Becoming an LPN in Washington
Washington ensures consistent standards for health practices by developing continuing competency standards and developing rules, policies, and procedures for healthcare. They also investigating complaints and enforcing disciplinary action to protect patients and their right to quality healthcare. By 2024, The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10% increase in licensed practical nurse (LPN) jobs per year in Washington. Interested parties can meet that growing demand and apply for a Washington LPN license by either exam or by endorsement.
Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in Washington? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in Washington are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 13 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 5 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.
To see all the top ranked LPN programs in Washington click here.
Washington LPN Licensing Requirements
Washington has education requirements that must be met by attending a Board approved nursing program. Certification forms can be either electronically submitted or mailed to those eligible to sit for the licensure exam.
Once coursework is complete, the graduate must take and pass the NCLEX exam.
Nurse Licensing Application Forms:
An LPN may have physical strength and endurance challenges to perform their job properly. These additional requirements include, the ability to lift patients, pulling and pushing machinery, and extended periods of standing, squatting, walking, and running.
LPN’s can transfer from another state and license within the state by means of endorsement as long as the following conditions are met by the applicant:
- Submits verification of an LPN/LVN license in another state.
- Submit verification of past state-approved nursing education requirements.
- Passed the NCLEX examination.
A temporary permit can be issued for 6 months in the state of Washington to individuals who meet licensing requirements but require additional time for the federal background check.
For those educated in another country, applicants must submit an Education Verification as well as all official transcripts directly to the Nursing Commission. He or she is also required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam and score at least a 70 with a speaking score of at least a 26. The applicant must also sit for and pass the NCLEX exam.
The Washington LPN license renews annually on the license-holder’s birthday.
Learn more about Washington LPN Jobs & Employment Outlook.
The table below lists career information organized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for licensed practical nurses in Washington. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Seattle, Bellevue, Everett||2,550||$25.93||$53,930|
|Spokane, Spokane Valley||740||$23.18||$48,210|
|Mount Vernon, Anacortes||160||$21.91||$45,570|
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Washington LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) is a public, two-year institution of higher learning located in Yakima, Washington, with an additional campus located in Grandview. YVCC seeks to enrich and enhance both the student and the community's lives, delivering accessible education by providing basic education, academic courses, professional programs, and workforce development options.
Big Bend Community College (BBCC) is located in Moses Lake, Washington. BBCC offers a variety of academic programs with a flexible schedule and even distance learning--educational opportunities include earning an associate's degree, transfer education, career certification, or completing a workforce development program.
Columbia Basin College (CBC) is a comprehensive two-year college, located in Pasco, Washington, with an additional campus located in Richland, providing quality education and job preparation. CBC provides opportunities for students to achieve higher education, meaningful employment, and basic skills development, as well as promoting culture enrichment for the entire community.
Centralia College, located in Centralia, Washington, with an additional campus located in Morton, provides an increasing number of educational programs for students. Centralia College seeks to promote learning activities within the community by offering programs that not only allow provide degrees and certifications for students, but they also allow members of the community to advance in the workplace.
North Seattle Community College, located in Seattle, Washington, is committed to changing lives through education, offering comprehensive education opportunities and promoting continuous learning and growth. North Seattle Community College promotes collaborative, self-directed learning as well as engaging coursework and faculty.
Continued List of All Programs in Washington
1620 Edward P Smith Dr, Aberdeen, WA 98520
1300 5th St,, Wenatchee, WA 98801
500 Tausick Way, Walla Walla, WA 99362
12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092
1600 Chester Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337
1900 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405
4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
Additional WA Nursing Resources
- Washington State Department of Health - Nursing Commission
310 Israel Rd SE
Tumwater, WA 98501-7864
Phone: (360) 236-4700
- Washington State Nurses Association
575 Andover Park West, Suite 101
Seattle, WA 98188
Phone: (206) 575-7979
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