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LPN Classes Online

September 30, 2021 | Staff Writers

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For a multitude of nursing students, the journey to becoming a licensed practical nurse kicks-off with a college degree. For an increasing number of students today, it begins with an online LPN program. Schools across the US are starting to create LPN paths that entail a heavy dose of virtual coursework, including in Florida, Texas, California, and other popular states. 

In today’s digital era, students can learn the academic portions of the profession from the comfort of their home. There’s also hands-on LPN training that occurs outside a medical facility or on campus. Are you wondering whether an online LPN program is a great fit for you? Then read on to discover the ins and outs, including accreditation, top schools, and how the curriculum works. 

A boatload of universities and colleges has an online LPN program available, given the digital era we live in. However, which schools have the best online LPN programs with top-notch career and student support, quality instruction, and affordable cost structures? 

Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) in addition to over 7700 accredited universities and colleges in the US, we’ve pinpointed some of the top LPN programs with online learning components. 

Best Online LPN Programs

1. The Lake Area Technical Institute: Watertown, SD

It offers its Practical Nursing Diploma e-degree program in a hybrid format which is the perfect blend of an on-campus and online LPN program. A student completes all practical nursing coursework virtually. 

The general education required courses in psychology, anatomy, mathematics, and English can be completed at a properly-accredited technical school/college or LATI. Although students can enroll in one or several education courses per semester of the rn program, they are encouraged to complete these courses before they begin the practical nursing curriculum. 

Online availability of general education courses differs from one course and nursing school to another. Coupled with didactic coursework, learners are required to visit the LATI campus in Watertown, South Dakota, for completion of all clinical training requirements. Full-time and part-time study options are available. 

  • Clinical Hours: 674
  • Duration: 23 months (part-time) or 11 months (full-time)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Credits: 47
  • Accreditation: ACEN (program) and Higher Learning Commission (school)
  • Cost: $13,507 (total program for part-time) or $12,650 (total program for full-time)

2. Northwest Technical College: Bemidji, MN

The practical nursing program is available from this institution is a 1 to 2-year, 2-semester program that imparts the skills and knowledge and skills a student requires to provide excellent nursing care under the guidance of a registered nurse and doctor. The program is primarily offered on-site, calling for class attendance on-campus. 

Nonetheless, some required nonpractical nursing courses can be completed through remote learning. Ensure you consult a program advisor to gain insight into the available online courses. 

Some program applicants are subject to Accuplacer assessment or RN bridge program before admission to determine college preparedness. They may also be required to enroll in mathematics, reading, writing, and other college-readiness courses. Program graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam, leading to entry-level employment in an LPN and licensure. 

  • Mode: Some courses offered online
  • Credits: 38
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (school)
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Tuition Per Credit: $199.00 (online courses) and $190.15 (nursing courses)

3. Holmes Community College: Goodman, MS

Offering a career certificate in practical nursing, this institution prepares every enrolled student for the NCLEX-PN exam, leading to an entry-level position under the supervision of an APRN, dentist, physician, CNA, and RN in a broad range of practice environments. 

The curriculum comes in a hybrid format option that combines in-person LPN training, clinical training, and online courses. The hybrid nursing program is designed to be completed in 5 semesters of part-time study. The admission requirements entail a GED or high school diploma, a minimum composite score of 20 on the ACT, and a minimum score of 12 on math and reading subjects. 

  • Duration: 27 months
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
  • Credits: 45
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Clinical Hours: 345
  • Tuition Per Credit: $247 (for out-of-state students) or $137 (for in-state learners)

4. Northland Community and Technical College: Thief River Falls, MN

The partially online practical nursing degree prepares a student to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and begin their clinical training in a broad range of health care settings such as nursing homes, home care, clinics, and hospitals. 

The 44-credit hour practical nursing program comes in a hybrid format over three semesters with start dates in fall and spring. Students can complete the general education requirements in two semesters, whereas the nursing degree courses can be done in the remaining two. 

All general education courses that include health care, biology, English, and math alongside theory nursing courses are entirely accessed and completed virtually. The additional requirements include 192 clinical hours and labs, which nursing students can complete at the East Grand Forks campus. A graduate qualifies for the NCLEX Practical Nurse examination. 

  • Duration: 15 months
  • Mode: Some courses offered online
  • Nursing Program Tuition: $9500
  • Credits: 44
  • Accreditation: NLN CNEA (program) and Higher Learning Commission (school) 
  • Clinical Hours: 192

5. North Central Missouri College: Trenton, MO

It’s a 3-semester program mostly offered on campus. The nursing degree can be pursued on the Maryville campus (day classes), Trenton from the fall to the summer and spring, or Bethany campus (weekend and evening classes) from the spring to summer and fall. 

