Online LPN and LVN Programs
Online LPN programs train students to work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors. A licensed practical nurse, or LPN, provides basic nursing care to patients.
To become an LPN, students enroll in a vocational school diploma LPN 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, all of which can be stepping stones toward a nursing degree.
Graduates who complete 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 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.
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Questions People Ask About LPN Degrees
LPNs complete a state-approved nursing program that culminates in a diploma in practical nursing.
It takes roughly one year to become an LPN. Aspiring LPNs complete a vocational program in practical nursing and pass a licensing exam.
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.
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.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse - Nursing Timeline
A typical nursing degree can take 2-4 years to complete. Each level of nursing has its own timeline, and that timeline can vary depending upon factors like part-time vs. full-time enrollment, certification, and the type of program.
Below is an overview of the typical amount of time it takes to complete a nursing degree, keep in mind that the length provided is for the amount of time it takes to complete that segment of the degree, not the entire academic path overall:
|Nursing Degree Level||Time of Completion|
|Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)||2-3 years|
|Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN/LVN)||1-2 years|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||4 years|
|Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)||4-5 years|
|Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)||1.5-3 years|
|Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)||1-3 years|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Scholarship||Amount||Who Can Apply|
DAR Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship
|$2,500||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.|
|$2,500||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.|
FNSNA Undergraduate Scholarship Program
|Up to $7,500 per year||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.|
The Top Online LPN/LVN Programs 2021
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.
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.
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.
Jandy Gu holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Florida. She is an ethnographer by training, educator by job experience, and freelance writer by a combination of necessity and obsession. She has published scholarly essays, blogs, and informative articles on topics of art, culture, language, community and identity, and education.
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