Becoming an LPN in Kentucky
Kentucky has strengthened its commitment to improved healthcare by playing host to a number of schools that offer a licensed practical nursing (LPN) program. Becoming an LPN is a great way to break into the rewarding healthcare industry, and the nursing shortage means that LPNs are in demand. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a favorable job outlook for LPNs, at nearly 12% growth through 2026. To start your journey toward becoming an LPN, you must first find the right LPN program. Kentucky LPNs earn around an hourly wage of $18.84 or annual salary of $39,180, which is roughly $4,850 less per year than national average.
Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in Kentucky? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in Kentucky are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 21 schools across the state. After careful review of NCLEX-PN exam first-time pass rates over the past several years, we have ranked the top 10 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.
To see all the top ranked LPN programs in Kentucky click here.
Details on Kentucky LPN Schools & Classes
To become an LPN, you must first enroll and graduate from an accredited LPN program. From there, the NCLEX-PN exam must be taken and passed. Most LPN programs take between one and two years to complete, depending on the school and whether you opt for part-time or full-time attendance. Kentucky LPN programs can be found at local community colleges and technical/vocational schools throughout the state.
LPN programs typically consist of a mix of specialized nursing courses and labs. Course titles may include:
- Introduction to Nursing and Healthcare
- Nursing & Child Bearing Family
- Nursing Trends & Issues
- Management of the Geriatric Client
- Mental Health Concepts
A great way to narrow down schools is to search for ones with proper accreditations. An accredited school and program will be held to high standards and tend to carry more weight on a resume. For example, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing is a main accrediting body for nursing programs. The Kentucky Board of Nursing can also point you in the direction of a board-approved LPN program.
To be accepted into your LPN school of choice, you’ll need to ensure that you meet all the admissions requirements. Each school will have their own set of requirements, but common ones include:
- High school diploma or GED with official transcripts/scores
- Results of ACT or equivalent on file
- Written letter of intent
- Completion of all prerequisite courses
- Submission of application and any fees
Tuition and Costs
LPN programs in Kentucky are actually more affordable than you might think, thanks in part to their relatively short duration. As with most college degrees, students will need to cover the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, and additional expenses such as textbooks and course materials. For example, the total cost of the LPN program at Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington runs approximately $13,302, including all expenses and fees. Financial aid is widely available for students who qualify.
Kentucky LPN Licensing Requirements
Individuals looking to acquire an LPN license in Kentucky must attend a certified nursing program and complete the NCLEX with a satisfactory score.
In order to receive state licensure, the applicant must submit an application to the state, including:
- Official transcript from the state-approved nursing program.
- Pass the Kentucky Jurisprudence exam.
- Documentation of passing the NCLEX exam.
- Met continued competency requirements—2 hours HIV/AIDs and 2 hours Domestic Violence.
- Submit a criminal background check and fingerprinting card.
NCLEX Exam Information
All graduates of a Kentucky LPN program will need to sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN exam in order to officially gain licensure as a practical nurse. Check out our comprehensive overview of the NCLEX-PN exam here. Additionally, students are encouraged to take the NCLEX-PN practice test to study and prepare for the real deal.
LPN Reciprocity and eNLC
Kentucky is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) that doesn't require additional licensing for nurses working in NLC states that hold licenses in other NLC states. As of January 2018, the expanded Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) will be in effect. Nurses under the original NLC will be grandfathered in to the new eNLC. LPNs licensed outside of the eNLC who wish to work in the state of Kentucky can be licensed by endorsement and must provide the following:
- Completed endorsement application with application fee.
- Proof of passing the Kentucky Jurisprudence exam.
- Official transcript of state-approved nursing program.
- Proof of licensure in another state.
- Verification that he or she has completed 2 hours of Kentucky-approved continued education re: HIV/AIDS.
- Federal background check.
Applicants that have studied abroad and hold a comparable license in another country must become licensed in Kentucky. The applicant must also submit a proof of continued competency, proof that he or she has previously been licensed in the US, documentation of legal residence, and a valid copy of his or her social security card.
For more information on Kentucky licensure by endorsement, visit https://kbn.ky.gov/apply/Pages/Endorsement/endorsement.aspx
The table below lists career information retrieved from the BLS for licensed practical nurses in Kentucky. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Elizabethtown, Fort Knox||160||$18.74||$38,980|
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Kentucky LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
Somerset Community College (SCC) is located in Somerset, Kentucky, with additional locations in London, Liberty, Albany, Whitley City, and Russell Springs. SCC strives to improve employability and quality of life for its area citizens as a provider of transfer education, workforce education and training, as well as associate degree and transfer programs.
Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with two additional campuses in Glasgow and Franklin. The college seeks to improve the employability of its students as well as the quality of life of south central Kentucky citizens by providing certificates, diplomas, associate's degrees, adult education, and workforce training.
At Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, classroom instruction in theory and basic nursing skills are provided on campus. Under the guidance of program faculty, students gain valuable experience in the care of all ages in a variety of health care settings and/or community agencies hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and child care centers.
The Practical Nursing program at West Kentucky Community and Technical College prepares individuals to practice within the legal scope of practical nursing. Student learn to use the nursing process at the practical nursing level toward the maintenance of health and prevention of illness, the observation and nursing care of persons experiencing changes in their health processes, and the evaluation of health practices of patients are emphasized.
Somerset Community College (SCC)-Laurel Campus is located in London, Kentucky, with additional campuses located in Somerset, Liberty, Albany, Whitley City, and Russell Springs. SCC seeks to improve student employability as well as the quality of life for its area citizens, providing college and workforce readiness, transfer education, and professional education and training.
Big Sandy Community and Technical College offers a three semester program leading to a diploma in Practical Nursing following successful completion of the program. The Kentucky Board of Nursing will then determine the graduate’s eligibility to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and practice in the state of Kentucky under the supervision of a registered nurse, physician or dentist.
Somerset Community College's Clinton Center in Albany offers an 18 month Practical Nursing program. which may lead to an Associate Degree (AAS) with additional general education requirements. The practical nursing coursework in clude theory and skills presented in lecture/lab format as well as a clinical experience component.
Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) is an inclusive, student-centered educational institution located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, with an additional campus in Fort Campbell and multiple off campus locations throughout the state. HCC provides accessible, innovative, and comprehensive learning opportunities for students that encourage academic excellence.
Madison Community College offers a wonderful integrated nursing program that provides a seamless educational curriculum with two exit points allowing you to choose a career as a Practical Nurse (PN) or Registered Nurse (RN). Students are prepared by exceptional faculty and staff and are ready to find success on the NCLEX-PN.
Continued List of All Programs in Kentucky
470 Cooper Dr, Lexington, KY 40502
1755 U.S. Highway 68, Maysville, KY 41056
109 East Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202
16 Spiral Dr, Florence, KY 41042
1031 Zorn Avenue, Suite 400, Louisville, KY 40207
59 Corporate Dr, Danville, KY 40422
4627 Dixie Highway, Louisville, KY 40216
10200 Linn Station Rd, Louisville, KY 40223
609 Viking Dr., Morehead, KY 40351
1400 College Dr, Ashland, KY 41101
Programs Not Included In Rankings
201 Calk Ave., Mt. Sterling, KY 40353
Additional KY Nursing Resources
- Kentucky Board of Nursing
312 Whittington Parkway, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40222
Phone: (502) 429-3300
- Kentucky Nurses Association
305 Townepark Circle, Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40243
Phone: (502) 245-2843
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