The curriculum constitutes 22 credit hours of a practical nursing program, 4 of which a student can complete virtually. Nursing students must additionally finish one course in psychology, English, and speech before or concurrently with their practical nursing studies. 

An extra 11 credits of nursing preparedness coursework must be completed before beginning the certificate program. A graduate qualifies to sit the NCLEX-PN examination to become a licensed practical nurse. 

  • Duration: 11 months
  • Clinical Hours: 270
  • Mode: Some courses offered online
  • Credits: 31
  • Total LPN Program Tuition: $10,880
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (school)

6. Ashland Community and Technical College: Ashland, KY

As a 2-year open admission institution, the Ashland Community and Technical College offers distance learners an associate degree, diploma, and certificate. An online student can enroll in an LPN program in a hybrid format and become a licensed practical nurse. 

Completing an LPN program automatically positions a student for future work in health care settings such as clinics, doctors’ offices, and hospitals. Contrary to other programs offered at this institution, admission to the LPN program is selective. All prospective candidates must submit the standard college and nursing program application. Most hybrid students can complete the 57-credit hour practical nursing program in 3 semesters. Each applicant must provide proof of annual TB skin-testing and immunizations. Students are required to pass a background check and drug screening every 18 months in the LPN program. After they complete the online LPN program, they can submit their application to a state board of nursing to qualify for the NCLEX-PN national licensing exam. 

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Credits: 57
  • Mode: Some courses offered online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (school)

7. Western Wyoming Community College: Rock Springs, Wyoming

It’s a 2-year institution that offers a practical nursing certificate in a hybrid format. Nursing students must complete 42 credits to graduate. Although most of your LPN training and coursework must be completed on campus, some theory practical nursing courses are available virtually. 

A certificate seeker must complete 22 credits of prerequisites in general education areas ranging from algebra, English composition, general biology, and psychology to anatomy. Furthermore, the core nursing degree curriculum can be completed by taking one course in the summer, fall, and spring semesters. 

It’s worth noting that all prerequisite courses must be completed by the time your spring semester comes to a halt before fall admission into the LPN program. Staying in good standing involves scoring at least a ‘C’. Students can gain credit for the credits they previously earned from any other accredited nursing school by examination or advanced placement courses they took in high school. 

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (school)
  • Credits: 42
  • Mode: Some courses offered online

8. Henderson Community College: Henderson, KY

Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), this institution’s hybrid associate degree in practical nursing requires a minimum of 62 credits to graduate. An associate degree (ADN) is the minimum qualification required to become a registered nurse. 

Given that RNs have more responsibility and training than LPNs, it’s a no-brainer that they earn a higher salary with better career growth opportunities. An LPN student who enrolls in AND bridge program will still have classroom and clinical requirements. However, their work experience means the hands-on requirements will be considerably reduced, saving up to 12 months off the time it would take. 

Nursing students will need to spend up to 4 days on campus, closely similar to a conventional degree trajectory. As a Henderson alumnus, you’ll qualify for employment in health care facilities such as clinics, pediatric centers, hospitals, and doctors’ practices. Some graduates also go on to teach at an LVN or LPN school, among other educational facilities. 

You’ll acquire the required skills for a myriad of nursing roles in the health care sector, including taking vital signs, assessing client needs, record keeping, beside-care, and applying dressings. 

Given that admission to the LPN program at Henderson is competitive, candidates must meet the fundamental standards to be included in the pool of qualified applicants. They must submit their official HESI A2, SAT, or ACT results, attend a preadmission conference, and complete the standard application. Moreover, they must submit their after-high-school transcripts. A full-time nursing student can complete the program in 2 years. 

  • Duration: 2 years (for full-time students)
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Credits: 62
  • Mode: Some courses offered online

Pursuing an LVN/LPN degree ushers in numerous professional and personal perks as outlined below. 

Becoming a Practical Nurse

Fastest Way to Become a Practical Nurse

An LVN/LPN program allows nursing students to quickly enter the field and usually takes anywhere between 12 and 24 months to complete.

Affordability 

A wealth of vocational schools and community colleges offer an LVN or LPN program at an affordable cost. Some health care environments, such as hospitals, reimburse the tuition for a student to become a licensed vocational nurse if they consent to work for them for a stipulated number of years after graduation. 

