If you want to take the fast track to an entry-level career in nursing, consider becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN), also known as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). In just a year, you could start your career in this rewarding role.
LPNs work directly with patients, under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs), to implement care plans and start treatment. As licensed practical nurses don’t have as many responsibilities as RNs, they only need to perform the fundamentals, including taking vital signs, dressing wounds, acting as a liaison between patients and their care team and administering medications.
Through your work as an LPN, you’ll experience clinical experience firsthand in care facilities like hospitals, private offices and nursing homes. Plus, you’ll witness the incredible work that RNs and physicians do on a daily basis. So, if you want to continue your studies in the healthcare field, you’ll know which direction you want to go and can pursue your bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree. Or, perhaps you’ll find that working as an LPN is the perfect fit for you.
How much does LPN school cost?
The LPN cost of training has a wide range, with the cheapest LPN programs coming in at approximately $4,000 and the most expensive spiking up to roughly $30,000. However, the average LPN program cost is about $10,000-15,000. This number refers solely to tuition, which is essentially the cost of instruction and enrollment, but there are other expenses you should keep in mind (more on that in a bit). Since the cost of LPN programs can be steep, you may want to consider applying for scholarships or financial aid to help lessen your financial burden.
Additional fees and considerations
It’s one thing to consider how much your tuition will cost, but a complete projection includes the price of the additional items that are essential to your success. Here are some extra expenses to consider.
- Books: If you’ve ever bought textbooks before, you know they cost far more than your $15.99 beach-read. Books for your practical nursing program can cost up to $1,000! You can look for used editions, rentals or electronic downloads, which can be less expensive than buying new hardcover textbooks.
- Uniforms: Call us biased, but uniforms are our favorite accessory for every healthcare professional. As designers of premium scrubs, we’re all about choosing the right work attire for your long shifts. When looking for the perfect set of scrubs for your work as an LPN, choose one that fits perfectly, keeps you comfortable and performs well—and be sure to take advantage of our student discount!
- Stethoscope: LPNs use stethoscopes to accurately assess patients, as they amplify the sounds of the body, including the heart, lungs and intestines. Just like your LPN training, stethoscopes come at various price points, from around $20 to well into the hundreds. You can find a reliable, long-lasting option somewhere in between.
- Licensure examination: To practice as an LPN, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-PN. Once you do, you’ll be eligible for licensure. As if it weren’t enough to take an exam, you also have to pay for it. This test costs $200 each time you take it, so study hard and nail it on your first try (we know you can do it!).
- Cost of living: When you dedicate time to your studies, you may not be able to earn as much as you usually do. As you work to become an LPN, it could be challenging to maintain a full-time job. It’s not just about the hours you pour into your coursework; it’s about the mental and physical energy also you put in. We recommend you consider whether your current living costs will be sustainable as you continue your education as a nursing student.
- Fees: Fees are like the fine print of college. Tuition, which covers your classroom instruction and labs, is one thing, but fees are another. When planning your finances, look at the total cost of your nursing education, including all your living expenses and not just the cost of tuition.
What’s the career outlook for an LPN?
Now that you have a better idea of how much your education will cost, you can plan how to finance it and pay back any student debt you might accumulate. To start paying off your student debt, you’ll have to find a job, right?
Luckily, the LPN job market is expected to grow by 9% in the years leading up to 2030, so you should definitely be able to find work.
While knowing you’ll have job security is crucial, a good salary also helps. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for LPNs is roughly $48,000 annually.
Wherever your healthcare career takes you, we’re happy to come along for the ride as your number-one cheerleader and supplier of premium scrubs that are perfect for all types of healthcare settings.