10 Cheapest Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Programs in 2023

These are the 10 cheapest licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs, along with information on prerequisites, requirements, and salary expectations. Articles Programs

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Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) programs give nursing students a relatively fast and lucrative way to start a healthcare career, with a strong outlook as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an increase of 6% between 2021 to 2031.

We've compiled all the information needed to know for those seeking to benefit from this growth, with additional recommendations for the 10 most affordable programs.

What Is an LPN Program?

LPN programs offered at vocational schools and community colleges commonly take 12 to 18 months to complete, leading to either a Certificate or Diploma in Practical Nursing.

Comprehensive programs include classroom experience and hands-on clinical learning, incorporating the following skills:

  • Using evidence-based nursing research
  • Implementing care plans
  • Understanding medical terminology, procedures, and tests
  • Taking part in simulation labs
  • Becoming proficient and tested on technical skills
  • Clinical rotations
  • Quizzes, tests, and writing papers
  • Building communication skills and empathy

LPN programs prepare students to deliver competent quality healthcare as entry-level practical nurses, providing patent care such as taking vital signs, changing wound dressings, and assisting patients with daily activities.

Most commonly, LPNs work in healthcare facilities like hospitals, mental health facilities, retirement homes, and community care centers.

LPN Program Prerequisites and Requirements

To enter an LPN program, you must be at least 18, have a high school diploma or a GED, and provide transcripts.

The eligibility requirements vary between programs; for example, some schools may require a GPA of 2.5, whereas others may require a GPA of 2.75 or 3.0 and ask you to submit letters of recommendation.

Criminal background checks, physicals, immunization records, and urine drug screens are standard requests as schools want to ensure patient and student safety.

When admission is competitive, schools may need placement tests to assess proficiency in core high school courses.

Related: 10 Best Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Programs in 2023

LPN Pathway

Coursework provides the theoretical background to develop your competencies and skill sets. Different programs have distinct entry requirements and can offer slight course variations, but integrating theory and clinical skills is central to all programs. 

Generally, you will have content in the following subjects:

  • Math and Pharmacology
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Psychology and Sociology
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Child Development
  • Maternal/Infant Nursing
  • Nutrition

Upon completing an accredited PN program, you will earn a diploma or certificate, entitling you to write the NCLEX-PN exam.

Each state has a board of nursing responsible for regulating professional registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners (NPs), and LPNs. You must pass the NCLEX-PN and obtain licensure to gain employment.

10 Cheapest LPN Programs in 2023

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most while selecting schools with the addition of NCLEX pass rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

1. Coastal Pines Technical College

Coastal Pines Technical College offers a Practical Nurse diploma program at six locations in Georgia. The program focuses on providing knowledge and skills by integrating coursework with clinical experience, and upon successful completion, you will be eligible to write the NCLEX-PN.

  • Price: $2,147-$4,294
  • Mode: hybrid
  • Duration: 12 months

2. Ozarka College

Located in Arizona, Ozarka College has three campuses. They offer a full-time, in-person 18-month program covering three semesters at their Melbourne location. At Ash Flat and Mountain View campuses, an 11-month night and weekend program will require Summer class attendance. 

Ozark College focuses on a forward-thinking philosophy, not only preparing you with clinical experiences and theory; they believe in preparing nurses to meet the challenges of the ever-changing healthcare system through flexibility and lifelong learning.

  • Price: $2,160- $4,512
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 18 months or 11 months

3. Florida Gateway College

Located in Lake City, Florida, Florida Gateway College offers a 12-month Practical Nursing program with an Occupational Certificate. Classes run on a Monday to Thursday schedule from 8-4:30 pm, and clinical placements may be on weekdays, evenings, and weekends.

Although the program satisfies Florida's educational criteria for a PN program, you may run into issues if you plan to write your NCLEX exams in another state. If you are considering attending this school from out of state, you should contact your state's board of nursing to verify this course meets the educational criteria.

