Many individuals that want to have a career in nursing likely do not want to immediately commit to four years in college before earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing. There are a variety of reasons for wanting to become a nurse sooner, including not having the money to finance college for several years, wanting or needing to start working as soon as possible, and the personal interest or desire to start a nursing career as soon as possible. Fast track LPN programs provide an exceptional opportunity for students to start working as a nurse.
Top 5 Fast Track LPN Programs
|1||Montgomery Community College||Troy, North Carolina|
|2||Johnson County Community College||Overland Park, Kansas|
|3||Gateway Community College||Florence, Kentucky|
|4||Tennessee College of Applied Technology Jackson||Tennessee|
|5||Florida Gateway College||Lake City, Florida|
What is an LPN and What Do They Do?
The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), which is called a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in some areas, provides care to patients and perform other duties in a variety of health care settings. The LPN successfully completes an educational program that may be offered at a vocational school or college campus or an online or fast track LPN programs format. The LPN must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN.) The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, (NCSBN) developed the exam which is the same in all states although individual states have some leeway on actual administration of the NCLEX-PN. The NCSBN provides specific guidelines for NCLEX candidates regarding registering for the examination, taking the exam, and what to do after the examination.
It is important to note that a student cannot become a practical nurse simply by completing all requirements online. This is because of required clinical or lab hours. Many schools do offer hybrid programs, which typically allows students to complete part or all coursework online, and then complete labs, clinicals or other requirements face-to-face. After passing the NCLEX-PN and starting work as a Licensed Practical Nurse, the LPN follows specific duties in their daily routine and in some potential special cases. One important duty, in addition to caring for patients, is to provide needed support for registered nurses (RNs) and for doctors.
Some duties of the LPN, including those that complete fast track LPN programs, include:
- Interviewing patients to determine reason for health care visit
- Recording patient history and taking vital signs
- Being a source of support for the family members of patients
- Gathering instruments needed for exams or testing
- Assisting patients with bathing, dressing or some other grooming needs
- Changing bandages or inserting IV lines or catheters
Some areas or healthcare facilities allow LPNs to perform more advanced duties, including supervising CPAs, or reporting the symptoms or progress of individual patients to physicians or supervising registered nurses. Some other duties, as described by the NCSBN, include involving patients in decision-making, recognizing self-limitations of tasks or assignments and seeking assistance when needed, maintaining client confidentiality, and following up with patients after discharge as directed by supervising RN or doctor.
What are Fast Track LPN Programs?
The student enrolled in a program that leads to candidacy to take the NCLEX-PN exam may spend up to two years in a nursing program for prospective licensed practical nurses or licensed vocational nurses. Many schools offer courses that prepare the student for taking the exam, which may result in more time spent in the nursing program than the student realized would be spent in school. There are exciting opportunities for students to complete fast track LPN programs, which are often offered online or in a hybrid format. If the program is offered in hybrid format students complete some requirements on campus or at another directed location, while completing other courses online. Some schools offer their fast track LPN programs entirely on-campus.
The curriculum of fast track LPN programs is identical to the licensed practical nursing programs that sometimes take as long as 18 months or up to two years or more to complete and to qualify to take the NCLEX-PN exam. Students commit to the accelerated format, which allows for shorter classes. The shorter time to complete the program means that students often benefit from lower tuition and reduction of other costs related to the nursing program.
There is considerable job growth expected for LPNs, who normally make an excellent salary, even when working in a first job after passing the NCLEX. ZipRecruiter demonstrates the excellent average salaries for licensed practical nurses in every state.
Consider these fast-track LPN programs to learn at a faster pace and to start your nursing career on an accelerated basis. The stated tuition is the cost of instruction for the entire program but does not include the cost of fees or books.
Top 20 Fast track LPN Programs
Montgomery Community College
Montgomery Community College, located in Troy, North Carolina, has a 100 percent first-time NCLEX-PN pass rate. The fast-track LPN program prepares graduates to provide health care to adults and children across the lifespan.
The program is offered in a hybrid format, and features clinical hours, with the student working in a clinical setting directly under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN).
