How to Become an LPN / LVN

How Do I Become an LPN?

Attractive Caring Smiling NurseIf you want to become a licensed practical nurse, you must first complete one year of coursework in an accredited LPN/LVN programs Most states have dozens of accredited colleges, technical schools, and hospitals that offer LPN/LVN programs.

For example, California has more than 170 state-approved LVN programs, while Texas has over 100 established programs at community colleges, technical centers, and private nursing schools. New York has the BOCES programs which are a abundant and state ran. No matter where you live, you should carefully research and weigh the pros and cons of each school in your state to decide which program is right for you.

After satisfying the LPN program coursework and grade requirements laid out by your state’s Board of Nursing, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, or the National Council Licensure Examination. This exam is mandatory for all LPN/LVN's in the U.S. and can be scheduled through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for $200.

The NCLEX-PN exam covers four distinct disciplines of nursing:

  • Safe and Effective Care Environments
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Physiological Integrity

Some LPN programs offer study groups and practice exams, which can help you become more familiar with the format and subject matter that will be on the test. We offer a large expertly written NCLEX-PN practice test with effective question rationales.

After completing the NCLEX-PN, you will receive your examination results in the mail with a detailed description of how you performed in each section depending on the outcome of the exam. Read up on the types of questions asked, registration process, overall NCLEX-PN exam statistics and more. If you passed the examination, you can immediately begin searching for a job as a certified licensed practical nurse.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) are an integral part of healthcare teams everywhere. Being a nurse is not for everyone, but for those who choose to make it their career and passion the rewards are endless. If you are interested in becoming a practical nurse browse our selection of various guides on how to become an LPN. If you don’t know what an LPN does or are curious about where they can work and how much they make see our guides here.

The first consideration you must make when becoming an LPN is which school you will attend. This can be a difficult choice; there are many practical nursing programs throughout the country. When choosing a school, choose one which is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. One well-known accrediting agency is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). [Until May 6, 2013, ACEN was known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).] Another reputable accrediting agency is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). We provide information about the whole process, from choosing a school to paying for it, and what to do when accepted. See our section for guides on LPN school here.

Nursing LPNWorried about paying for LPN school? Read our guide! We have information on the costs of LPN school, financial and otherwise. Ways to pay for LPN school and associated costs are also covered. Anyone new to federal student aid should check out the section on FAFSA Essentials for LPN students. See our guide about the real costs of your future LPN school program here.

Being accepted and admitted to nursing school is just the beginning of the process. Provided below are guides about what to expect during nursing school, how to prepare, and helpful topics like time management. In today’s society, many nursing students continue to work during nursing school. This requires self-discipline but it is certainly possible. We also offer lots of information about the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). This is the test all nurses have to pass to become licensed. Below is information on the testing process and how to prepare. There is also information on how to schedule and take the exam. After passing the NCLEX the new graduate must apply to and interview for jobs. See our guides for the LPN school experience and obtaining your license here.

Confused about how to write a resume? Perhaps anxious about the application process? Read our guide on LPN resumes and job applications here. It's full of helpful information. Writing a resume and filling out dozens of job applications can be daunting but we can help! See our LPN resume and job application overview here.

The interview process can be complicated and difficult, especially for new graduates. In our guide you can find help with the entire process. This involves assistance with everything from writing a resume and completing applications, to preparing for and acing an interview. See more LPN interview prep here.

Considering LPN School

Your career choice is one of the most important decisions you will make.  Consider starting a career as a licensed practical nurse (or LPN).  The schooling averages one year and the salary is good. Most importantly you make a difference is lives of your patients.  Do you want to learn more about being an LPN?  We will help you determine if being an LPN is right for you and we hope you agree…..  This is a rewarding job!  Read below to learn about the role, the salary, settings where the LPN can work, and the various specializations of LPN care.

Interested in other entry-level healthcare careers? Learn about Allied Healthcare Careers, including Medical Assistant and Certified Nursing Assistant options.

Cost of LPN Programs & Schools

Browse our detailed guide on financing LPN school. Find out how to cope with the costs of LPN school. From financial costs and fees to the emotional toll stress can take. We discuss in detail the various ways to pay for LPN school and how to obtain student aid.

During LPN School & Obtaining License

While in LPN school you will attend classes to learn what you need to be an licensed practical nurse. In addition to classes you will complete clinical rotations where you care for patients under the supervision of your instructor. We know you have family and maybe even a job. How can you best be successful? We will offer you tips on how to study, stay focused, and manage your time while in school. You will learn about nursing care plans and also how to prepare for your clinical rotation days. You will learn more about the state LPN test and how to succeed.

Learn more about the NCLEX-PN and see our NCLEX-PN practice test questions.

LPN Resume & Job Application Advice

Resumes and applications can be complicated and confusing. Our guide makes it simple. Learn how to write a resume that really represents you. Learn what needs included and what you can omit. We also offer tips for formatting resumes which can be tricky. Once you have a resume, it's time to start completing LPN job applications. Learn what information is needed and how to streamline the application process. Also learn the pros and cons of online applications in today's technological world. There is still a vast amount of employment potential for LPN. Read more about the state of LPN employment in the future.

LPN Interview Tips with Questions & Answers

The LPN interview guide you will find application and resume help and tips for a successful interview. We offer details about how to dress for success and how to prepare for the big interview. Commonly asked interview questions and answers are also provided.

Working as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

There are many wonderful settings and areas of specialization that offer job opportunities for the new LPN.  You will learn what to look for in an employer, what may be required for your job application, and how to “ace” your job interview.  Enjoy your new role!  You have worked hard and are ready to be an important member of the health care team! For those interested in salaries, check out our guide to LPN salary.

Search LPN jobs in our job board.

Last Updated/Verified: Feb 13, 2024