Career Advancement Opportunities

Graduates of a practical nursing program usually qualify for an RN bridge program to more advanced options such as a BSN program (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), LPN to MSN, or an associate degree in nursing (AND). These qualifications come in handy to become a CNA or a registered nurse. 

Specializations Options

An LVN and LPN can earn certifications that depict a specialization’s mastery, qualifying them for a significant salary bump. What’s more is that certifications for an LVN range from pharmacology, gerontology, and long-term care to rehabilitation. 

Well-Rounded Nursing Education 

Continuing education of an online nursing course ushers in the field, coupling instructional classes with hands-on clinical training in excellent patient care.

Fast-track LPN Programs Online

An online LPN program can take anywhere between one year and two years. The exact duration is based on the specific practical nursing program structure, whether you’re a part-time or full-time student. It’s also based on any prior academic college credit that might transfer into the LPN program. Below are three typical tracks for nursing students. 

Accelerated LPN Program

Also known as a fast-track LPN program, it takes one year to complete under full-time status, clinical attendance, and year-round class. Accelerated programs assume incoming nursing students will have some prerequisites or general education already completed before enrollment. Alternatively, each semester of the accelerated LPN will be overload. As such, up to 22 credit hours are required per semester, including clinical practice. 

Standard Practical Nursing Program 

It typically lasts from 16 to 18 months, spanning three semesters. Most curriculums allow two semesters for the practical nursing curriculum, whereas the 3rd is dedicating to completing a college-level math course, psychology, writing, and other prerequisite courses. 

Extended Nursing Program 

It lasts anywhere between 20 and 24 months for nursing students that require maximum flexibility to attend their program for an LPN degree using the part-academic or extended track. Therefore, the course load per semester is divided halfway and may call for 1 or 2 summer sessions. 

The precise duration of these extended programs is based on the pace at which learners complete their online LPN course and the number of completed prerequisites before joining the nursing program. 

Granted, you have the motivation and heart to become a registered nurse. However, you’ll be tasked with deciding two main paths for entry into the field; professional nursing and practical nursing. 

Although both are great starting points, they require different education levels, ultimately ushering in different job duties. Depending on your career goals and life circumstances, one path might be a better fit for you. 

Practical Nurses

They include a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and a licensed practical nurse (LPN). The latter is usually referred to as LVNs in California and Texas, whereas LPNS are the norm in other states. An LPN and LVN deliver direct patient care in a broad range of health care settings. 

However, you may find small differences in the scope and duties of practice from one state to another. If you opt for the practical nursing route, you can earn a diploma in 12 months, after which you’ll sit the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). 

Professional Nursing 

On this track, you have the option to enroll in a BSN program (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or earn an ADN (Associate of Science in Nursing) to become a professional nurse. Becoming a licensed registered nurse (RN) means you must pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) after graduation.

Compared to a practical nurse, an RN has more wiggle room when it comes to workplaces and specializations. You’ll find more registered nurses in hospitals compared to long-term care facilities. Additionally, they have a higher likelihood of working in highly specialized departments such as emergency care and the NICU compared to an LPN.

Free Online LPN Classes and Educational Materials

You can acquire nursing education through licensed practical nursing terminology and protocols with these free online LPN classes or top study APPs. Many LPN universities deliver tutorials or videos to benefit nursing students, professionals, and anyone whose curiosity is piqued by an online nursing course. 

College of Southern Maryland 

The Fundamentals of Nursing is a free LPN program that teaches different nursing fundamentals and comprises 19 video lectures viewable on YouTube. The course topics include parental medication, dressing change, sterile gloving, and tube insertion. 

Des Moines University

The Medical Terminology online class covers human anatomy. You learn about the proper medical terms for the musculoskeletal, circulatory, urinary, digestive, respiratory, nervous, and reproductive systems. You also gain familiarity with common terms associated with standard over-the-counter (OTC) and cancer medications. A student who wants to earn a certificate can register and pay for a certificate of participation upon completing the course. 

Johns Hopkins University

The Principles of Human Nutrition free class delves into how nutrition can impact disease in humans, health, and physiology. Common class topics entail malnutrition, energy homeostasis, obesity, dietary supplements, antioxidants, lipids, and amino acids. While the lectures and slideshow presentations are available online for free, the recommended and required textbooks are sold separately. 

Lincoln Land Community College

Nursing Skills is a free online LPN class available to students as a YouTube video. Comprising eight hours of video lectures, this program explores the array of issues pertinent to nursing. The topics covered include catheterization, injecting insulin, central line dressing, discontinuation and initiation of intravenous therapy, sterile gloving, connector change, and intramuscular injection. 

