Pennsylvania LPN Programs - Information & Rankings

If you live in Pennsylvania, are undecided about a career, and have an interest in helping others, you may want to consider becoming a licensed practical nurse. Within the next five years, it is projected that there will be more than 17,000 job openings based on newly created jobs and replacement jobs for those who plan on retiring in the near future. LPNs in this state make nearly 3 percent more annually than the national average. If this sounds intriguing to you, we have ranked 15 out of the 57 LPN programs in Pennsylvania that are approved by the State Board of Nursing.


LPN Program Length in PA

You will not need to spend an unreasonable length of time in schooling because you can get a certificate or a diploma in as little as a year or a degree in two.

Type Length
Certificate / Diploma 12 to 18 Months
Associate Degree 2 Years
(Source: In-House Research)


LPN Program Cost in PA

Depending on if you wish to get a diploma, certificate, or an associate's degree, you could spend just over $2,000 to about $50,000 based on the institution you attend.

Type Cost
Certificate / Diploma$2,200 - $34,870
Associate Degree$6,720 - $50,080
(Source: In-House Research)


Why NCLEX-PN Pass Rate is an Important Factor While Selecting an LPN Program in this State?

To become an LPN in PA, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for licensed practical nurses. The NCLEX-PN ensures that you are prepared to work with patients with the appropriate level of competency. Although the pass rate for nursing school graduates is about 85 percent in this state, it is important that you choose a practical nursing program in PA that has a high passing rate for the NCLEX-PN to be sure that you have the training that employers seek right from the start if you wish to work in this field.

NCLEX-PN Pass Rates
Year Pennsylvania National
Taken % Passed Taken % Passed
20132,47087.53%58,57584.63%
20142,46284.85%55,49182.16%
20152,40781.72%50,97981.88%
20162,40283.56%47,34583.70%
20172,17885.58%46,94883.85%


The 20 Best LPN Programs out of 57 PSBN Approved Programs in Pennsylvania for 2020

1) Lancaster County Career & Technology Center - Willow Street

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center offers both daytime and evening LPN programs to provide the flexibility of choice to prospective students. The center provides a conducive learning environment for nursing aspirants besides preparing them for attractive career opportunities in the healthcare field.

The daytime practical nursing is a 12-month program which starts in January, May, and September every year. Classes are scheduled from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday to Friday while clinical sessions are held from 7:00 am – 3:00 pm. Evening LPN, on the other hand, is an 18-month course and starts twice a year in March and September. Classes are held 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm from Monday to Thursday while timings for clinical is from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Both the daytime and evening programs consist of 1605 credit hours which are further divided into 738 theory hours and 867 practical hours. For completing the certificate, you have to secure at least 75% in all the nursing courses.

2) Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology - Mount Braddock

The LPN Program offered by the Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology combines both liberal arts and science to help you attain the desired skills and expertise in the field of nursing care. The course also teaches students the importance of values like patience, humanity, and care. The admission requires no prerequisite coursework thus saving you time and money.

This 12-month practical nursing program contains theory classes, lab practical, and simulation exercises to help students work efficiently in real-world situations. To further enrich the practical exposure, clinical sessions are organized at a number of medical facilities including Highlands and Uniontown hospitals, nursing homes, and private clinics among others. On completing the program, you can take the NCLEX-PN examination and start working as an entry-level nurse in a professional healthcare setup.

3) Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County - Scranton

Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County offers an LPN program with an impressive placement record. Along with professional training, students are involved in various community outreach activities which help them to imbibe values required for a rewarding career in the field of nursing. Also, the center boasts a high passing rate for the NCLEX-PN licensure examination which is a testament to its quality training.

The 15-month LPN Program in Pennsylvania begins in the months of December and March during the even calendar years while for the odd ones, classes begin only in September. The curriculum contains 1,560 program hours and is divided into four different levels with each spanning 13 weeks in duration. Theory classes and practical sessions have an equal weightage of 780 program hours each in the course structure. Classes are scheduled from Monday to Friday while clinical sessions are arranged at various healthcare settings including Mountain View and Geisinger Community centers.

