Licensed Practical Nurse at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Licensed Practical Nurse

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Licensed Practical Nurse

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Licensed Practical Nurse

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
Texas 75,780 $43,120 $21
California 61,950 $51,170 $25
New York 48,520 $44,250 $21

Becoming a Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse

All prospective LPNs and LVNs must complete an approved training program and supervised clinical practice, typically resulting in a postsecondary non-degree award or certificate. State-approved training programs last about one year and can be completed at technical schools, community colleges, and sometimes high schools or hospitals. A high school diploma or the equivalent is required for admission to a practical nursing program.

Licensed practical nurse schools have many comprehensive programs that provide formal instruction and hands-on training for practical nurses. While in school, students will take a variety of basic and advanced courses in the physical, behavioral, and social sciences, as well as general nursing courses to develop important patient care skills. All nursing programs include supervised clinical experiences that range from general health and illness to more specialized areas, like maternal/neonatal nursing and pediatrics.

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Foundations of Nursing
  • Essentials of Medication Administration

Upon completion of a practical nursing program, graduates will prepare to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). State boards of nursing use the standardized examination to determine candidates' eligibility to receive a license and practice as an LPN or LVN. Jobs for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse majors are available in virtually every health care setting, with nursing care facilities employing the most licensed practical and vocational nurses. Continuing education is required for all LPNs and LVNs to sharpen their clinical skills and nursing knowledge, as well as bring them up to speed on the latest medical developments.