Nurse.com

Improving Critical Thinking and Clinical Thinking is useful for a CNA, LPN, or anyone else working in the medical or nursing field. A student will learn the definition of and develop clinical reasoning in addition to critical thinking skills. The text-only class also has a multiple-choice quiz at the end. 

Pearson Vue

The free Online Tutorial for NCLEX Examination helps prepare aspiring nurses for their licensure. It’s downloadable as a PDF document and provides information on what the exam entails and what to expect when taking the assessment.

University of Michigan

The Advanced Emergency Trauma free online LPN class is geared towards assisting a nurse, and other medical professionals get better at providing emergency care to patients. The course includes didactic educational materials that are downloadable into a ZIP file. You can view the 20 lectures as a PDF document or a slideshow on Microsoft PowerPoint.

Patient Communication Skills course helps health care professionals communicate with patients more effectively. Initially targeted at dental students, this free program instills excellent communication skills in health care workers. It does so via performance videos and keys and study topics such as patient interaction, telephone skills, cross-cultural patient communication, patient interviewing, and listening skills. The materials for this course can be downloaded for free. 

Villanova University

Nursing is made up of 19 lecture videos that vary in subject from health development tactics for women and newborns globally to improve care for older patients. The videos of this short LPN program range from 6 minutes to 90 minutes. 

Accredited Online LPN Programs

Accreditation is one of the most crucial factors to bear in mind when pursuing an LPN degree. It serves as validation that an LPN school adheres to the minimum educational standards, giving graduates the same opportunities as students who graduate from similar nursing programs from other universities or colleges. 

Moreover, it’s a lifesaver in acquiring financial aid. Most LVN/LPN scholarships and other monetary assistance providers, for instance, the federal government, private organizations, and state agencies, usually award financial aid to applicants from accredited institutions. 

When it comes to selecting an LPN program, consider the following two types of accreditation. 

  • Regional: It pertains to the nursing school as a whole
  • Programmatic: It deals with specific programs, including those that pertain to continuing education. 

For practical nursing, the accrediting body is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). It’s worth noting that enrolling in an accredited LPN program isn’t always required to become a licensed practical nurse. A student who graduates from an in-person or online nursing program approved by their state licensing board may still qualify for the NCLEX-PN and gain licensure in that state. 

Nonetheless, one of the drawbacks of attending a board-approved accredited nursing program as opposed to an ACEN accredited option is that it can be challenging for a graduate to become an LPN in states beyond the school’s location.

Preparing For the NCLEX-PN

To progress from a nurse to a licensed practical nurse, the NCLEX-PN exam passage is a must. Each state requires the NCLEX-PN and is administered by Pearson VUE at $200. The exam covers topics such as physiological integrity, safety and infection control, psychosocial integrity, coordinated care, and health promotion and maintenance. 

The NCLEX-PN exam is an adaptive, computer-based test, which implies that the questions’ difficulty will vary based on whether the test takers get a question wrong or right. A test taker has 5 hours to complete the exam that comprises anywhere between 85 and 205 questions, most of which are multiple-choice. 

Passing this exam is make-or-break in becoming a licensed practical nurse. Therefore, an LPN program worth enrolling in (such as the accredited options mentioned earlier) will emphasize a curriculum that can entirely prepare its aspiring nurses to pass this crucial examination. A foolproof way of selecting an LPN online program at university or college is to evaluate its alumni’s NCLEX-PN passage rates. 

Job Outlook and Growth for Practical Nurses

The career outlook for a licensed practical nurse is promising. As a result of increased access to health insurance and an aging population, health care services are expected to soar. The Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS) anticipates an LPN’s demand to increase by 9% by 2029

Granted, this rate is slightly lower than the expected 19% growth rate of medical assistance by 2029. However, the demand for new LPNs aligns with other health professions, such as nursing assistants (8% by 2029). 

A career as a licensed practical nurse serves as an incredible springboard to other medical careers. For instance, they can use their previous work experience and nursing education to knock years off their training for more advanced careers such as a nurse practitioner and registered nurse.  

Such as nurse has a wealth of opportunities for increased pay and responsibilities. There’s also higher anticipated career growth. According to the BLS, the demand for nurse practitioners, midwives, and nurse anesthetists is expected to rise to 45% by 2029, which is significantly higher than the average for all occupations. The salaries for licensed practical nurses differ. 

Specialization, geography, and work setting all play a crucial role in determining the pay of an LPN. 

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