4) Chester County Intermediate Unit – Downingtown

Chester County Intermediate Unit offers a rich culture of innovation, service, and collaboration for nursing aspirants. The college has a vibrant academic environment which coupled with qualified faculty, and considerate administrative staff provides students an opportunity to get a head start in their career.

The LPN program is a 15-month course and is offered in both full-time and part-time formats. While former has classes scheduled 7:00 am-3:00 pm from Monday to Friday, latter has classes four days a week from 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm. The curriculum contains 1,635 program hours and is divided into four levels for smooth course delivery. Clinical sessions are an integral part of the training and to provide students hands-on experience, the college has an agreement with a number of medical facilities and healthcare centers in the region. Upon graduation, you can start working as an entry-level nurse in hospitals, private clinics, and rehabilitation centers among others.

5) HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College - Harrisburg

Having the distinction of being the first and largest community college in the region, HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College can be considered as one of the popular LPN schools in PA. It is focused on producing quality professionals who can meet the challenges of the ever-changing healthcare field.

The 15-month full-time practical nursing program is a 51-credit course with clinical spread over three semesters. The course curriculum is meticulously designed and is delivered by experienced faculty members and trained instructors. During the training, you will go through clinical sessions which are arranged in a variety of healthcare settings at Lancaster and Harrisburg campuses. For successfully earning the certificate, you have to secure at least a “C” grade in all the nursing courses. Upon graduation, you become eligible to take NCLEX-PN examination and can also pursue a higher education degree in the nursing domain.

6) Franklin County Practical Nursing Program - Chambersburg

Quality placements, superior academic environment, and collaborate learning makes Franklin County Practical Nursing Program stand apart from the rest. The comprehensive nature of the course makes sure that students get acquainted thoroughly with nursing concepts and perform well in their professional careers.

The session for this one-year, full-time practical nursing course begins in August and February every year. The coursework contains 1,540 hours with classes/clinical scheduled from Monday to Thursday. During the training, you will cover fundamentals and advanced aspects of nursing care, surgical nursing, and pharmacology besides imbibing skills of providing holistic patient care. The hands-on training will provide you the opportunity to deal with a variety of real-world circumstances under the supervision of a trained instructor. Upon graduation, you can start working as a practical nurse in a range of healthcare settings under a registered medical practitioner.

7) Lehigh Carbon Community College - Schnecksville

Since its inception in 1966, Lehigh Carbon Community College has been focused on providing quality education to students. Its LPN program recognizes the changing needs of the healthcare sector and updates the curriculum accordingly to keep itself abreast. The well-equipped infrastructure of the college further complements the available learning opportunities.

The practical nursing is one-year program which has been divided into three semesters - fall semester (18 credits), spring semester (18 credits), and summer semester (15 credits). This course will prepare you to provide complete nursing care to the sick and needy. The curriculum has been designed in a manner that facilitates experiential learning among students. The course has scheduled clinical sessions throughout the training which will help you to handle real-world situations with confidence. To successfully earn the certificate, you must score at least “C” grade in all the nursing courses

8) Bucks County Community College - Newtown and Perkasie

Bucks County Community College offers a vibrant academic environment for facilitating the exchange of ideas among students. The college boasts impressive infrastructure and emphasizes on delivering experienced-based learning to students. The LPN program encourages students to develop humane values and practical skills required for a successful career in the healthcare field.

To become an LPN in Pennsylvania, this one-year, full-time practical nursing course offered at Newton and Perkasie campuses could be considered. The session begins in July every year and the curriculum containing 1,530 program hours has been divided into three levels – level I (483 hours), level II (562 hours), and level III (485 hours). Both theory and clinical have been given equal importance in the course structure (798 theory hours and 732 clinical hours). For providing personalized attention, the class maintains a low faculty-student ratio of 1:8. As a mandatory requirement to successfully pass the certificate, you have to secure at least 77% minimum grade in all nursing courses.

9) Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit – Lewisburg

Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit has a legacy of offering nursing education for more than 50 years now. Its LPN program is well-recognized and prepares students for a bright career in the healthcare industry. The college offers a number of support services including counseling and career-advice to help students achieve their full potential.

The practical nursing program is offered in two formats - full-time (12 months, session starts in August) and part-time (23 months, session starts in January). Both formats consist a course structure which combines classroom instructions, lab practical, and clinical sessions. The full-time curriculum contains 1,547 hours of training and is divided into three levels - Level I (nursing fundamentals - 280 hours), level II (surgical nursing - 509 hours), and level III (advanced surgical nursing - 512 hours). Part-time program, on the other hand, has been divided into six levels with similar 1,547 hours.

10) Fayette County Career & Technical Institute - Uniontown

The LPN program offered by Fayette County Career & Technical Institute focuses on the holistic development of students. The infrastructure of the institute is well-equipped and boasts airy classrooms, laboratories, and simulation rooms. The course curriculum is well thought out and features an optimum mix of theory and practical training.

The 12-month, full-time long practical nursing begins in March and September every year. It contains 1,554 clock hours of coursework which is further divided into 786 theory hours and 768 practical hours. The course curriculum is structured into three levels – level I (553 hours), level II (672 hours), and level III (329 hours). The institute boasts low faculty to student ratio (15:1) which means you will receive personalized attention during the training. For successfully earning the certificate, you have to secure a minimum “C” grade in all nursing courses.

11) Pennsylvania College of Technology - Williamsport

The emphasis on practical education is one of the key distinctions of Pennsylvania College of Technology. The college maintains a low faculty-student ratio for providing personalized attention to students and has integrated best practices from the industry to help students stay ahead of the competition.

The 17-month practical nursing education is divided into five semesters and contains a total of 68 credits. The course curriculum consists of theoretical instructions, lab practical and clinical sessions which are arranged in a variety of healthcare settings including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and private clinics among others. During the training, you will start learning from the basics of nursing care, health, and nutrition and then graduate to an advanced level of surgical nursing, child care, and pharmacology. To successfully complete the program, you are required to score at least "C" grade in each nursing subject.

12) Lenape Technical School - Ford City & New Castle

You can choose from either the one-year full-time or two-year part-time LPN program as the Lenape Technical School offers both these formats to prospective aspirants. In addition to this choice flexibility, the school provides a vibrant learning environment to students for transforming them into quality healthcare professionals.

The full-time practical nursing program runs at both Ford City and New Castle campuses though part-time is only offered at Ford City location. The curriculum contains 1,554 hours of coursework and has been divided into four levels - level I (450 hours), level II (450 hours), level III (320 hours), and level IV (334 hours). You will learn about theoretical concepts in classes and have a chance to apply them into practice during lab practical and clinical sessions. Upon program completion, you can take up an entry-level position of a practical nurse in the healthcare domain or further pursue higher studies in the nursing field.

13) Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center - Altoona

Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center boasts a high success rate in NCLEX-PN examination. The center is quite a well-known LPN school in PA and comes equipped with impressive physical and human infrastructure. Besides, the college has built a good relationship with the industry to provide quality placement to nursing students.

The full-time and part-time practical nursing programs start August every year and run for the duration of one year and two years respectively. The curriculum contains 1,564 program hours and has been divided into four levels (12 weeks each) for full-time and eight levels (12 weeks each) for the part-time program. Classes for the full-time program are scheduled from Monday to Friday while part-time candidates will have evening classes on Tuesday to Thursday. For completing the program, you have to score at least 75% in all nursing courses.

14) Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center Practical Nursing - Wilkes-Barre

The emphasis of the LPN program offered by Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center Practical Nursing is on the all-round development of nursing aspirants. The center has established close working links with the industry which helps students in finding good working opportunities in the healthcare field.

