How Long Does it Take to Become a LPN?

Many students who want to become practical nurses (or LPNs) often seek out information about training courses before committing to a program. Maybe you’ve wondered yourself how long does it take to become a LPN? Specifically, what programs are offered to become a LPN and how long does each last? And what will I learn in these programs? What fields of study will be tackled? If you’ve asked these questions yourself, continue reading to find out how long does it take to become a LPN.

How Long Does It Take to Become a LPN?

So you must have already asked yourself “how long does it take to become a LPN?” After all, most students who are eager to work in the healthcare field want to finish their coursework and be ready to take up their licensing exam as soon as possible.

Well, the duration of LPN programs can vary depending on the educational institution and a student’s course load. Most schools offer a LPN training course of a year or less, although there are some programs that can last longer and cover a wider range of topics. Of course, it would still depend on how many units a student is willing to take per term. Being a full-time vs. part-time student can significantly affect how long does it take to become a LPN.

Graduating from a course is also just the first step to becoming a LPN. To become a full-fledged LPN, a graduate must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing or NCLEX-PN. Only after passing the exam would you be able to work professionally as a LPN in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or long term care facilities.

So although a training program might take around a year to complete, you won’t officially become a LPN until you pass the NCLEX-PN, which could take a little longer to finish if you don’t study well.

Upon applying for training, it is important to ask how long does it take to become a LPN under their program. A student must also understand school policies such as the minimum and maximum allowable units per term, as well as training or internship subjects that may also take up a significant amount of time before being able to graduate and qualify to sit in for the NCLEX-PN.

How long does it take to become a LPN - LPN training


A Typical LPN Course Curriculum

Although LPN programs can vary in terms of school policies, the things you will be learning will more or less tackle the same fields of study meant to prepare a LPN for a career in the medical field. There are programs that combine coursework and clinical training to best equip a LPN graduate with knowledge and skills that he or she can use in the field.

Many LPN courses will teach the same fundamental concepts, mostly involving learning the proper LPN skills to perform the job (such as clinical training that must be completed in a laboratory) as well as how to communicate properly with various staff and patients. Coursework may include the following:

  • Pharmacology
  • Anatomy / physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Adult and geriatric nursing
  • Pediatric nursing
  • Maternal nursing
  • Human biology
  • Microbiology
  • Pre- and post-operation surgical nursing
  • Emergency care / first aid
  • Psychology / mental health
  • Human growth and development
  • Patient privacy & rights
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Legal issues & ethics
  • Medical terms

Hours of internship in actual facilities such as nursing homes, long term care institutions, and clinics can ensure that you will be well-rounded with the skills and knowledge to be a professional LPN. And though there are many LPNs who love what they do, many LPNs also go on to pursue additional years of training to become registered nurses. So there you have it, hopefully we’ve answered your question of how long does it take to become a LPN.