  • Price: $2,369-$9,473
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 12 months

4. Ogeechee Technical College

Ogeechee Technical College, located in Statesboro, Georgia, offers a Diploma in Practical Nursing. Students may begin the program in either the Fall or Spring semesters. Scheduling of clinical experience is during day, evening, night, and weekend shifts and may be outside of Bulloch County. After completing the PN program, students must also comply with mandatory attendance to an NCLEX review program. 

  • Price:$2,400-$4,800
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 5 semesters

5. Southern Crescent Technical College

Located near Atlanta, Georgia, Southern Crescent Technical College has two campuses offering a Practical Nursing Diploma program. Entrance is competitive, and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Additionally, they require HESI A2 scores, and students must complete tests within one year or less at the time of application. Programs start in the Fall or Spring.

  • Price: $2,400-$4,800
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 5 terms

6. Palm Beach State College

Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida, offers a Practical Nursing Career Certificate Program (CPP). To apply, you must complete a full application, a HESI, and a TABE exam, unless exempt. They offer full-time courses, Monday to Thursday.

  • Price: $2,424-$8,712
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 12 months

7. Holmes Community College

Located in Central Mississippi, Holmes Community College offers potential nursing students three different tracks to obtaining a Career Certificate in Practical Nursing. The hybrid program combines online lectures with an in-person clinical portion lasting five semesters. Students can complete a full-time day track option in three semesters, while another evening and weekend in-person option is five semesters. 

Of the LPN programs included on this list, Holmes Community College has excellent flexibility. Clinical portions of the hybrid course occur in person, on campus, or at local healthcare facilities.

  • Price:$1,350 per semester
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 12 months

8. East Arkansas Community College

East Arkansas Community College, located in Forrest City, Arkansas, provides students with a Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing. Before applying, you must write a nursing entrance exam.

  • Price: $2,880-$3.450
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 12 months

9. South Georgia Technical College

South Georgia Technical College offers a Diploma program in Practical Nursing at the Americus and Cordele campuses. They focus on providing occupational courses and clinical experiences to facilitate competent nursing care.

  • Price:$3000-$6000
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 5 terms

10. Southside Virginia Community College

Southside Virginia Technical College prepares students with a Certificate in Practical Nursing. Programs begin every 1.5 years, alternating Fall and Winter start dates between the Alberta and South Boston campuses. This school requires pre-admission testing for the application.

  • Price:$4,620-$9,918
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 3 terms

Salary Expectations of LPNs in 2023

According to the BLS, the average annual LPN salary in 2021 was $48,070, but pay rates vary from state to state. Generally, urban centers and states with higher living costs offer above-average wages for LPNs.

LPNs can increase earnings by working overtime, night shifts, and holidays. Obtaining specialty certifications helps advance your career and pay rates.

Related: 10 Fastest Registered Nurse (RN) Programs in 2023

Travel nursing companies recruit experienced LPNs to fill staffing gaps in facilities across the U.S.

An LPN with at least one year of experience can earn anywhere from $1,000- $2,000 weekly. Travel companies typically offer housing or housing subsidies and other benefits with contracts.

FAQs and Additional Readings

Q: Is an LPN diploma worth it?

A: An LPN license gives you job security and options, especially in light of the nationwide nursing shortage. You can commonly find LPNs staffing nursing homes, long-term care facilities, hospitals, home health agencies, private duty nursing, and doctor's offices.

Employers may offer sign-on and retention bonuses to persuade LPNs to work with them, even offering new graduates monetary enticements to join their teams.

Q: How demanding is LPN program coursework?

A: LPN programs are demanding but not as intense as RN programs. Nursing students can be successful when they develop productive study habits and engage in time management skills.

Many LPNs decide to pursue RN education later, and you can implement the same study skills and time management techniques in an LPN to RN bridge program. 


Wendy Sutas has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN.

4 Articles   2 Posts

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