The practical nursing is a 15-month, full-time program which has been divided into four levels - level I (387.50 hours), level II (416.50 hours), level III (418.50 hours), and level IV (378.50 hours). Each level runs for 13-week, and the curriculum contains a total of 1,601 hours. In addition to classroom instructions and lab practical, you will receive hands-on training during clinical sessions which are set in a variety of healthcare settings. Upon successfully completing the program, you can start working as a practical nurse in the healthcare industry besides becoming eligible for taking the NCLEX-PN examination.

15) Fortis Institute - Scranton

Fortis Institute equips you with the skills and knowledge required for a successful career in the nursing field. The theoretical instructions given in the class is adequately supplemented with instruction materials, lab practical and multi-media support to help students make most out of their academic experience.

The LPN training in Pennsylvania offered at Fortis is a 72-week course which is offered at the Scranton campus. The highlight of this associate degree program is its hybrid nature which allows for taking the online classes for a number of nursing subjects; thereby saving you time and cost. During the training, you will receive detailed classroom instructions while clinical sessions provide you a chance to apply the theory into practice. The successful completion of the program will make you eligible to sit for NCLEX-PN examination.

16) Indiana County Technology Center - Indiana & Steel Center Campus

The LPN program of Indiana County Technology Center focuses on the development of critical thinking skills among students. The center imparts quality training owing to its low faculty-student ratio while the course provides intensive hands-on experience to nursing aspirants through lab practical and clinical sessions.

The full-time (one-year) and part-time (16-month) practical nursing programs are offered at the Indiana campus and Steel Center Campus respectively. Both programs start in the month of August every academic year. The curriculum contains a total of 1,550 hours which are further divided into 700 theory hours and 850 clinical hours. The course will educate you on a number of nursing care aspects including basic care, surgical nursing, human anatomy, psychological well- being, aspects of communication, team-spirit, and leadership among others. On successful completion of the program, you will receive a diploma certificate and become eligible to sit for NCLEX-PN examination. Alternatively, you have the option of pursuing a higher degree in the nursing field such as an associate degree in practical nursing.

17) Crawford County Career and Technical Center - Meadville

The legacy of the LPN program offered by Crawford County Career and Technical Center goes back to 1969 when the first class of its nursing students graduated from the center. Impressive placement records and high passing rate in the NCLEX-PN exam are some of the other highlights of the college.

This 13-month practical nursing program begins in the month of August and has been divided into three trimesters with each spanning 18-weeks in length. The curriculum typically requires you to spend 28 hours per week for classroom and clinical sessions. For theoretical instructions, classes are scheduled at Crawford County Career and Technical Center while clinical sessions are arranged in a variety of healthcare facilities like various health and medical centers, rehabilitation centers, care foundations, nursing homes, private clinics among others. The training methods also utilize simulation rooms for further facilitating the hands-on experience to students.

18) Community College of Beaver County - Monaca

The practical nursing certificate offered by Community College of Beaver County could be considered if you decide to become an LPN in Pennsylvania. The college enjoys good industry relations and continuously upgrades its curriculum to help students stay abreast with changing realities in the healthcare field.

This 1-year nursing program is a 50-credit course which has been divided into three semesters - spring semester (19-credit), summer semester (16-credit), and fall semester (15-credit). The training consists of a mixture of theoretical instructions and lab practical which will be delivered by experienced faculty and well-trained instructors. Clinical sessions will be organized in a variety of healthcare settings including hospitals, private clinics, medical centers, heath centers, infirmaries, and nursing homes to provide hands-on training to students. On successful completion of the program, you can either start working as an entry-level practical nurse or pursue higher education in the nursing domain.

19) Delaware County Intermediate Unit - Broomall

The rigorous nature of the LPN program offered by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit prepares students for a promising career in the healthcare industry. The course uses both theoretical and practical means to deliver quality training and emphasize the importance of experiential learning through hands-on exercises.

The 12-month practical nursing is a full-time program which starts in September and February every year. The curriculum contains a total of 1,500 clock-hours and has been divided into four different levels for facilitating the delivery process. You will learn theoretical concepts in the classroom and will apply them in practice during clinical sessions. Classes and clinical sessions are scheduled from Monday to Friday and to focus on the holistic development of students, the program restricts the student intake to around 100 each year. On successful completion of the program, you can take the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN).

