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 LPN Programs in Washington

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
Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Graduation Rate
1 Centralia College 92.67 $$$$$ 17:1 34%
2 Renton Technical College 92.33 $$$$$ 14:1 63%
3 Lake Washington Institute of Technology 92 $$$$$ 15:1 29%
4 Everett Community College 92 $$$$$ 17:1 31%
5 Bellingham Technical College 91.67 $$$$$ 22:1 55%
6 Seattle Community College-North Campus 91.33 $$$$$ 16:1 29%
7 Wenatchee Valley College 91.33 $$$$$ 17:1 28%
8 Seattle Community College-South Campus 91.33 $$$$$ 15:1 26%
9 Spokane Community College 91 $$$$$ 17:1 26%
10 Big Bend Community College 90.67 $$$$$ 17:1 32%
11 Green River Community College 90.33 $$$$$ 12:1 31%
12 Bates Technical College 90 $$$$$ 16:1 50%
13 Walla Walla Community College 89.33 $$$$$ 17:1 33%
14 Grays Harbor College 89 $$$$$ 20:1 37%
15 Olympic College 88.67 $$$$$ 19:1 28%
16 Skagit Valley College 87.67 $$$$$ 15:1 22%
17 Lower Columbia College 87 $$$$$ 16:1 25%
18 South Puget Sound Community College 86.67 $$$$$ 17:1 27%
19 Heritage University 85 $$$$$ 8:1 19%
20 Clover Park Technical College 83.33 $$$$$ 23:1 32%
21 Yakima Valley Community College 83.33 $$$$$ 19:1 23%
22 Columbia Basin College 82 $$$$$ 20:1 25%
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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.


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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Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

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

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