CNA-to-LPN Programs Online (2023)

Society needs licensed practical nurses (LPNs). These professionals conduct vital tasks for patients like giving medication, bandaging wounds, and monitoring health.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the need for LPNs to increase 9% in 2020-2030. LPNs earn a median annual income of $48,820. For comparison, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) earn only $30,830. The BLS projects an 8% increase for this career between 2020-2030.

CNAs perform tasks similar to that of LPNs, but take on more of an assistant role. LPNs work as leaders and make a positive difference in the workplace. Keep reading to learn more about earning an online CNA-to-LPN degree.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online CNA-to-LPN

How Are Online CNA-to-LPN Classes Different From Their Campus-based Counterparts?

Fortunately, a CNA-to-LPN degree translates well to an online program. Classes occur entirely online, but students must complete clinical rotations in person. A CNA-to-LPN online curriculum covers the same topics as a campus-based curriculum.

Distance learners choose between a synchronous or asynchronous program. Synchronous programs have set virtual class meeting times. Asynchronous programs allow for more flexibility with pre-recorded lectures.

What Are Some of the Required Classes and Subjects?

In an online CNA-to-LPN degree, aspiring LPNs learn how to provide patient care effectively and ethically. Learners hone skills such as changing catheters and recording patient notes. They also practice soft skills like interpersonal communication with patients and their families.

Common classes in an LPN program include anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and emergency care. Students discover how patient needs vary by age.

How Do Online LPN Students Obtain Clinical Training and Experience in a Distance Learning Environment?

Students earning their CNA-to-LPN online get clinical experience locally at nursing homes or hospitals. However, some programs may require temporary relocation for this requirement. Most programs set specific standards for clinical rotation facilities. Learners should research the qualifications for their school.

Since all LPN programs require clinical experience, online programs may advertise themselves as hybrid programs. Certain programs may require a yearly in-person orientation. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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CNA vs. LPN Programs


  • Education Requirements

    Students must complete a 4-12 week certificate at a nursing home, hospital, clinic, or vocational school.

  • Certification/Licensure Requirements

    Graduates must pass a state-specific competency exam and background check.

  • Responsibilities/Scope of Practice

    CNAs work under LPN or RN supervision and provide basic patient care. They may also perform some administrative tasks, such as answering phones, checking vital signs, and changing beds.

  • Continuing Education

    Each state sets continuing education standards, but CNAs do not typically need to take continuing education units.


  • Education Requirements

    After passing a pre-entrance exam, students must complete a certificate/diploma or associate degree in nursing, taking 1-2 years. Students take these programs at community colleges, vocational schools, and some large hospitals.

  • Certification/Licensure Requirements

    Graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN exam.

  • Responsibilities/Scope of Practice

    LPNs work under RN supervision and provide care as part of a team. Responsibilities include giving medications, collecting patient data, and helping with minor procedures or patient rehabilitation.

  • Continuing Education

    Each state sets its own continuing education standards. Most require a specific number of annual continuing education units to maintain licensure.

CNA-to-LPN Timeline

Earning a CNA-to-LPN online includes many moving parts. Here, we break down each step and what to consider. The exact timeline for earning an online CNA-to-LPN degree may vary by person.

  1. 1

    Select a Person

    When picking a program, learners should first verify its accreditation status. The U.S. Secretary of Education recognizes the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education as the official accreditation agency. Aspiring students should read class descriptions to ensure the program aligns with their career goals. They should also consider program price and graduate success rate.

  2. 2

    Review Specific State Education Requirements

    Degree-seekers should research state education requirements. Each state sets its own requirements for LPN licensure. They require a set number of clinical hours and a licensure exam. Many states participate in reciprocity agreements, meaning nurses can sometimes transfer their licenses between states. Most programs tailor the requirements to meet state licensing standards. Therefore, students should consider programs in states where they want to practice.

  3. 3

    Successfully Complete Your Accredited Nursing Program

    An online CNA-to-LPN degree typically takes full-time learners about one year to complete. These students do traditional coursework and clinical rotations during their studies. Degree-seekers practice basic nurse duties, like giving medicine, under professional supervision. They also build on their CNA knowledge. Most schools feature strict GPA requirements.

