To answer your question, the length of time can range from 1 year to 18 months depending if you attend school full or part-time.
At the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (2020) website below you can search for nursing programs internationally, in United States territories, and in the United States. At the website, next to Select by State or Country, select the area you would like. Then, next to “Program Type” select “Practical”. Your two selections will provide you a list of nursing schools for your interest in becoming an LPN. Finally, you can visit the website of each school to determine if the school meets your needs. You can apply directly to your school of interest. Other items to take note of for your school of interest include: academic/career counseling (there are many opportunities in nursing), scholarships (to help pay for school. Your state may have opportunities for you to attend nursing school for free or a discounted rate), NCLEX-PN pass rate (the school may advertise their pass rate on their website, the higher the pass rate the greater likelihood you will pass the nursing test to become an LPN), faculty support, and graduation rate.
If you decide to become an RN, I have included the website where you will find schools that include RN programs and graduate nursing programs (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2021). Please note you do not have to be an LPN first and then continue to become an RN. You can enter directly into an RN program if this is your goal as well.
All the very best to you.
* Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (2020). Search ACEN Accredited Nursing Programs.
* American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2021). Find Accredited Programs. https://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE-Accreditation/Overview-of-Accreditation/Find-Accredited-Programs
The candidate applies to a Board of Nursing approved nursing program. While some states license LPNs who have had alternate training (for example, through the military), the majority require completion of an approved nursing program. A list of in-state programs is usually available on the board site.
As the practical nursing or vocational nursing program winds down, the future nurse will take additional steps toward licensure.
Sometime after graduation, the candidate will need to pass the NCLEX-PN; this same test is given around the country. Each state has the responsibility of authorizing candidates to take the exam.
A nursing student can sometimes begin the application process before graduation. She turns in an application to the board in her state, or the state where she wishes to become licensed. There may be several steps to the application process. The candidate may need to have her fingerprints done. She may also need to get a notary signature. There will be at least a small fee assessed.
The candidate will pay a fee (currently $200) to register for the licensing exam. Once she’s authorized, she’ll be able to schedule her own test. It’s computer adapted, and given at centers around the country. The candidate does not need to test in the state where she is seeking licensing. What she does have to do is make sure that she schedules the exam during the window granted by her authorization to test.
If a candidate does not pass the NCLEX-PN on her first attempt, she can try again. However, she will have additional fees. Some states allow candidates to work under a temporary permit while they are waiting to test, but rescind the privilege for those who don’t pass the first time around.
The examination is usually the last step before licensure. The successful candidate may receive her license in the mail, or she may be asked to verify it online.