LPN Programs in Washington

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Like many other states across the US, Washington is expected to experience a shortage of qualified nurses by 2025. In terms of LPN counts, the state will be short 1,200 nurses. Although this is a concern for health care professionals and leaders, as well as Washington residents, it could mean promising opportunities for those looking to work as a practical nurse in the state. Those who are ready to take the first step towards this challenging yet rewarding career can use the following guide to get more information on LPN programs in Washington, licensing requirements for employment, and state salary outlook.

Top 10 LPN Programs in Washington

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Top LPN Programs in Washington

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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. Centralia College
    Location

    Centralia, WA

  2. Renton Technical College
    Location

    Renton, WA

  3. Lake Washington Institute of Technology
    Location

    Kirkland, WA

  4. Everett Community College
    Location

    Everett, WA

  5. Bellingham Technical College
    Location

    Bellingham, WA

  6. Seattle Community College-North Campus
    Location

    Seattle, WA

  7. Wenatchee Valley College
    Location

    Wenatchee, WA

  8. Seattle Community College-South Campus
    Location

    Seattle, WA

  9. Spokane Community College
    Location

    Spokane, WA

  10. Big Bend Community College
    Location

    Moses Lake, WA

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Licensure Requirements for Washington LPNs

LPNs must be licensed in order to practice. Each state has its own requirements; it is very important to understand these requirements before applying for licensure. Here’s what aspiring nurses can expect in Washington state.

Basic Eligibility

  • Completion of an approved LPN program

Education & Training Requirements

Graduating from an approved LPN program takes less than two years and as little as one, depending on the school. Graduates who have completed the program should ask their school to send an electronic certificate of completion to the Washington State Department of Health Nursing Commission.

Additional Requirements for Licensure

  • Submit a copy of official transcripts
  • Register to take the NCLEX-PN
  • Pass the NCLEX-PN
  • Pass an FBI background check (this is done by submitting fingerprints)
  • Complete the license application
  • Attest to having met the AID education and training requirement
  • Submit the proper fees:
    • $88.00 LPN application fee
    • $200.00 to take the NCLEX-PN

Unlike many other states, Washington does not honor the Nurse Compact Licensure Agreement. This means that a license to practice as an LPN in Washington is good only in that state and does not allow for practice privileges in other states.

Renewal

Washington State LPNs must renew their license every year. Every three years, the nurse must attest to accomplishing the following:

  • Have at least 531 hours of active practice
  • Obtained at least 45 hours of continuing education

LPNs must pay $96.00 to renew their license each year. There is an additional $50.00 charge for a late renewal. Renewals may be submitted online, by mail or in person. There is a $2.00 convenience fee for renewing online.

Salary for LPNs in Washington

LPNs in Washington can look forward to a good living wage, as evidence by the charts below, which compare not only wages within the state and metro areas, but against the national averages as well.

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[Chart]

TypeWashingtonNational
Annual Wage (25th percentile)$42,800$35,780
Annual Wage (Median)$48,020$42,490
Annual Wage (75th percentile)$55,840$49,450

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

Annual Wage (25th percentile)Annual Wage (Median)Annual Wage (75th percentile)Seattle-Bellevue-EverettMetropolitan DivisionSeattle-Tacoma-BellevueTacoma

[Chart]

YearAnnual Wage (25th percentile)Annual Wage (Median)Annual Wage (75th percentile)
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metropolitan Division$46,290$53,270$59,910
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue$44,620$51,230$58,160
Tacoma Metropolitan Division$43,180$47,490$53,540
Southwestern Washington nonmetropolitan area$41,470$46,890$54,210
Olympia$42,150$46,440$53,660

Washington LPN Employment Trends

The need for LPNs in Washington is expected to be strong, growing 16.8% between 2012 and 2022, according to Projections Central. This amounts to an increase of about 1,400 jobs over that time period. As an added bonus for graduates of LPN programs in Washington, the 2014 median wage for LPNs in the state was notably higher than in the rest of the United States.

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Top Locations for Employment

  
AreaTotal Employment (2014)
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue4,080
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metropolitan Division2,650
Tacoma Metropolitan Division1,420
Spokane660
Yakima380
  
AreaTotal Employment (2014)
Bremerton-Silverdale370
Bellingham330
Olympia290
Southwestern Washington nonmetropolitan area230
Kennewick-Pasco-Richland180

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 Employment of LPNs in Washington 8,750 10,210 Average Annual Openings 380

Source: Projections Central

Resources for LPNs in Washington

Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives (NWone)

NWone exists to advocate on behalf of nursing leadership at all levels and in all practice areas, in both the private and public sectors.

Nursing Students of Washington State

The only nursing organization dedicated to the interests of student nurses at all levels in the state of Washington.

School Nurse Organization of Washington (SNOW)

SNOW represents school nurses and their mission to improve the health and academic success of students.

Washington State Department of Health – Nursing Commission

The Nursing Commission is charged with protecting the public by overseeing the licensing of nurses within the state of Washington.

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