Becoming an LPN in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is building up its medical community by supporting professional nursing though improved knowledge and skills, while also helping policy makers assess the impact of their decisions on healthcare workers and patients. Licensed practical nurse (LPN) jobs are on the rise, with an estimated 12% increase predicted through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Individuals seeking to meet this nursing demand can become LPNs in the state by enrolling in one of the many practical nursing programs. Pennsylvania LPNs earn around an hourly wage of $21.43 or annual salary of $44,570, which is roughly $540 more per year than national average.
Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in Pennsylvania? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in Pennsylvania are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 52 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 20 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.
To see all the top ranked LPN programs in Pennsylvania click here.
Details on Pennsylvania LPN Schools & Classes
Pennsylvania boasts around 50 schools that offer LPN programs, so numerous options abound for potential students. Quality practical nursing programs can be found at community colleges, trade schools, and more. Total program length depends on part-time or full-time study, but can be completed in as little as one year. Roughly 50 total credits are needed for most LPN programs.
Throughout the program, students will take classroom courses in nursing theory and related topics, perform lab studies, and participate in clinicals at local medical facilities. Course titles are likely to include:
- Human Anatomy & Physiology
- Human Growth and Development
- General Psychology
- Concepts in Practical Nursing
- Basic Microbiology
Accredited programs are the gold standard when it comes to practical nursing education. These programs are held to rigorous academic standards and hold a higher level of prestige. Agencies such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) commonly accredit programs in the state. In addition to this, it’s important to find a program that is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
Each school will have its own set of admissions requirements that students should look over carefully. Common requirements include:
- Documented high school diploma or GED
- Minimum GPA of 2.5
- Satisfactory TEAS score
- Personal interview with staff/faculty
Tuition and Costs
Total practical nursing program expenses can vary between schools, and is comprised of a few different things. Tuition, associated fees (application fee, graduation fee, etc.), and materials such as books are all things that make up the final price. Financial aid in the form of loans and scholarships is typically available for students who need a little extra assistance.
As an example on cost, the LPN program through the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology in Media runs an estimated $24,000 total. This figure includes tuition, fees, and supplies.
Pennsylvania LPN Licensing Requirements
In Pennsylvania, an LPN applicant must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, as well as complete a board-approved nursing program that consists of 1500 hours and no less than a year of coursework. Once this coursework is complete, the graduate must submit the Pennsylvania Exam/TPP application to the Board of Nursing, as well as register and sit for the NCLEX exam. Once the exam is passed, all applications have been accepted, and the applicant has submitted to a criminal background check, licensure will be granted.
Pennsylvania LPN licenses expire on June 30th of even numbered years. There are no continued education requirements for renewal.
NCLEX Exam Information
The NCLEX-PN is the exam that all practical nursing grads must take in order to be eligible for official licensure. This exam measures the student’s comprehension of the practical nursing curriculum. For detailed information on the exam, visit our guide here. The NCLEX-PN practice test may also be of use to students who wish to get a better feel for the test before they take it.
LPN Reciprocity and eNLC
Pennsylvania does not take part in the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), which is an agreement between states to offer multi-state licensure.
Out-of-state LPNs can apply for licensure by endorsement as long as he or she has the following:
- Proof of licensure from another state with an education equivalent to Pennsylvania
- Hasn’t allowed their most current license to lapse more than 5 years and have fulfilled continuing competency requirements
- Passed the NCLEX
Foreign educated LPN's must verify educational courses through the Board based on the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) evaluation.
The table below lists career information collected by the BLS for licensed practical nurses in Pennsylvania. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Montgomery County, Bucks County, Chester County||5,950||$24.53||$51,030|
|Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton||2,290||$22.17||$46,110|
|Scranton, Wilkes, Barre, Hazleton||2,080||$20.71||$43,080|
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Pennsylvania LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology’s practical nursing program gives students the skills needed for a rewarding career as an LPN. Graduates of this program are well-prepared to perform a variety of nursing tasks under the supervision of physicians and RNs, including performing phlebotomy, processing patient records, monitoring vital signs, and much more.
Community College of Beaver County (CBCC) is located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. CBCC offers affordable and convenient programs, with degree and certification opportunities, as well as transfer education, skill training and career readiness, workforce development, and personal achievement programs designed for student success.
Crawford County Career & Technology Center (CCCTC) is located in Meadville, Pennsylvania. CCCTC offers students flexible and online courses to help them advance their education, pursue a degree or career certification, or develop workforce skills, making them a valued member of a team and the community.
Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU), located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, with additional locations in Phoenixville, West Grove, and Coatesville, is a dynamic educational agency, providing innovative education that is also cost-effective. CCIU provides special and compensatory education, career and technical education, mentor training and staff development, and technology initiatives.
Indiana County Technology Center (ICTC) is an innovative regional career development and technology center located in Indiana, Pennsylvania. ICTC integrates vocational skill and academic instruction, awarding a variety of certifications to students entering new career fields as well as development courses, allowing students to achieve professional goals and workplace advancement.
Green County Career Technology Center (GCCTC) is located in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. GCCTC offers 13 professional programs, allowing students to earn college credit and career certifications, utilizing innovative instruction and cutting-edge technology, student learn by way of traditional academics with the addition of hands-on instruction to ensure their success in the workplace.
LPN Career Center-Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, is a regional education agency, conducting programs and services throughout the region. Classes consist of traditional academics alongside clinical instruction and hands-on training, preparing students for success in the workplace.
