Becoming an LPN in West Virginia
West Virginia offers a myriad of schooling options for aspiring licensed practical nurses (LPNs), a particularly wide selection of school given the relatively small geographic size of the state. There are more than 20 community colleges, vocational programs and private schools across the state that offer LPN programs. Following graduation from LPN school, West Virginia-based LPNs can expect an annual salary of approximately $36,190 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the average salary in West Virginia is lower than the national average for LPNs, the lower cost of living in the state offsets that difference. In addition, an overall increase in demand for LPNs nationwide will lead to an increase in job opportunities for practical nurses in West Virginia.
Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in West Virginia? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in West Virginia are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 25 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 West Virginia click here.
Details on West Virginia LPN Schools & Classes
With more than 20 practical nursing programs around the state to choose from, nursing students in West Virginia have several options to consider. Most practical nursing programs are designed to be completed in one to two years depending on whether a student attends classes on a full- or part-time basis.
A typical course load for an LPN program in West Virginia includes classroom and clinical learning experiences. Coursework may include the following:
- Fundamentals of Nursing
- General Anatomy & Physiology
- Pharmacology for Nursing
- General Nutrition
- Pediatric Nursing
- Medical Surgical Nursing
- Psychiatric Nursing
Program accreditation should be one of the first criteria to look for when researching practical nursing programs. A program that has been properly accredited has been held to high quality standards of education through agencies such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Nursing students in West Virginia can also check with the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses for a listing of state-approved practical nursing programs.
Prior to submitting your application for any LPN program, make sure to confirm that you meet or exceed all entrance requirements. While specific entrance requirements may vary slightly from school to school, in general they often include:
- Completion of high school or GED program (including transcripts)
- Cumulative GPA of 2.5 in all relevant coursework including prerequisite courses
- Completion of all prerequisite courses, such as college-level Math, English I and Basic Physiology & Human Anatomy
- Personal interview and/or admissions test completion
- Background check, drug screen and proof of required immunizations and/or physical examination by a physician
- Submission of completed application and associated fees
Tuition and Costs
Cost is another critical factor to consider when researching practical nursing programs. All schools will have their own unique set of fees, so it is important to understand the all-inclusive price tag associated with your education before you apply. In general, costs for a practical nursing program include tuition, mandatory college and course fees and supplies (including textbooks). In addition, students should factor in the costs of housing and/or commuting to classes into the total cost. If you need assistance covering the costs of your LPN education, be sure to check with your prospective school’s financial aid office for information about financial aid, loans, and scholarships that may offset some or all of the program cost.
As an example of program costs, the tuition cost for the practical nursing program at Greenbrier School of Practical Nursing in Lewisburg is estimated at $3,500. This cost includes course fees, uniform tops, name pin, program diploma and drug screen fees. It does not include books, uniform pants/skirts, stethoscope and other required supplies, or room and board.
West Virginia Licensing Requirements
To become an LPN in West Virginia, aspiring nurses must complete a state-approved nursing program. Following graduation from a practical nursing program, he or she must sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN exam—the required state-test to show proficiency.
In order to receive state licensure, the applicant must submit an application to the state of West Virginia, including:
- Official transcript from state-approved nursing program (all grades must be a “C” or better)
- Proof of passing score or application to take the NCLEX exam
- Passport-style photo signed by the applicant and director of nursing program
- Submit to criminal background check
West Virginia LPN licenses expire June 30th of every year and need to be renewed every year by submitting a completed application for renewal with the state. In even-numbered years, this application must also be submitted with a statement that he or she meets the continuing competence requirements set by the state.
NCLEX Exam Information
Before a practical nursing program graduate can receive licensure, they must first sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN examination. LPN program coursework should adequately prepare students for this important exam. To read more about the NCLEX-PN exam, please visit our overview page here. Another useful tool for students studying for their NCLEX-PN exam, the NCLEX-PN practice test is available to help students prepare.
