LPN School Online Guide
Licensed Practical Nurses offer direct care to patients in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, home health care, and community-based settings. Because of the range of work they perform, LPNs are required to have many skills, including both hard skills directly related to nursing and soft skills, including problem-solving and critical thinking skills, professionalism, and communication. LPN programs are created in a way that students are able to learn and practice all skills that will be required of them on the job through coursework, laboratory experience, and supervised clinical experiences.
Is LPN School Hard?
Practical Nursing Programs are challenging and rigorous and require a high level of commitment from students. In addition, students need to be able to master content in many different academic areas. They also are required to complete clinical training hours to attain hands-on practice while under the supervision of healthcare staff and faculty members.
After successful completion of Practical Nursing Program requirements, graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to obtain licensure in their state.
How Long is LPN School?
While each program is different, LPN school coursework generally includes approximately 25-30 credits in practical nursing and 10-15 credits in general education, which can be taken either prior to or concurrently with nursing courses. These programs are typically completed in 18 months.
Applying for LPN Programs
There are several things prospective students need to do to apply for a Licensed Practical Nursing Program. Along with simply filling out an application, students also likely need complete these admission requirements:
- Provide proof of health screenings (usually includes a physical exam and dates of immunizations)
- Transcripts of high school diploma or GED, with a minimum GPA (generally 2.0 or 2.5)
- Transcripts from college (if any)
- Complete course prerequisites (typically a variety of sciences like Anatomy and Physiology and Biology as well as courses in math, reading, chemistry, and/or psychology)
- CPR/AED course
Once admitted, students will attend an orientation course to better orient them to the specifics of the program.
LPN School Curriculum
Classes in Practical Nursing programs focus on the hands-on nature of the work necessary to patient care. These programs teach potential nurses how to care for others in a healthcare setting through competencies in communication (with patients, patients’ families, and healthcare staff), critical thinking and problem solving (through data gathering and the identification of normal and abnormal patterns), and implementation of nursing care.
Nursing courses include topics such as:
- Nursing Fundamentals
- Medical/Surgical Nursing
- Clinical Nursing Skills
- Pediatric Nursing
- Family Nursing
- IV Therapy Skills
- Health Care Transitions and Careers
Most of these core courses need to be passed with a minimum grade requirement of generally 2.0 or better. Classes also need to be taken in sequence in order to complete prerequisites, theory, labs, and clinical experience in an appropriate order.
Toward the end of Practical Nursing programs, students will have the opportunity to practice clinical skills by taking care of patients under the supervision of faculty and nursing staff at a healthcare facility. Most programs offer these clinicals in pediatrics, maternal and newborn nursing, medical/surgical nursing, and mental health/psychiatric nursing. During clinicals, students are expected to be prepared to answer questions regarding their patients while helping with their care.
Online LPN School Programs
While many schools offer some or most courses for Practical Nursing programs to be taken online, there is no LPN program that is entirely online. Most schools offer hybrid programs which allow some courses online to promote flexibility for students.
With online learning settings, students learn foundational topics through online course work including required reading, discussion boards, video or slideshow lectures, and other media. While many programs offer the flexibility of taking courses online, clinical experiences must still be done in person.
LPN Schools Near Me
Texas (remember – Texas title is LVN!)
Mt. Pleasant – Northeast Texas Community College
Big Spring – Howard College
Cypress, Conroe, Houston, Kingwood – Lone Star College
El Paso – El Paso Community College
Bronx – Bronx Community College
Medina – Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services
Elmira – Greater Southern Tier Board of Cooperative Educational Services
Albany – Maria College
LPN to RN Schools
Some schools offer options for Practical Nursing students to more easily transition to a career in Registered Nursing. These are often called LPN to RN “Bridge” tracks or “Ladder” tracks, as they are the bridge or ladder to the more complex RN degree. These bridge programs offer Practical Nursing students the chance to take general education courses, such as ethics, leadership, and culture classes, necessary to obtain their Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Registered Nursing.
If you’re looking for more flexible options while you continue working as a Licensed Practical Nurse, see our page on LPN to RN online programs.
Find LPN Schools Near You
Select Your State for Information on Local LPN Programs