complete their education while maintaining a full-time job. The BLS projects careers for LPNs to grow 9% from 2020-30, which is about as fast as average for all occupations.

How Much Does an LPN Program Cost?

Tuition rates vary among schools. However, most LPN programs cost $10,00-$15,000 on average. An LPN certificate typically takes one year to complete, placing graduates in the workforce faster than a two-year RN degree. An RN degree also typically costs more than an LPN program, since students spend more semesters enrolled in school.

Many online LPN programs enable enrollees to continue working. Students can complete coursework online. However, learners complete in-person requirements for hands-on healthcare training. In-person courses may include extra expenses, such as lab and simulation fees.

Additional Online Student Fees

Students attending online LPN programs do not pay for campus housing or meal plans. However, they may pay online learning fees. These fees may cover technology costs, technical support, and other online resources.

Online learners should budget for books and school supplies. Students should also plan for fees for labs and simulations. Learners should consider travel and lodging expenses for in-person requirements. LPNs must also pay for testing and licensing fees after graduation.

How Much Do LPNs Make?

LPNs earn an average annual salary of $46,880, according to Dec. 2021 PayScale data. According to the BLS, the highest 10% of LPNs earn more than $65,520. LPNs who work in government typically earn the highest salaries. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $51,700.

More education can help nurses advance to high-paying positions. Earning an associate or bachelor's degree prepares graduates to work as RNs. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $75,330. Nurses who earn a master's degree may work as nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $117,670.

Courses in an LPN Program

Online LPN programs teach broad skills for entry-level nursing jobs. Students explore the major types of nursing care. These include preventive, therapeutic, rehabilitative, and restorative care. The curriculum also covers clinical skills and nursing interventions.

Learners may study specialized topics such as musculoskeletal nursing care and gastrointestinal nursing care. Students gain an understanding of the body's major systems. They also learn best practices for assessing patients and offering care. LPN programs typically prepare candidates for the NCLEX-PN exam.

See below for three common courses in online LPN programs. Keep in mind that course titles and descriptions vary by program.

How to Become an LPN

Prospective LPNs must complete an LPN diploma or certificate program. These programs build broad knowledge and skills in entry-level healthcare practices. Students learn how to provide basic patient care and monitor patient health.

Graduates must take the NCLEX-PN to obtain LPN licensure. LPNs usually work as part of a healthcare team that includes doctors and nurses. They provide basic patient care such as changing bandages and checking blood pressure.

Licensure for LPNs

LPNs need state licensure before entering professional nursing practice. Licensure standards vary by states. However, all nursing students must complete an accredited, state-approved LPN program. They must also pass the NCLEX-PN exam to obtain LPN licensure. The exam tests candidates' abilities and nursing knowledge.

After completing an LPN program, nursing candidates must apply for an Authorization to Test. This test requires identity verification and proof of successful LPN program completion. After obtaining Authorization to Test, candidates can sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. The exam costs $200.

Candidates who successfully complete the NCLEX-PN exam can practice nursing in their state of residence. Those who fail the exam can retake the test after 45 days. After obtaining LPN licensure, nurses may need to complete continuing education hours to renew their license. Continuing education requirements vary among states.

The Top Online LPN Programs 2021

  1. Copiah-Lincoln Community College

    Wesson, MS



    Based in Wesson, Mississippi, Co-Lin offers a one-year licensed practical nursing training program. Students complete coursework online and gain eligibility to sit for practical nurse licensure exams.

    Students take 44 credits in nursing foundations, including courses such as therapy and pharmacology, specialty areas in nursing, adult health nursing concepts, and body structure and function. Students complete required clinicals at the direction of the instructor. Students work various shifts and gain experience in direct patient care with direct mentoring from those in the field. At the end of the program, students can achieve certification and move on to the next stage of nursing.

    Students need a minimum ACT score of 16 and a high school diploma or GED equivalent to qualify for admission. Students must also submit ATI TEAS exam scores. Accepted students must send a record of CPR certification and a physician-signed health form.

    Co-Lin is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. Coastal Pines Technical College

    Waycross, GA



    Based in Waycross, Georgia, CPTC offers a diploma in practical nursing. Students can complete the program in five semesters, taking 57 credits of nursing foundation courses.

    The program provides a clear introduction to nursing best practices. The curriculum begins with general education courses, including fundamentals of English, fundamentals of mathematics, and basic psychology, before moving on to nursing requirements. Notable nursing courses include structure and function of the human body, introduction to pharmacology and clinical calculations, and maternity nursing. Clinical requirements allow students to provide direct patient care and receive training in the field.

    Applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.75 in all required courses to qualify for admission. Students may complete required courses during the first term of acceptance into the nursing program if space permits but should plan to take the coursework before applying.

    CPTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. Ashland Community and Technical College

    Ashland, KY



    Located in Ashland, Kentucky, ACTC offers a variety of nursing programs, including an option to become a licensed practical nurse. The program includes 46-53 credits, and most students finish in two years.

    Students take courses such as medical terminology, general psychology, and pharmacology in nursing. Students can complete most coursework online, with practicum requirements completed in person. Lab and practicum requirements offer students the opportunity to provide direct patient care and gain vital skills within a real healthcare setting. Motivated students can move on to the school's online ADN bridge program.

    Applicants must possess a completed nursing aid certificate and a minimum GPA of 2.5 to qualify for admission. Students must also complete all prerequisites with a grade of "C" or better for program eligibility.

    ACTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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