If you're familiar with the educational requirements to get an LPN degree, then you've most likely also heard that the exam you need to take and pass also includes a clinical skill section. So, just like the classroom-based version, online LPN programs have to be accompanied by some clinical work hours.
To be eligible for online LPN programs, you need to meet certain academic and clinical criteria. If your GPA is at least 3.0 in all courses taken for a bachelor's degree, then you're in good shape. You can take the AP-CELT test, which assesses both academic and clinical aspects of nursing, as long as it hasn't been released yet for the current semester.
To find an accredited online LPN program, check with the accrediting agency of your chosen field. You'll find accredited online LPN programs listed on the National Council Licensure Examination Board (NCLEB) website. You can also find out if LPN degrees and certificates from accredited universities or vocational schools in your field are transferable. It's also a good idea to check if any of your coursework from your past LPN programs could transfer if you choose to pursue a PhD in nursing.
Online LPN programs are not the only type of LPN degrees available. While the exams are similar, the clinical part of the exam is more challenging and comprehensive. As such, you will need to undergo specific LPN clinical experiences. There are different clinical experiences for the different levels of certification. For example, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) needs to experience nursing-related contact with patients for a total of five hours while a registered nurse (RN) needs to spend a total of nine hours with patients in a nursing facility.
So, while you may not need the clinical hours required for online LPN programs, a few might. An LPN with a strong background in clinical practice and an online LPN program with a rigorous clinical component is one way to prepare yourself for this portion of the LPN degree application process. However, you may want to consider taking the NCLEB exam as well, so that you can compare your clinical experience to other LPN programs.
An LPN degree is necessary to become licensed to practice nursing in almost every state and country. Once you've received your LPN degree, you're now able to take the NCLEB exam. and become a registered nurse.