The 15 Most Practical LPN Programs in 2020 - Best Value Schools

The 15 Most Practical LPN Programs in 2020

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

The licensed practical nurse (LPN) training program provides the entry path for anyone who is driven by the need or motivation to help save lives, help others hurting, and those needing comfort in sickness. Not only is a nursing career one of the most powerful, direct ways to achieve a world of significant change for others, it is also a personally fulfilling role that as drawn thousands into the medical field from all types of backgrounds. And, interestingly, the LPN program is available all over the country through hundreds of schools, clinical programs, universities and community colleges. As a result, for anyone who want to make the first step in nursing is on the right path enrolling in an LPN course discipline. However, some schools are better than others in a lot of different ways.

Like many areas in health, the demand for nurses at all levels is exploding. This is due to a combination of population growth, better medical results over the last 40 years, and the largest generation in history moving deep into retirement and senior years. As a result, even the most conservative estimates are expecting a huge demand in nurse positions that will continue through to at least 2030. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that for licensed practical nurses, the demand will easily increase by 12 percent through 2026, and that’s just for the entry-level into the nursing field with a salary of $45,000 annually according to the federal government.

To be a licensed practical nurse, one has to first go through the required training via an accredited program. Not any clinical training class set will sufficient. The program involves a year of courses and testing. When successfully passed and scored, the candidate can then move to practical training in a lab or clinical setting. Finally, the candidate can then prepare and take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLE), which is accepted in all 50 states as being ready to work as an LPN in a professional medical setting.

Students and potential applicants needing additional information on particular schools can contact us directly for more in-depth evaluations and research if needed.

Rank School Location
1Green River CollegeAuburn, Washington
2South Florida State CollegeAvon Park, Florida
3Feather River Community CollegeQuincy, California
4Florida Gateway CollegeLake City, Florida
5 Edmonds Community CollegeLynnwood, Washington
1

Green River College

  • Auburn, Washington

For anyone in the northwest, Green River College provides a great location in the city of Auburn for anyone interested in achieving the LPN certification as well as an associate degree at the same time. New students do need to have certifications in both CPR as well as basic life support training already accomplished. Students will also go through a background check, drug testing and vaccine immunizations clearance as well.

Degree: AAS
Tuition: $4,053 in-state, $4,482 out-of-state
Graduation Pass Rate: 1 out of 3
Accreditation: National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA) and Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NCCU)
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2

South Florida State College

  • Avon Park, Florida

Operating and training since 1965, the campus located in Avon Park as a State College today trains multiple levels of nurses. For the LPN path, students entering need to be able to show they have a minimum capability in math, science, English, and reading comprehension. Applicants should be prepared to provide references, as well as, pass entrance tests with appropriate scoring (ATI® Test of Essential Academic Skills [TEAS®]).

Degree: Career Certificate
Tuition: in-state $3,963; $15,809 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 8 out of 10
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
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3

Feather River Community College

  • Quincy, California

Situated in Quincy, this California community college provides people both an associate degree in nursing as well as an LPN certificate, providing two different pathways to reaching working status as a nurse. In recent years California has practically made tuition for the first two years of college free, which is one of the best higher education financial options available in the country. And free doesn’t mean poor quality either; Feather River has almost an 89% pass rate on the NCLEX-PN exam, which is nationally recognized.

Degree: Associate and Certificate in LPN
Tuition: $1,416 in-state, $8,511 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 1 out of 3
Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
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4

Florida Gateway College

  • Lake City, Florida

Founded in 1947, Florida Gateway’s nursing program today address multiple levels of nursing careers in three different categories. The class sizes are small, which enhances learning and direct instructor to student attention. Basic academic competency must be proven by testing to enter, and then students have to maintain scores to pass Florida state’s requirements for successful program completion.

Degree: Associate of Science
Tuition: $3,100 in-state, $11,747 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 4 out 10
PN Program: Approved by the FL Board of Nursing
ASDN Program: ACEN accredited
Institutional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
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5

Edmonds Community College

  • Lynnwood, Washington

Also situated in the state of Washington, Edmonds College has been delivering to the local Lynnwood region and greater area first college experiences since 1967. They only operate one nursing program at the LPN level, but that program today is fully approved by the state Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. Candidates are expected to maintain a minimum of a 2.75 GPA in coursework, complete all practicum, complete TEAS requirements, have passed a background check, and also be able to obtain two professional references/recommendations.

Degree: Associate
Tuition: in-state, $4,136, out-of-state $9,506
Graduation rate: 3 out of 10
Accreditation: Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission
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6

Bismarck State College

  • Bismarck, North Dakota

As a state college and located in the capital of North Dakota, Bismarck State College automatically gets a lot of recognition, both locally as well as nationally. The campus was first established in 1939, and the nursing program today is selective and competitive in terms of entry. The school has multiple levels of nursing programs ranging from a 12-month entry level certification to an associate of science degree as well as a pathway to an RN.

Degree: Certificate, Associate of Science, RN
Tuition: $3,992 in-state, $5,588 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 44 percent
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC), North Dakota Board of Nursing (NDBN), & the Accreditation Committee for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
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7

North Florida Community College

  • Madison, Florida

Started in 1957, the North Florida Community College campus operates today on over 165 acres of land and multiple classroom buildings. The nursing program for the school expects all applicants to be over 18, pass a Florida background check, pass a drug test, and score with a passing grade on the Test of Essential Academic Skills. That’s in addition to being admitted to the school in general.