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County (CTCLC) is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. CTCLC provides career-minded students with postsecondary educational career options, providing the skills and knowledge, as well as the certification required to work in their field of choice and ensuring success in the workplace.
The Erie campus of Fortis Institute offers a practical nursing program which weaves classroom-based theory, lab, and clinical experiences throughout its curriculum. This program is offered in a hybrid format, with the majority of the courses taking place on campus and the remainder taken online. Upon completion, students are prepared to care for patients of all ages in a variety of settings.
The Pennsylvania College of Technology, or Penn College, offers a 17-month practical nursing program that culminates in the ability to take the NCLEX-PN examination or to move on to a baccalaureate nursing program. The curriculum emphasizes safe and effective nursing care via classroom instruction and clinical experiences at local healthcare facilities.
Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) is the largest and oldest community college in Pennsylvania located in Harrisburg, with additional locations is Gettysburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York. HACC offers nearly 200 programs for career training and college transfer, as well as courses for personal advancement and professional development.
Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) is a comprehensive community college located in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, with additional locations in Jim Thorpe, Allentown, and Tamaqua. LCCC promotes academic excellence and student achievement by providing affordable and accessible programs for its students, transforming the students' lives, the learning environment, and the college.
The Health and Technology Training Institute, located in Philadelphia, offers a practical nursing program geared toward working adults, in which the coursework can be completed with part-time evening and weekend attendance. Most students are able to finish the program in 22 months, and go on to secure jobs in the coveted nursing sector.
Bethlehem’s Northampton Community College offers an LPN certificate program that consists of 27 nursing course credits and 16 general ed credits. Admission is granted in the fall semesters each year, and enrolled students enjoy a curriculum that includes classroom, lab, and simulation experiences in addition to hands-on clinical coursework.
Franklin County Career & Technology Center, based in Chambersburg, educates future LPNs through its popular practical nursing program. The rigorous curriculum offers challenging coursework and clinical experiences to prepare students for real-world nursing. Students can enter the program at two points in the year; either February or August.
The practical nursing program at Bucks County Community College in Newtown prepares nursing hopefuls with classroom instruction and clinical experiences in just 12 months of study. This full-time program admits new students annually in July and boasts an intimate 8 to 1 student/faculty ratio.
Northern Tier Career Center (NTCC), located in Towanda, Pennsylvania, provides quality vocation-technical education. NTCC offers a variety of education programs that allow students to earn certifications in various fields as well as programs to help student advance in the workplace and achieve personal and professional goals.
Clearfield County Career Technology Center (CCCTC) is a postsecondary school located in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. CCCTC provides quality career and technical education programs and services to prepare students for success in the workplaces, offering fulltime, daytime courses as well as short-term evening programs to ensure student success.
Somerset County Technology Center offers a one-year LPN program that aims to educate conscientious, safety-minded, and competent practical nurses. Classes begin in September of each year, and upon completion of the program, graduates are able to take the NCLEX-PN examination and find employment in hospitals and other medical facilities.
Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC) is located in Willow Street, Pennsylvania, with additional campuses located in Brownstown, Mount Joy, Manheim, and Lancaster. LCCTC offers a wide variety of vocational career and adult education programs for students to gain knowledge that can be applied in the workplace, to start a new career, or to reach personal and professional goals.
Continued List of All Programs in Pennsylvania
517 Ash Street, Scranton, PA 18509
85 N. Malin Road, Broomall, PA 19008
104 Armstrong Street, Ford City, PA 16226
1500 4th Ave, Altoona, PA 16602
175 Georges Fairchance Road, Uniontown, PA 15401
2179 S Queen St, York, PA 17402
13221 Big Valley Pike, Mill Creek, PA 17060
101 Technology Dr., Frackville, PA 17931
5151 Tilghma Street, Allentown, PA 18104
576 Vo Tech Road, Reynoldsville, PA 15851
776 Greenville Rd., Mercer, PA 16137
350 Jumper Road, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705
3075 Terwood Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090
10 S 2nd Street, Reading, PA 19603
242 Oak Spring Rd., Washington, PA 15301
688 Western Avenue, Canonsburg, PA 15317
445 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown, PA 15904
2809 Saucon Valley Rd., Center Valley, PA 18034
540 North Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap, PA 16823
1 Vo-Tech Dr, Oil City, PA 16301
501 E 38th St, Erie, PA 16546
833 Metro Drive, Lebanon, PA 17042
1111 McKee Rd., Oakdale, PA 15071
827 Glenside Ave., Wyncote, PA 19095
447 Career Lane, Shippenville, PA 16254
800 Manchester Ave., Media, PA 19063
2380 Elk Lake School Rd, Springville, PA 18844
8040 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19152
1451 West 23rd Street, Hazle Township, PA 18202
3045 Avenue B, Bethlehem, PA 18017
Programs Not Included In Rankings
100 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19110
17 Griffith Drive, Home, PA 15747
2017 Pennsylvania LPN Program NCLEX-PN Pass Rates
- Total NCLEX-PN Takers = 2,139
- Total NCLEX-PN Passers = 1,804
- Total NCLEX-PN Pass Rate = 84.34%
Additional PA Nursing Resources
- Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
Phone: (717) 783-7142
- Pennsylvania State Nurses Association
3605 Vartan Way, Suite 204
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: (717) 657-1222
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