LPN Reciprocity and eNLC
West Virginia is a member of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), which allows nurses to work in multiple states that are in the compact area without additional licensing. LPNs from outside of West Virginia can apply for licensure by endorsement by submitting proof of current licensure and having passed the NCLEX to the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses. In addition, applicants must also submit a full set of fingerprints and authorization for a criminal background check to the state.
West Virginia allows foreign applicants with LPN equivalent background to apply for licensure in the state, so long as he or she has completed an education program equivalent to the minimum standards set by the state of West Virginia, provides verification of passage of an English proficiency exam that includes reading, speaking, writing and listening, as well as official verification, translated into English, from the licensing authorities in their home country including licensure status and any disciplinary actions taken.
The table below lists career information retrieved from the BLS for licensed practical nurses in West Virginia. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our West Virginia LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
United Technical Center (UTC) School of Practical Nursing, located in Clarksburg, West Virginia, provides technical and related instruction which allows students to achieve their highest potential. UTC enable students to achieve their goals by encouraging good work habits, individualizing instruction by highly-trained faulty, and providing an atmosphere conducive to learning.
Mercer County Technical Education Center School of Practical Nursing, located in Princeton, West Virginia, is committed to improving student learning outcomes by providing relevant educational solutions. The Practical Nursing program strives to increase academic and career/technical knowledge as well as provide hands-on learning experiences that will help them succeed in the field of nursing.
Monongalia County Vocational Technical Center (MTEC) is located in Morgantown, West Virginia. MTEC offers a 12 month, national-accredited program for practical nurses. The Nursing program strives to increase academic and technical knowledge as well as provide hands-on learning experiences that will students to succeed in the field of nursing.
Garnet Career Center, located in Charleston, West Virginia, offers one and two-year career programs to quickly transition the student into the workplace. Garnet Career Center's instructional staff is committed to student success by helping build technical skills and develop positive workplace attitudes.
Greenbrier County School of Practical Nursing, located on the Greenbrier East High School campus in Lewisburg, West Virginia, is a 12 month comprehensive nursing program designed to ensure student success. Greenbrier has adapted a teaching-learning process, requiring a cooperative effort between faculty and student to ensure efficient learning and program completion.
Summers County Career Center, located in Hinton, West Virginia, prepares students to enter the workforce, college, or other postsecondary training, developing their fullest potential as lifelong learners. Summers County Career Center offers a 12-month LPN program, accepting only 22 students per year.
Follow the link to learn more about the B.M. Spurr School of Practical Nursing - Reynolds Memorial Hospital nursing program.
Follow the link to learn more about the Randolph Technical Center nursing program.
Get all the program details by visiting the Fayette Institute of Technology website.
Check out the official Cabell County Career Technology Center nursing program.
Continued List of All Programs in West Virginia
80 Rockefeller Circle, New Cumberland, WV 26047
600 Harley O. Staggers Dr., Keyser, WV 26726
390 Stanaford Road, Beckley, WV 25801
223 W Main St, Salem, WV 26426
3274 Hedgesville Rd, Martinsburg, WV 25403
300 Campus Drive, Parkersburg, WV 26104
221 George Street, Suite 2, Beckley, WV 25801
1 Stadium Drive, Welch, WV 24801
300 Roosevelt Blvd, Eleanor, WV 25070
Rt. 2 Box 52A, Delbarton, WV 25670
U.S. 33, LeRoy, WV 25252
1st St,, Buckhannon, WV 26201
144 Vocational Road, Logan, WV 25601
Programs Not Included In Rankings
1201 Locust Ave, Fairmont, WV 26554
148 Willey St, Morgantown, WV 26505
Additional WV Nursing Resources
- West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses
101 Dee Drive
Charleston, WV 25311
Phone: (304) 558-3572
- West Virginia Nurses Association
2306 1/2 Kanawha Blvd East
Charleston, WV 25311
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