  4. 4

    Register to Take the NCLEX

    All U.S. nursing boards require nurses to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The exam covers four topics: safe and effective care environments, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. Learners may take up to five hours to finish the test.

  5. 5

    Keep Your License Active

    LPNs must take steps to maintain licensure. State nursing boards require a set number of yearly continuing education hours. Professional organizations offer these educational opportunities. Certain states only accept continuing education credits from specific sources. For example, the Missouri nursing board only accepts credits from NetCE.

Best Online LPN Programs 2022
How to Become an LPN is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Healthcare Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

LPN Licensure Requirements

All LPNs need at least a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school. Graduates meeting their state's clinical hour requirement take the NCLEX. The earliest learners can take the exam varies by state. Most people take the exam about 45 days after graduation.

The adaptive exam includes 75-265 questions. It ends once students demonstrate their skill as a nurse with at least 75 correct answers. Or, it ends once the test taker fails too many questions. The exam takes up to five hours to finish. Aspiring nurses can take the test up to eight times in one year to pass. After passing and getting a license, nurses must complete continuing education hours to maintain it.

Benefits of Transitioning from a CNA to a LPN

People who continue their education with an online CNA-to-LPN degree earn an increased income. It also comes with the other benefits discussed below.

  1. 1

    Increased Knowledge

    Graduates leave the program able to make important, informed decisions. They use their knowledge to improve patient care and direct CNAs. LPNs make a positive difference in the workplace with their gained knowledge. Instead of just performing assistive tasks, they experience more autonomy.

  2. 2

    Expanded Employment Opportunities

    An LPN degree opens more doors. Students become LPNs in nursing homes or hospitals. Or, they can pick a concentration and earn specialized roles as pediatric LPNs or obstetrics gynecologist LPNs. The additional education makes learners qualified job candidates.

  3. 3

    Making a Bigger Difference

    LPNs get the chance to enhance a patient's care plan. They collaborate with RNs, doctors, and other specialists to ensure patients get the best aid possible. Instead of just following orders, they evaluate possible decision outcomes to make the best choices.

  4. 4

    Begin a Path toward Further Education

    Earning an LPN brings graduates one step closer to working in even more advanced roles. For example, they can go on to become RNs. RNs experience even more involvement in care plans, rather than just basic comfort care. They also earn more money than LPNs, with a median annual income of $75,330. Some nurses enter academia and become professors.

Beyond the LPN

Thanks to convenient online programs, learners pursue their career goals around work responsibilities.

Students wanting to advance their education beyond an LPN should consider an RN program. Some schools offer LPN-to-RN programs entirely online. The transitional program takes 2-4 years to finish.

Some graduates become nurse practitioners (NPs), requiring a master's degree. An LPN-to-MSN program takes full-time learners 2.5-3 years to finish. NPs diagnose and treat certain ailments. They earn a median annual income of $117,670. The BLS projects the need for NPs to grow 45% in 2020-2030, much faster than average. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Nursing Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.


What is the easiest LPN school to get into? ›

  1. University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton, AR. ...
  2. Annenberg School of Nursing - Reseda, CA. ...
  3. Bolivar Technical College - Bolivar, MO. ...
  4. Athena Career Academy - Toledo, OH. ...
  5. Professional Skills Institute - Maumee, OH. ...
  6. Herzing University - Birmingham, AL.

What is the fastest path to become a LPN? ›

The fastest way to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is to enroll in a vocational school diploma program. Full-time students are ready to work in months, not years, and graduates qualify for the same professional credentials as students completing degree programs. How? LPN diploma programs are condensed.

Is LPN easy to pass? ›

LPN school is a challenging undertaking for aspiring nurses, but with good study habits and a healthy work ethic, completing your program can be much easier. Keep reading for a few tips that can help you finish your program successfully.

How do I convert my CNA to LVN in Texas? ›

Texas Health School
  1. Attend a mandatory VN program Information Session.
  2. Complete the THS application form.
  3. Take and pass the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE) with a minimum score of 17.
  4. Submit official high school transcript or GED equivalency.
  5. Complete a criminal background check through the Texas Department of Safety.