Degree: Associate
Tuition: $3,054 in-state, $11,400 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 42 percent
Accreditation: SACS COC & ACEN
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8

Brazosport College

  • Lake Jackson, Texas

Located in Lake Jackson, TX, the Brazosport College has provided entry level nursing training in a slightly different manner than most schools. Operating three different nursing programs, Brazosport admissions are operated by committee review first, which also assumes candidates have met all necessary criteria of grades, work history, references and TEAS scores. Once admitted, students can work towards a certificate or degree as an LVN, ADN or transition from an LVN to an ADN.

Degree: Associate in Applied Science
Tuition: $3,735 in-state, $5,355 out-of-state
Graduation rate: 1 out of 4
Accreditation: SACS COC
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9

Eastern Florida State College

  • Cocoa, Florida

Despite the fact that Eastern Florida operates multiple satellite offices and class campuses in the state, the main operations as well as the nursing program are located in Melbourne, FL, especially for any student seeking the LVN certificate on graduation. Admission is selective and very limited. Students can expect to have to met entry exam requirements such as the TEAS and TABE, and internal requirements have to be met during classes as well in terms of grade performance and similar.

Degree: Certificate, Associate/RN
Tuition: $2,496 in-state, $9,739 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 42 percent
Accreditation: SACS COC
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10

Gulf Coast State College

  • Panama City, Florida

Gulf Coast operates as a four-year college school, providing students various paths to both a bachelors as well as associate degrees in various topics. The school’s nursing program is not expansive, but it does meet the basic LPN requirements for the State of Florida. All students must be over 18 for the nursing program, pass successfully with TEAS scores, and meet state legal requirements for nursing students.

Degree: Associate in Science
Tuition: $2,370 in-state, $8,633 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 4 out of 10
Accreditation: SACS COC & ACEN
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11

Grays Harbor College

  • Aberdeen, Washington

Another LPN school of note located in Washington State, Grays Harbor has been teaching students since its establishment in 1930. In terms of nursing, the College provides training both in practical nursing as well as a pathway for a two-year RN associate degree as well. Students need to be over 18 years of age, maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, and pass with minimum TEAS scores as well as all academic criteria for entry. Additionally, they only offer an LPN option for their ADN students after their first year is completed. It is not open to individuals not accepted to that program.

Degree: Associate RN, LVN, Certified Nursing Assistant
Tuition: $4,080 in-state, $9,446 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 37 percent
Accreditation: NCCU & ACEN
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12

Daytona State College

  • Daytona Beach, Florida

While Daytona itself might be famous for Spring Break and car racing, the town is also home to the Daytona State College established in 1957. The College nursing program provides a full spectrum of nursing training, from a basic entry LPN pathway to a four-year nursing bachelors degree. Applications should be certified in CPR, pass drug testing, TEAS scores, required academic prerequisites and be able to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA while in the program.

Degree: Bachelors, Associate and LPN
Tuition: $3,104 in-state, $11,993 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 82%
Accreditation: SACS COC & ACEN
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13

Santa Fe College

  • Gainesville, Florida

One might think that Sante Fe College is located in New Mexico due to name, but that would be incorrect. Instead, the Gainesville, FL campus has been teaching students since 1965 and today provides a practical nursing training path matching state requirements and comparable to other nursing schools in Florida as well. Applicants can expect similar criteria for background checks, drug testing, vaccinations, TEAS minimum scoring, academic criteria being met, and CPR certification.

Degree: Certificate
Tuition: $2,563 in-state, $9,189 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 50 percent
Accreditation: National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
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14

Miami Dade College

  • Miami, Florida

Combined with a simulation hospital and nursing skills lab, students at Miami Dade are trained in both classroom nursing theory as well as practical application with modern hospital technology all in the same place. The result is an LPN student ready for work in a modern hospital versus standards and expectations from 10 or 15 years ago. Applicants can expect that they will need to met vaccination and drug testing requirements as well a background check before entry. Minimum TEAS scoring is required and the application should be able to provide CPR certification as well.

Degree: Associate of Science, Bachelors RN to BSN
Tuition: $2,838 in-state, $9,661 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 31 percent
Accreditation: ACEN & the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
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15

Pennsylvania College of Technology

  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania

As a technical school started at the end of the 1980s, the Pennsylvania College of Technology doesn’t have the history back to the 1960s like many of the LPN alternatives available nationally, but the school does have a successful graduation rate for its LPN program consistently delivered. The school provides three different associate degrees in nursing as well as two bachelors degree paths, and it is heavily geared for working adults with online offerings as well.

Degree: Associate, Bachelors
Tuition: $16,740 in-state, $23,880 out-of-state
Graduation Rate: 47 percent
Accreditation: ACEN
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The scoring for the above schools was determined by a triple consideration that included the cost of attending, the student to teacher ratio (lower being better), and the graduation rate the school typically passes successfully. The tuition value scoring assumes the student is in-state to achieve the lowest cost eligibility, which typically assumes the person has become a resident for at least six to twelve months prior to starting the program, depending on the state involved. One of the most important factors involved is the graduation rate. While a high passage rate might create worry that the school is too easy and not rigorous enough in preparation, a very low passage rate can also be problematic as well. Generally, the schools that passed more of their students indicated successful training and completion of their students from start to finish, and that increased the school’s ranking. If you have questions regarding above schools and their information or would like to correct the data provided to date, please contact us to discuss.

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