Johnson County Community College
Students at Johnson County Community College that choose the full-time option have the opportunity to complete the Practical Nurse program in far less time than students that choose the part-time option. Students in the fast track program benefit from classes being held at the Olathe Health Education Center (OHEC), which is right next to Olathe Medical Center. This means that students do not have to travel long distances from the school for their required clinical experiences.
Students learn coursework in the classroom and have the advantage of engaging in hands-on experiences at the OHEC Simulation Center. Learn to provide care to pediatric patients, medical-surgical patients, mental health patients, maternity, and gerontology patients.
Gateway Community College
Gateway Community College offers a fast track practical nursing program that focuses on teaching students the theory and skills to work in acute care, intermediate care and extended care settings. The fast-track program, approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing, consists of a combination of lectures in-class, with learning experiences at nursing homes, hospitals and a variety of health care agencies.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology Jackson
Students do not spend years in college when they complete the practical nursing program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Jackson. The Jackson Regional Practical Nursing Program provides graduates with the skills, theory and other knowledge necessary to work as an entry-level practical nurse. The school provides program delivery through classroom lectures and discussions, laboratory practice, and clinical assignments at hospitals and at long-term care facilities. Students gain additional expertise at a variety of healthcare settings, including pediatric, medical, surgical, obstetrics, and geriatrics settings.
The tuition at this school includes the cost of most fees.
Florida Gateway College
Students that pursue the Practical Nursing Certificate at Florida Gateway College learn to perform entry-level nursing care and procedures, to demonstrate the ability to administer medications, to apply principles of infection control and perform other duties relative to practical nursing care.
Students enter the program during the spring semester and meet qualifications to sit for the NCLEX-PN when they complete the program.
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North Central Missouri College
Complete the practical nursing program at North Central Missouri College, a school with a 90 percent satisfaction rate, that is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. The curriculum focuses on evidence-based practices, learning patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration and the importance of safety and quality improvement.
The program consists of classwork, clinicals and labs, yet requires only 11 months of study. It is offered at three campus locations.
The program offers the opportunity for students that graduate from the practical nursing program to enroll in the PN-ADN program, to earn an associate’s degree in nursing.
North Central Texas College
The North Central Texas College prepares students for entry-level nursing positions in the state that refers to practical nurses as vocational nurses. The curriculum is generally the same as schools that offer practical nursing programs rather than programs such as the Vocational Nursing (LVN) program at this school. Students still gain the skills and knowledge to sit for the NCLEX-PN examination after successfully completing the program.
The online accelerated program focuses on developing and utilizing scientific principles and technical skills as they apply to vocational nursing across a variety of settings.
Great Falls College at Montana State University
The Practical Nurse program at Great Falls College at Montana State University provides students with the opportunity to enter the workforce as entry-level practical nurses, and to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. Students enter the LPN program after just one semester of prerequisite courses. Once admitted to the practical nursing program, students learn to provide safe and effective nursing care.
Do you live more than 30 miles from Great Falls, Montana? The school offers the program in a hybrid format with distance learning options.
Lake Superior College
Learn to adapt to many roles in your nursing career after graduating from the Lake Superior College practical nursing program. Primarily designed for nursing assistants, students qualify to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam upon completing the program.
The fast-track practical nursing program provides nurses with evidence-based practice skills, critical thinking skills and the knowledge to provide care to patients and their families that reflects the ethics and the values of the nursing profession. Students also learn to work as part of an interdisciplinary health care team member.
Lake Area Technical College
The Lake Area Technical College provides three options for its fast track LPN program. Choose the full-time on-campus option, the full-time online option, or the part-time online option if you prefer to take your time to complete program requirements.
Students learn to develop and enhance evidence-based practices, communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills, provide safe, and provide culturally competent patient centered care to patients of all ages.
Mississippi Delta Community College
Prepare for your nursing career by completing the Mississippi Delta Community College Practical Nursing certificate program. Learn to provide patient care that includes meeting basic patient needs by promoting optimal health, by also working as an advocate and educator, and stressing the importance of preventing illness throughout the patient’s life span.