What is the hardest class in LPN school? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

How hard is the LPN test? ›

Is it hard to pass the NCLEX-PN? Let's start with the very good news: The 2020 first-time pass rate for LPN/LVN candidates who are educated in the United States is 85.32%.

What is the shortest time to become a LPN? ›

It can take as few as 12 months to earn a diploma in practical nursing, as opposed to approximately 2-3 years to earn an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing (ADN/ASN or BSN).

Which state is easiest to get LPN license? ›

Easiest states to become a nurse – Length of licensing process
  • Maine: 1-2 weeks.
  • Maryland: 2-3 days.
  • Missouri: 2 weeks.
  • Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
  • Texas: 2 weeks.
  • Vermont: 3-5 business days.

What is the most a LPN can make an hour? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $37.98 and as low as $14.18, the majority of Lpn wages currently range between $19.95 (25th percentile) to $28.12 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Does LPN require a lot of math? ›

All nursing revolves around a few basic math skills – adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals, fractions and whole numbers, and converting numbers from the English system to a metric one, among them.

How many questions do you need to pass the LPN NCLEX? ›

The better you perform, the fewer the questions you'll be required to complete to pass the exam. The minimum number of questions you could answer to pass the NCLEX-PN is 85 questions. The average number of questions given is 112.

How many people fail the LPN NCLEX? ›

All nursing students dream of graduating and passing the NCLEX. Unfortunately, more than thirteen percent of NCLEX-RN candidates fail the exam on their first attempt.

Can a CNA challenge the LVN exam in Texas? ›

Updating your qualifications from a CNA to a LVN, has four prerequisites, including four years of medical and/or surgical nursing, subacute nursing or clinical care nursing. When you have satisfied the requirements you can challenge the LVN Board, or NCLEX-PN for your LVN License.

How do I transition from CNA to LVN? ›

As a CNA, you can complete a CNA-to-LVN training program at a community college or vocational school. These programs cover the same coursework as regular LVN training programs, but you may be able to skip some basic nursing courses, depending on your CNA education and experience.

Can I be a CNA with a felony in Texas? ›

To start a CNA class, candidates can't have any felonies in the past 5 years. Misdemeanors involving theft or assault are also disqualifying. Pass the exam - In Texas, CNA trainees can work for four months before needing to pass the state exam.

How to pass the LPN entrance exam? ›

5 Tips for Passing Nursing School Entrance Exams
  1. Know what to expect on the exam. ...
  2. Start studying early and plan. ...
  3. Study by your learning style. ...
  4. Study practice questions. ...
  5. Use the best exam resources.
Feb 4, 2022

What is the easiest degree in nursing? ›

An LPN or LVN program usually takes around a year to complete, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). What makes an LPN or LVN preparation program the easiest type of nursing education you can pursue is its focus on training for basic nursing services only and its quick completion time.

How to survive LPN school? ›

10 Tips on How to Survive Nursing School
  1. Get to know your professors early in the semester. ...
  2. Review every single test you get back. ...
  4. Get your assignments done early. ...
  5. Get organized!!!! ...
  6. Find good study habits. ...
  7. Study during your breaks. ...
  8. Self-care is so important for nursing students.
Jan 14, 2020

Is nursing harder than NCLEX? ›

Unlike nursing school exams, which test for knowledge, the NCLEX tests your ability to apply and analyze situations using the nursing knowledge you gained in school. Logic and critical thinking, rather than rote memorization, are emphasized in this test—making it much more difficult and comprehensive.

Is the LPN NCLEX harder than RN? ›

Yes, NCLEX-RN is harder than NCLEX-PN because it tests for a greater breadth and depth of knowledge. It's for this reason that the NCLEX-RN is usually considered more difficult than NCLEX-PN. However, both exams are challenging and require extensive preparation.

What makes LPN school hard? ›

Very large reading assignments. Learning how to take nursing school exams (the dreaded “select all that apply” questions and multiple-choice questions with all right answers, but you have to select the most correct answer) Pharmacology. Learning about nursing research and understanding evidence-based practice.