20) Greene County CTC – Waynesburg

Greene County CTC provides LPN education with a focus on developing a life-long learning experience for its students. The center has well-equipped facilities and to aid the learning process, it has established an impressive physical infrastructure of classrooms, laboratories, and simulation rooms.

The 12-month practical nursing program has been divided into three levels and consists of a total of 1,610 hours. The Level I educates you about fundamentals of providing nursing care, pharmacology, and surgical procedures (536 hours) while in the level II you learn about surgical nursing, maternal care, human anatomy, and nutrition and growth (485 Hours). The level III trains you on advanced concepts of pharmacology, pediatrics, teamwork, collaboration, and leadership among others (589 hours). To successfully complete the program, you are required to score at least 80% in all the nursing courses.

View Ranking Methodology


How to Obtain My LPN License in Pennsylvania?

• Get your LPN diploma, certificate, or degree from an educational program approved by the State Board of Nursing.
• Register for the NCLEX-PN with Pearson VUE, and register with your Board for licensing. Although your educational facility should send your graduation information to the Board, you can check to make sure that information has been received.
• Wait until your get your ATT, or authorization to test, then schedule your exam. You will have a certain amount of time in which to sit for this examination.
• Get your CPR card, pass the NCLEX-PN, and obtain your license.

How Much Will I Earn?

If you choose to become a practical nurse, you can expect to earn slightly above the national average. LPN salary in Pennsylvania can start out at around $16 per hour. Depending on where you work, with more experience you can make almost $30 an hour. Working full time, the average PN makes about $47,000 annually.

Type Salary Range Average Salary
Hourly$16.46 - $29.68$22.63
Monthly$2,850 - $5,150$3,920
Annual$34,230 - $61,740$47,070
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


LPN Earnings in this State vs National Average

Pennsylvania National Difference
Number %
$47,070$45,710 + $1,360+ 2.98%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Job Outlook for LPN Graduates in Pennsylvania

There is expected to be nearly a 10 percent increase in LPN jobs in Pennsylvania by the year 2026. An increasing aging population means that there will be more jobs available in long-term care facilities and home health care. With more individuals and families having access to insurance coverage, there will be a greater need for LPNs to work in hospitals, urgent care centers, and private physician offices. With only 57 practical nursing programs in the state that are approved by the Board, those who complete the educational requirements should have a good chance of gaining employment in an area of their preference.

Employment 10 Year New Job Growth Projection (2016-2026)
2016 2026 Number %
38,74042,3203,5809.24%
(Source: careeronestop)


Projected LPN Annual Job Openings in Pennsylvania (2019-2023)

Year New Jobs Replacement Jobs Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
20193623,2803,642
20203663,5303,896
20213643,8004,164
20223634,1004,463
20233474,4304,777
Total Job Openings in the Next 5 Years 17,300
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


6 Best Metro Areas in Pennsylvania to Work as an LPN

As you might already have guessed, there are a greater percentage of job openings in large, metropolitan areas than there are in rural regions across the state. Even so, Philadelphia has undoubtedly the most LPN jobs in the state, with more than 15,000 workers in these positions. IntelyCare currently offers highly competitive salaries and can help match you to your dream job. Bayada Healthcare also has job openings on a regular basis. Employers in Pittsburgh hire nearly 6,000 LPNs. UPMC is a major employer in this region.

Rank Metro Area Current Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
1Philadelphia15,610$25.96$4,500 $59,850
2Pittsburgh5,970$21.30$3,690$44,310
3Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton2,380$20.85$3,610$43,360
4Allentown2,240$23.15$4,010$48,160
5Harrisburg-Carlisle1,850$23.69$4,110$49,270
6Lancaster1,740$21.80$3,780$45,330
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Other Pennsylvania Nursing Pages


Nursing Salaries