Skip to content

How To Become an LPN

“Although your educational journey may be difficult at times, you will reap the reward of utmost satisfaction when holding your nursing diploma for the first time—and nothing will ever compare to the fulfillment that improving and saving the lives of others will bring!”

—Mikhail Shneyder, Nightingale College President and CEO

If you are reading this article then you probably know that nursing is one of the most rewarding, and in-demand, careers in the United States these days. You also probably know that earning your Licensed Practical Nurse certification is one of the best ways to get into the field. What you may not know are the steps to take.

If you are interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll need to complete an accredited nursing program. Once you’ve completed your nursing program, you’ll then need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). After passing the NCLEX-PN, you’ll be able to apply for an LPN license in your state.

Keep reading to learn more about what you’ll need to do to become an LPN.

Nursing Program

The first step to becoming an LPN is completing an accredited nursing program. There are many different types of nursing programs available, including traditional and fast track LPN programs, so you’ll need to choose the one that’s right for you. Nursing programs typically take one to two years to complete, but there are also accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 9 months.

Once you’ve chosen a nursing program, you’ll need to complete coursework in subjects like human anatomy, physiology, and medical surgical nursing. You’ll also complete clinical rotations, which will give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios.

After successfully completing an accredited nursing program, you’ll be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN.

The NCLEX-PN is a national nursing licensure exam, sometimes called “The Boards,” that all aspiring LPNs must pass in order to become licensed. The NCLEX-PN is a computerized exam that consists of multiple-choice and alternate format questions.

The NCLEX-PN is a computer-assisted exam. You’ll have five hours to complete the test, and you’ll be presented with between 85 and over 200 questions during this time period. This variability is built-in because the computer asks you more difficult questions when you answer correctly and easier questions if you answer incorrectly. When the computer is satisfied (with 95% accuracy) that your knowledge is most certainly above or most certainly below the passing standard, the computer will end your examination and issue a passing or failing result.

The NCLEX-PN is a pass/fail exam, so you’ll need to make sure you’re well-prepared before taking it.


LPN License

After passing the NCLEX-PN, you’ll be eligible to apply for an LPN license in your state. Each state has different requirements for licensure, so you’ll need to check with your state’s board of nursing for more information.

Once you’ve been licensed as an LPN, you’ll be able to start working in a variety of healthcare settings. LPNs typically work in hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices.

If you think you’re ready to take the first step and apply for LPN School, look no further than our School Finder found in the next section. We partner with some of the best schools in the United States to help smooth the way for prospective new medical professionals like you! Fill out the form with your information and learn more about what our schools have to offer!