When you become an LPN (licensed practical nurse), you become responsible for providing hands-on health care to people who really need your help. It’s a way of changing the world, one patient at a time. Bonus: the length and cost of LPN school is unbelievably low.
LPN Training Programs
LPN training programs last one to one-and-a-half years and are offered by community colleges, vocational technical schools, high school, hospitals, and colleges and universities. In order to become licensed to practice, you must complete a state-approved LPN training program. Contact your state’s board of nursing for a list of approved programs. An LPN program will lead to a diploma or certificate of completion.
Many approved programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. More than 150 LPN programs have been accredited by NLNAC; find yours here.
LPN School Costs
The average cost of LPN school hovers around the $10,000 area, all fees included. But in major cities, the cost of LPN school can be as high as $25,000, not including the cost of books and other supplies. Private colleges and universities with fast-track programs tend to have the highest LPN tuition.
Community colleges usually offer the best deal – in-county residents may pay as little as $4,000 for the year, while out-of-county students pay double that, and out-of-staters pay double what out-of-county students pay. State schools that receive government subsidies tend to have the most affordable LPN tuition. It’s a persuasive argument for staying close to home to get your LPN certificate.
Additional LPN School Costs
Additional costs beyond LPN tuition may include the cost of books, uniforms, books, liability insurance, background checks, medical exams, study guides, travel, and medical equipment like a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. Books for an LPN program cost around $1,000, though that figure can be higher or lower depending on where you buy your books and in what condition you buy them.
Other costs may include technology, entrance exam, and graduation and licensing fees. You also need to factor in the $200 examination fee for National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), which you’re required to pass in order to become licensed to practice.
Counting the Cost of LPN School
Whether you choose a program with high or low LPN tuition, be sure to find out the school’s NCLEX pass rate before you enroll. All the money you’ll save at an inexpensive school will be wasted if you don’t learn enough to pass the NCLEX.
And if you’re deciding whether to become an LPN or an RN, remember that the costs of LPN school are often lower than the costs of RN school, especially since the time to completion is shorter. If you want to become an RN later on, you can always enroll in an LPN-to-RN training program – potentially on your employer’s dime.
When you’re ready to get on the fast track to an in-demand health care career, start training to become an LPN. The cost of LPN school is comparatively low, but the rewards are unequivocally high.