What state has the fastest LPN program? ›

Top 5 Fast Track LPN Programs
1Montgomery Community CollegeTroy, North Carolina
2Johnson County Community CollegeOverland Park, Kansas
3Gateway Community CollegeFlorence, Kentucky
4Tennessee College of Applied Technology JacksonTennessee
1 more row

Is 60 too old to become a LPN? ›

A common question often asked by nontraditional students is whether or not they're too old to go to nursing school. The short answer is that you're never too old to go to nursing school. Even if you're not physically able to do certain nursing jobs, there are other nursing specialties you're going to be able to do.

What is the difference between a CNA and a LPN? ›

The main difference between a CNA and an LPN is the kind of care they give. CNAs help patients eat and bathe, which they would typically do independently. LPNs do basic nursing tasks like giving patients their medicine, updating their medical records, and helping other nurses.

What state pays LPN the most? ›

1. California

No surprise here: California is also the highest-paying state for registered nurses (RNs) and among the highest-paying states for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Likewise, California tops our list of the highest-paying states for LPNs, with an average annual salary of $65,140.

Can you take the NCLEX without going to nursing school? ›

Do you need a nursing degree to take the NCLEX exam? To take the NCLEX-RN, you'll need a four-year nursing degree from an accredited program. To take the NCLEX-PN, you'll need to complete a related diploma program or certificate course.

What state is the hardest to get a nursing license? ›

  • OHIO. Surprised California doesn't top the list? ...
  • CALIFORNIA. Ah, California—a bucket-list destination for many travel nurses. ...
  • MARYLAND. ...
  • MAINE. ...

Can you make 6 figures as a LPN? ›

Can Nurses Make Six Figures? Yes, you can 100% make six figures as a nurse. The disclaimer is that working in some states may make this easier than working in other states. Geographic location is a huge indicator of starting salary and can be a reason why some of you are not as close to others when looking at raw data.

What job pays LPN the most? ›

Urgent Care LPN
  • As a licensed practical nurse (LPN) working in urgent care, you will be part of the team providing treatment for emergency room patients. ...
  • This job is one of the highest-paying LPN positions, with a median salary of $62,265 per year. ...
  • The top ten highest paying cities for urgent care LPNs are:
Jan 31, 2022

What is the lowest paid LPN? ›

10th Percentile: $35,570 per year; $17.10 per hour. 25th Percentile: $42,060 per year; $20.22 per hour.

What is the LPN entrance exam called? ›

The National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN exam) is administered by individual State Boards of Nursing.

What does it mean if I got all 145 questions on NCLEX? ›

Does 145 questions on NCLEX mean you failed? No, if you answer all 145 questions on the NCLEX, that does not mean you fail. In fact, if you answered 145 questions and each question was progressively more challenging, then that is a good sign that you passed.

What is a passing grade on LPN NCLEX? ›

While it's possible to pass the NCLEX after answering all 135, it's also possible to pass the test with a minimum of 70 questions or any number in between. Keep in mind NCLEX has a time limit of five hours. If you haven't answered enough questions correctly when the clock runs out, you will fail the test.

What is the easiest nursing course to get into? ›

What makes an LPN or LVN preparation program the easiest type of nursing education you can pursue is its focus on training for basic nursing services only and its quick completion time. However, aspiring LPNs and LVNs still need to take coursework in studies such as biology, pharmacology and nursing.

What is the easiest nursing degree to get? ›

If you are ready to become a registered nurse but not yet ready to commit to four or more years of college, an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing (ADN) could be an excellent option for you. ADN programs typically take two years to complete.

Can I get into nursing school with a 2.5 GPA? ›

Yes, it is possible to get into a nursing program with a 2.5 GPA. Many programs accept students with a lower GPA. It may take some extra work from you, though, especially if you are applying to a school that typically requires a higher GPA.

What is the shortest nursing program? ›

ADN and Related Programs

The way to become an RN with the lowest level of education is to go through an associate's degree in nursing or ADN program. Most ADN programs are two years long and are held at community colleges. There are numerous options to choose from, including part-time and full-time programs.

What is the lowest GPA for nursing? ›

While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'd receive a lesser nursing education with these programs.

What is the lowest course in nursing? ›

Advantages to Earning a Nursing Degree vs. Entry-Level Programs
DegreeProgram Length
LPN/LVN (Diploma or Certificate)1 year
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)2 years
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)4 years
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)2 years
2 more rows


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