Best LPN Programs in Pennsylvania

James M. Tobin
Updated July 12, 2024
Edited by
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Pennsylvania is home to the fifth-highest number of older adults among U.S. states, according to state data. This creates a strong need for a well-trained healthcare workforce, including licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

LPNs provide basic patient care, monitor vital signs, and document patient activity. They typically communicate changes in patient status to physicians and senior nursing staff, such as registered nurses (RN), who often have different roles and responsibilities than LPNs.

Training programs in Pennsylvania can help you become an LPN in the Keystone State. Here we’ll explore and rank the top LPN programs in Pennsylvania, as well as provide a career outlook and salary overview.

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Top LPN Programs in Pennsylvania

#1 Best LPN Programs in Pennsylvania

Lehigh Carbon Community College

  • Location-markerSchnecksville, PA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,360
  • Out-of-state$9,540
  • Retention Rate56%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled6,843
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment37%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best LPN Programs in Pennsylvania

Community College of Beaver County

  • Location-markerMonaca, PA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,720
  • Out-of-state$14,580
  • Retention Rate54%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,149
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment35%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best LPN Programs in Pennsylvania

York College of Pennsylvania

  • Location-markerYork, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$18,910
  • Out-of-state$18,910
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate69%
  • Students Enrolled4,307
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment8%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best LPN Programs in Pennsylvania

Northampton Community College

  • Location-markerBethlehem, PA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,420
  • Out-of-state$9,630
  • Retention Rate59%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled9,800
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment38%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best LPN Programs in Pennsylvania

Community College of Philadelphia

  • Location-markerPhiladelphia, PA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,632
  • Out-of-state$11,448
  • Retention Rate60%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled15,996
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment35%
  • AccreditationYes

Licensure Requirements for Pennsylvania LPNs

As with other states, Pennsylvania maintains its own set of LPN licensing standards. To get your license, you’ll first need to meet education requirements. After you get your license, you’ll keep your license active by completing continuing education (CE) activities.

LPN Education and Examination Requirements

To become an LPN in Pennsylvania, you must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or an equivalent. And perhaps most importantly, you must complete an LPN training program that meets Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing requirements.

Your program must consist of at least 1,500 hours and cover a study period of at least 12 months. (The LPN programs in Pennsylvania that appear in this ranking all meet this standard.)

After meeting the educational requirements, you must then pass a standardized nursing examination. Pennsylvania recognizes two exams: The National Council of State Boards – Practical Nursing Exam (NCLEX-PN) and Pennsylvania’s State Board Test Pool Exam (SBTPE).

Obtaining an Initial LPN License

Once you meet the education and exam requirements, you’re eligible to get your initial license. To obtain it, you must apply for your license through the board of nursing.

To complete your licensing application, you must:

  • Have your school submit your LPN program transcripts directly to the board
  • Provide written documentation from the test provider indicating you have passed one of the two necessary exams
  • Pay an initial fee of $95 (if you completed your LPN education in Pennsylvania) or $115 (if you completed the training outside of Pennsylvania)
  • Complete three hours of child abuse recognition education through a recognized provider

Pennsylvania also has an LPN licensing reciprocity program, which allows you to obtain a license by endorsement. You can obtain your license via endorsement if you completed an eligible LPN education program in the United States or Canada. Depending on your credentials, you may be able to qualify for an endorsement without passing the NCLEX-PN or SBTPE exams.

Maintaining and Renewing an LPN License in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania LPN licenses expire every even-numbered year on June 30, regardless of when they were initially issued. You must renew your license before it expires to remain in good standing.

To renew your license, you must pay a $76 renewal fee. You’ll also need to complete at least two hours of child abuse recognition CE training each renewal period.

LPN Employment Trends in Pennsylvania

There is an acute need for nurses and other healthcare workers in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education reported March 2023 that the Keystone State will need 17,600 more nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants by 2030. In early 2024, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) described the state’s nursing shortfall as the worst in the country.

Given these statistics, now may be an opportune time to become an LPN in Pennsylvania. You’ll help address a critical shortfall in the state’s healthcare system.

Here’s a snapshot of overall LPN employment statistics and trends in Pennsylvania:

LPN Employment Trends in Pennsylvania
Average Annual Salary (May 2023)$58,800
Total Employment (May 2023)30,110
Projected Short-Term Employment Growth (2023-25)+0.9%
Projected Long-Term Employment Growth (2022-32)+6.2%
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Projections Central

According to the BLS, these are the five highest-paying Pennsylvania cities and metro areas for LPNs. Salaries vary based on workplace, experience, and other factors.

Top-Paying Cities and Metro Areas for LPNs in Pennsylvania by Mean Annual Salary
Philadelphia Metro$63,870
Source: BLS 2023

HAP’s January 2024 Hospital Workforce Survey also reported multiple LPN employment trends worth noting:

  • Team-based care models have led to a 68% increase in the number of LPNs providing direct nursing care from 2020-23.
  • Pennsylvania’s rural hospitals have average nursing support staff vacancy rates of 28%, indicating strong opportunity for LPNs.
  • Pennsylvania’s statewide average nursing support staff vacancy rate was 19%. The rate was the highest percentage among the 12 nursing and healthcare specialization categories tracked in the survey.

Frequently Asked Questions About LPN Programs in Pennsylvania

You can train to become an LPN in Pennsylvania in approximately one year. After high school, you must complete an approved LPN education program covering at least 12 months and 1,500 hours.

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