2021 - Best LPN Programs 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 9% increase predicted through 2029, 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. LPNs in Pennsylvania earn approximately $23.14 per hour, which equates to an average annual salary of $48,120. This is roughly $1,070 per year more than the 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 are comprised of a few different aspects. 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 runs about $400 per credit hour. There will also be fees for supplies, books, and other miscellaneous costs.
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Pennsylvania LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
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 NLC
Pennsylvania is currently awaiting implementation of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which is an agreement between participating states to offer multi-state nursing licenses.
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.
- Total Number of State Approved LPN Schools: 52
- Total Number of Test Takers in 2020: 1,862
- 2020 Average Statewide Pennsylvania NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 85.9%
United Career Institute
United Career Institute'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
Community College of Beaver County (CBCC) is located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. CBCC offers affordable and convenient programs, including a practical nursing diploma program that can be completed in just three semesters (one calendar year). The curriculum includes coursework in Human Anatomy & Physiology, Human Growth & Development, and much more.
Crawford County Career & Technical Center
Crawford County Career & Technology Center (CCCTC) is located in Meadville, Pennsylvania. CCCTC has been offering a quality practical nursing program since 1969, with a curriculum that weaves together classroom instruction and clinical experiences within the community. The program can be completed in 13 months of study.
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County (CTCLC) is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. CTCLC provides career-minded students with postsecondary educational career options, including a 15-month practical nursing program that breaks the curriculum into 50% classroom learning and 50% supervised, hands-on clinical learning.
Indiana County Technology Center
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, with a practical nursing program that utilizes a hands-on approach to learning. Students get the benefits of small class sizes and experienced instructors to truly engage with the nursing material.
Mercer County Career Center
Mercer County Career Center's LPN program provides students with nursing education through theory, clinical experiences, and labs. MCCC's 12-month program consists of 1500 hours of instruction and prepares students for gainful employment within the community.
Lehigh Carbon Community College
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 through its practical nursing certificate program, which is designed to be completed in three semesters and teaches students the fundamentals of entry-level nursing practice.
Franklin County Career & Technology Center
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.
Bucks County Community College
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.
Harrisburg Area Community College
Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) is the largest and oldest community college in Pennsylvania located in Harrisburg, with additional locations in Gettysburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York. HACC offers a four-semester practical nursing certificate program that preps students for the NCLEX exam and future healthcare employment.
Northern Tier Career Center
Northern Tier Career Center (NTCC), located in Towanda, Pennsylvania, provides quality vocation-technical education. NTCC offers a practical nursing program that can be completed in one year. The curriculum combines classroom learning with clinical hours for real-world skills practice.
Chester County Intermediate Unit
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's practical nursing program teaches students nursing theory and skills so that they can provide basic, patient-focused care.
Lancaster County Career & Technology Center
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 programs, including a practical nursing program that utilizes a multi-experience simulation lab and has 12-month and 18-month completion options.
Greene County Career & Technology Center
Green County Career Technology Center (GCCTC) is located in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. GCCTC offers 13 professional programs, including a popular practical nursing pathway. Students complete one year of theoretical and clinical instruction to become valued entry-level nurses.
Venango Technology Center
Venango Technology Center offers students a 1,505 clock-hour practical nursing program to train them for entry-level healthcare careers. The comprehensive curriculum consists of 50% classroom learning and 50% clinical practice. In just one calendar year, students learn concepts in psychiatric nursing, nutrition, body structure and function, and more.
Fortis Institute - Scranton
Fortis Institute is a postsecondary school located in Scranton, Pennsylvania with several additional locations in the state and across the country. Fortis Institute in Scranton offers both accredited diploma and degree programs in a variety of fields, including a hybrid practical nursing program that focuses on nursing theory and hands-on experiences.
Pittsburgh Technical College
Oakdale's Pittsburgh Technical School offers a practical nursing certificate program that can be completed in just 12 months. Students learn to be vital healthcare team members through lectures and hands-on learning methods. The curriculum includes courses such as Pharmacology Applications in Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, and much more.
Clearfield County Career & Technology Center
Clearfield County Career Technology Center (CCCTC) is a postsecondary school located in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. CCCTC provides quality career and technical education programs, such as its practical nursing program. Enrolled students complete 12 months of classroom and hands-on learning experiences, with a total of 1,500 clock hours.
Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit
Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit's LPN Career Center, located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, has been educating competent nurses since 1967. With a high completion rate as well as first-time NCLEX-PN pass rate, it's easy to see why career-oriented students choose to study practical nursing at CSIU.
Schuylkill Technology Center
Continued List of All Programs in Pennsylvania
501 E 38th St, Erie, PA 16546
Penn Commercial Business/Technical School
242 Oak Spring Rd., Washington, PA 15301
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
1500 4th Ave, Altoona, PA 16602
Northampton Community College
3835 Green Pond Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18020
Eastern Center for Arts & Technology
3075 Terwood Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090
Lenape Technical School
104 Armstrong Street, Ford City, PA 16226
Penn State Lehigh Valley
2809 Saucon Valley Rd., Center Valley, PA 18034
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center
445 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown, PA 15904
Jefferson County DuBois
576 Vo Tech Road, Reynoldsville, PA 15851
827 Glenside Ave., Wyncote, PA 19095
Wilkes-Barre Area Career & Technical Center
350 Jumper Road, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705
Somerset County Technology Center
281 Technology Dr, Somerset, PA 15501
Central Pennsylvania Institute Science & Technology
540 North Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap, PA 16823
York County School of Technology
2179 S Queen St, York, PA 17402
Delaware County Technical Schools
85 N. Malin Road, Broomall, PA 19008
Lincoln Technical Institute
5151 Tilghma Street, Allentown, PA 18104
The Rapha School
17 Griffith Drive, Home, PA 15747
Fayette County Career & Technical Institute
175 Georges Fairchance Road, Uniontown, PA 15401
Clarion County Career Center
447 Career Lane, Shippenville, PA 16254
Lebanon County Career & Technology Center
833 Metro Drive, Lebanon, PA 17042
(717) 273-8551 x2117
Hazleton Area Career Center
1451 West 23rd Street, Hazle Township, PA 18202
(570) 459-3221 x82400
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center
2380 Elk Lake School Rd, Springville, PA 18844
Pennsylvania College of Technology
One College Avenue , Williamsport, PA 17701
Health and Technology Training Institute
100 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19110
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
800 Manchester Ave., Media, PA 19063
Reading Area Community College
10 S 2nd Street, Reading, PA 19603
Huntingdon County Career & Technology Center
13221 Big Valley Pike, Mill Creek, PA 17060
Western Area Career & Technology Center
688 Western Avenue, Canonsburg, PA 15317
Falcon Institute of Health & Science
3045 Avenue B, Bethlehem, PA 18017
Prism Career Institute
8040 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19152
Great Lakes Institute of Technology
5100 Peach Street, Erie, PA 16509
Programs Not Included In Rankings
All-State Career School
50 W. Powhattan Avenue, Essington, PA 19029
Are we missing your school's program or need to make changes to the information listed? Please contact us.
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
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|
|Philadelphia, Camden, Wilmington||16,530||$26.61||$55,360|
|Scranton, Wilkes, Barre, Hazleton||2,680||$21.21||$44,130|
|Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton||2,110||$23.95||$49,820|