Best Online LPN Programs for Aspiring Practical Nurses of 2024

Thomas Broderick
Updated April 24, 2024
Edited by
Reviewed by
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Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are an essential part of healthcare delivery and patient care. If you’re interested in entering the nursing field, discover the top online LPN programs and how you can choose the best accredited and affordable program for you.

Popular Online Healthcare Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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The Top Online LPN Programs and Schools in 2024

#1 Best Online LPN Programs for Aspiring Practical Nurses of 2024

Blinn College

  • Location-markerBrenham, TX
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,510
  • Out-of-state$8,280
  • Retention Rate54%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled17,420
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment49%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online LPN Programs for Aspiring Practical Nurses of 2024

Montana State University Billings

  • Location-markerBillings, MT
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,485
  • Out-of-state$17,678
  • Retention Rate57%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,114
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment63%
  • AccreditationYes

Did You Know…

About 35% of LPNS work in nursing and residential care facilities.

Source: BLS

Why Accreditation Matters for Online LPN Programs

Always look for online LPN programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Graduating from an online LPN program accredited by ACEN allows you to sit for the NCLEX-PN and qualify for LPN licensure.

Accredited online LPN programs meet high standards for academic quality and follow the best practices for training LPNs. Attending an accredited online program can qualify you for federal financial aid, licensure, and practical nursing jobs.

You can verify a program’s accreditation status using the U.S. Department of Education’s online database.

How Much Do LPN Online Programs Cost?

Online LPN programs can cost anywhere from $9,000 to $20,000. An important factor that may affect the cost includes whether the school you choose is a public institution or a private non-profit school. In-state community colleges generally offer the most affordable tuition rates.

Keep in mind the additional costs of your education, including textbooks, computers, distance learning fees, high-speed internet, scrubs and other supplies for your in-person clinical experiences.

Some online schools offer benefits like free laptops and other tech-related discounts that can take some of the financial bite out of successfully completing your LPN training, and you may find certain resources helpful for making school more affordable.

Median Annual Cost* of Online LPN Certificate Programs Compared to On-Campus LPN Programs by Institution-Type
Institution TypeOnline On-Campus
Public $9,410$8,520
Private, For-Profit $20,990$20,620
Total $13,400$14,660
Source: NCES

*The median annual cost of LPN programs includes tuition, fees, supplies, and books students need for their LPN program. The sample size was too small to compare cost data for private, non-profit LPN programs.

Explore state-based LPN online schools and programs.

Choose Your State Below

How Much Money Can You Make as an LPN?

Source: BLS, Projections Central

How to Become an LPN Online

Becoming an LPN involves first taking prerequisite classes and the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills). Once you’re accepted into an LPN program, you can finish within 12-24 months, take the NCLEX-PN exam, and find your first job.

1 | Research Accredited Online LPN Programs

Comparing online LPN programs can help you make an informed decision.

All top LPN online programs are ACEN accredited. You can search for accredited online LPN programs in the ACEN’s directory.

Don’t forget to submit the FAFSA to see whether you qualify for federal financial aid.

2 | Complete Your LPN Program

An LPN certificate takes about one year to complete. In contrast, an associate degree takes two years due to the addition of general education coursework.

With an associate degree in practical nursing, you may qualify for a higher salary or career advancement sooner than those with only a certificate or diploma.

3 | Pass the NCLEX-PN

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing administers the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN. Once you complete your LPN certificate or degree program, you must pass the NCLEX-PN.

The NCLEX-PN uses a computer-adaptive format and covers critical content areas such as health promotion, coordinated care, and risk reduction. The time limit for the test is five hours.

When you take the NCLEX-PN, you’ll answer 70-135 questions. The number of questions does not determine if you’ve passed or not. You’ll receive a passing score as long as you demonstrate overall competency as an LPN in all major areas covered by the exam.

U.S. test-takers must pay $200 to register for the NCLEX-PN. Additional fees vary depending on the state where you live.

4 | Apply for Licensure

The final step to becoming an LPN is to get licensed. Your LPN license allows you to legally work as an LPN in your state.

LPN licensure requirements vary by state. To qualify for licensure, you must typically:

  • Complete an accredited practical nursing program.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Submit a license application and application fee.
  • Pass the NCLEX-PN and a state-administered licensure exam if your state requires one.

5 | Get Additional Certifications if Desired

New LPNs may need certifications to stand out in a competitive job market. Certifications can qualify you for promotions and other professional benefits.

You’ll usually need to take additional classes and pass an exam to get certified. Some LPN certifications, like certified hemodialysis nurse, require you to gain experience in that nursing specialty before you apply.

Explore popular certifications you can get in practical nursing.

Popular Practical Nursing Certifications

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Basic Life Support
  • Certified Hemodialysis Nurse
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Gerontology
  • IV Therapy
  • Long-Term Care
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  • Pharmacology
  • Transplant Coordinator
  • Urology
  • Wound Care

Q&A With a Real Licensed Practical Nurse

Portrait of Nicole Hart

Nicole Hart

Nicole Hart worked as a licensed practical nurse for five years. She decided to pursue a career in nursing as a single mom of twins. After the birth of her youngest child in 2019, she transitioned to working from home. She has since found her passion as an online fitness and nutrition coach, helping fellow moms prioritize themselves and their health.

Nicole has helped dozens of women lose weight, gain confidence, and remember something that many moms tend to forget: They are more than just moms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online LPN Programs

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Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Accredited Schools Online. Page last reviewed on December 27, 2023.

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