Students learn to practice safe, effective nursing care and to work as a health care team member.
Piedmont Virginia Community College
Apply to the Piedmont Virginia Community College Practical Nursing Certificate program and provide care under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or physician. Some skills and knowledge gained through completing this program includes providing therapeutic care, rehabilitative care, and preventative care for people of all ages. Practical nurses also possibly provide care to diverse cultures in various stages of dependency. The practical nurse takes care of patients in extended care and in other health care settings, including long-term care facilities, physician’s offices or clinics, schools and possibly in other health care settings.
The school had an 88.89 percent first-time NCLEX pass rate for 2018.
Saint Paul College
Saint Paul College offers a variety of program delivery methods for its ACEN accredited Practical Nursing Program, including online, hybrid and traditional in-class learning options. Students also complete off-site clinical hours.
The program focuses on assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation, basic therapeutic, critical thinking and communications skills, among other required knowledge and skills.
Columbus State Community College
The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program at Columbus State Community College provides students with the knowledge to develop essential communication skills, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving skills. They also learn to apply practical nursing concepts in the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health for patients in varying healthcare settings while enrolled at the Downtown Columbus Ohio college.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Prepare for a career as an entry level practical nurse or to continue your education at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The curriculum prepares students to work as a practical nurse with excellent client-centered care, to demonstrate evidence-based practices, to demonstrate quality improvement skills, and exceptional communication skills. Students also demonstrate skills in information technology and practice nursing in a professional, ethical, and legal manner.
Northland Community and Technical College
Start your nursing career by completing the Northland Community and Technical College Practical Nursing Program. Learn to provide care under supervision to patients of all ages in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, home care settings, and occupational nursing settings.
The distance/hybrid program teaches critical thinking and technical skills to assist graduates that want to start their nursing career.
Gain the skills and knowledge required of practical nurses when you complete the South College Certificate Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program. Learn to provide patient care to patients across the lifespan, to collect and organize healthcare data and other information, to contribute to the individual patient care plan, and to identify and understand common health care issues in patients at a variety of health care settings.
Some students continue their education by completing the LPN-BSN nursing program.
Rasmussen College offers several nursing programs, including the fast-track practical nursing program. There is no wait list at most campuses, which means that you start the ACEN-accredited program sooner, and graduate sooner than at some other schools. There are also no prerequisites. Students progress through the practical nursing fast-track program through a mix of on-campus and online classes. Students develop required skills for practical nurses, prepare to care for the diverse healthcare needs of individuals and families of all ages, and prepare to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam upon program completion.
Active duty members of the military receive a tuition discount.
The State of Michigan is home to Dorsey Schools, where students have the opportunity to complete the licensed practical nursing program (LPN) in a shorter time than it takes at some other schools. Students gain valuable knowledge and skills to provide techniques related to practical nursing responsibilities and foundational skills.
There are five locations where students learn topics such as medical terminology, practical nursing fundamentals, pediatric nursing, geriatric nursing, and medical and surgical nursing.
It is important to note that most fees and supplies are covered in the tuition cost at this school. This includes each student receiving a stethoscope, medical scrub uniform, lab coat and electronic device.
East Coast Polytechnic Institute
The East Coast Polytechnic Institute, which refers to itself simply as ECPI University, offers an accelerated path to several nursing careers, beginning with the Practical Nursing program. Students acquire the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are necessary to develop the critical thinking, clinical reasoning, effective communication, and other skills to provide care to individuals, families, and communities as a licensed practical nurse. Graduates qualify to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam upon completing the program.
Many students continue their education after completing the LPN program, and earn an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
We searched fast track LPN programs across the U.S., and narrowed our list down to 20 accredited schools. We then ranked each school, starting with the school with the lowest tuition rate and assigning the top score of 20. We then ranked each school after that, assigning the proper number, until we assigned one point for the school with the highest rate. Each school received a weighted score based on the program length, which was then combined with the tuition score to arrive at the final ranking.
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