LPN Programs in Kentucky

Kentucky’s healthcare landscape is changing, dramatically increasing the state’s need for a wide range of skilled healthcare professionals, including licensed practical nurses. In fact, a 2015 report from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy stated that LPNs were among the fastest growing – and most significant – pre-baccalaureate healthcare occupations within the healthcare sector, yet the state is still expected to see a shortage of skilled LPNs. This shortage presents an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in a career as a licensed practical nurse. The following guide offers helpful information on LPN programs in Kentucky, state licensing requirements, and employment trends for those who are ready to start working towards an LPN career.

Top 10 LPN Programs in Kentucky

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Top LPN Programs in Kentucky

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  • Methodology +

    Lpn Programs

    The top LPN programs listed in this state’s ranking were determined by comparison of three primary, equally-weighted criteria including

    • Student-to-faculty ratio
    • In-state tuition
    • Graduation rate

    Additional details for each school were included:

    • Count of programs available
    • Public and not-for-profit schools
    • Normalized on a 100 percent curve

    The methodology used for tie-break is as follows…

    • Ties are broken based on lowest average net price for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying in-state tuition (average cost of tuition and expenses after grants and scholarships).
    • If necessary, the lowest in-state tuition rate is used as a second tie-break


  1. West Kentucky Community and Technical College
    Location

    Paducah, KY

  2. Owensboro Community and Technical College
    Location

    Owensboro, KY

  3. Maysville Community and Technical College
    Location

    Maysville, KY

  4. Henderson Community College
    Location

    Henderson, KY

  5. Madisonville Community College
    Location

    Madisonville, KY

  6. Hazard Community and Technical College
    Location

    Hazard, KY

  7. Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
    Location

    Cumberland, KY

  8. Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College
    Location

    Bowling Green, KY

  9. Ashland Community and Technical College
    Location

    Ashland, KY

  10. Gateway Community and Technical College
    Location

    Florence, KY

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Where to Find LPN Programs in Kentucky

The primary sources of LPN programs in Kentucky are the state’s community college and technical school systems. Here, aspiring nurses can enroll in state-approved diploma, certificate, or associate degree programs to gain the education and training they need to qualify for and successfully pass the NCLEX-PN exam, which is a crucial part of Kentucky’s licensure process. Use the search tool below to filter through options based on your needs and preferences, and get a side-by-side comparison of your top academic selections.

[School Searches]

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Kentucky LPN Licensing

All practical nurses employed in Kentucky must have a state issued LPN license. The state agency in charge of all nurse licensing is the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN). Below is a brief description of the requirements that must be met to obtain licensure in Kentucky.

Basic Eligibility

  • Complete an approved program of nursing, either in Kentucky or out-of-state
  • Complete an approved program of nursing, either in Kentucky or out-of-state
  • Take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Practical Nurses
  • Complete the Kentucky Jurisprudence Examination

Education Requirements

LPN programs in Kentucky, as with those throughout the country, typically require one to two years of study. Part-time working students can be accommodated with extended programs lasting two years or longer. Accredited LPN programs will also include clinical experiences treating patients in a hospital or clinic environment under the supervision of a licensed nurse.

Core coursework for LPN students will cover the fundamentals, such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, geriatrics, health deviations, maternity and family nursing, and mental health. Prospective students should only consider programs that are fully accredited and qualify graduates to sit for the NCLEX-PN examination, as the two are mandatory to receive a state license.

Other Licensure Requirements

  • Request submission of a Kentucky Criminal Background Report. The report will need to be sent directly from the Kentucky State Police to the KBN.
  • Submit a fingerprint card and pay the accompanying $14.75 fee
  • The State of Kentucky provides endorsement for LPNs who have a license issued by another state. To qualify for license through endorsement, an applicant must complete the endorsement application and pay the $165 fee, provide verification of the out-of-state license, provide a transcript for any out-of-state nursing program, submit a Kentucky Criminal Background Report and fingerprint card, and pass the Kentucky Jurisprudence Examination.
  • Nurses educated outside of the United States must:
      Obtain a VisaScreen certificate
    • Take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam
      Have a valid Social Security number
      Meet all other endorsement or examination requirements

Licensure Renewal Requirements

LPN license holders must renew their licenses between September 15 and October 31. The two major components to renewal are:

  • Completion of the continuing education requirement. There are eight different ways for a license holder to fulfill the CE requirement; the most common being 14 approved contact hours. The CE requirement must be completed within the year prior to the October 31 expiration date.
  • Payment of the $65 renewal fee

There is no grace period for LPN license renewal. Failure to renew before the expiration date will require the licensee to file a reinstatement application, pay a $135 fee, request a Kentucky Criminal Background Report and new fingerprint card, and complete the Kentucky Jurisprudence Examination.

Kentucky vs. National LPN Salary

According to the Economic Research Institute, recent figures have indicated an uptick in LPN pay levels, with slightly higher salaries to be found in Kentucky’s metropolitan areas. Other factors influencing salaries, besides geographic location, include specific employer and job titles.

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[Chart]

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

[Chart]

Employment for Kentucky Practical Nurses

Much like salary, employment opportunities for practical nurses in Alabama can vary depending on the specific city, county, or metropolitan area. Not surprisingly, larger cities tend to employ more LPNs than smaller areas. Use the map to find out more about the top locations for Alabama licensed practical nurses.

Top Locations for Employment

AreaTotal Employment (2014)
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN3,450
South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area1,320
Lexington-Fayette1,150
West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area1,030
East Kentucky nonmetropolitan area1,030
AreaTotal Employment (2014)
West Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area940
Owensboro330
Elizabethtown190
Bowling Green180

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Employment of LPNs in Kentucky
2012 – 9,960
2022 – 12,130
Average Annual Openings 460

Sources: Projections Central

Kentucky LPN Resources

Kentucky Association of Nursing Students (KANS)
The KANS is a, “pre-professional organization for pre-nursing and nursing students enrolled in Kentucky accredited diploma, associate, and baccalaureate degree programs.” It is a constituent of the National Student Nurses Association.

Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN)
The official State agency for regulation of nursing education, licensing, practice, consumer protection and more. The first resource for everything you need to know about LPN licensing in Kentucky.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is a state government sponsored program whose website provides a clearinghouse of information and resources on state-run health-related programs and services.

Kentucky Department of Education – Student Health Services
Excellent site for information and resources regarding school nurses. Includes an extensive library of videos on the roles and responsibilities of school nurses.

Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA)
The KNA is the only full-time service professional organization for Kentucky’s entire nurse population. Services offered include continuing education courses, career and credentialing information, and nursing scholarship opportunities.

Kentucky Nurses Association Career Center
Sponsored by the KNA, this website provides an excellent search engine and overall resource for individuals seeking nursing employment in Kentucky.

Kentucky Organization of Nurse Leaders (KONL)
A chapter of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the KONL is a non-profit organization representing nurse leaders for the purpose of advancing the development of effective administrative leadership in nursing services.

Kentucky School Nurses Association (KSNA)
The KSNA promotes the professional development and welfare of school nurses with the aim of providing better health care to Kentucky’s students. The KNSA offers its member a variety of programs and services including continuing education opportunities.

KYANNA Black Nurses Association of Louisville
An affiliate of the National Association of Black Nurses, the KYANNA Black Nurses Association of Louisville is a non-profit organization of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing students from around the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.

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