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Best Online LPN Programs in Illinois

Ready to launch a rewarding career in the field of allied healthcare? Our guide can give you the insights you need to get started. Keep reading to explore the best online LPN programs in Illinois.

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Author: Shelby Green
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Kim Zaski

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A cityscape view of the Chicago skyline at dusk with the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as "The Bean") in the foreground. The scene is illuminated with golden lights, and skyscrapers rise against a colorful evening sky.

Do you have a passion for helping others? Are you interested in the allied healthcare field? If so, a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) might be the perfect fit for you!

LPNs play a vital role in healthcare by providing basic patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN). They take vital signs, assist with personal care, administer medications, and make a real impact in the lives of patients of all ages and backgrounds.

The first step to becoming an LPN is completing an approved practical nursing program from an accredited university. Choosing the right LPN program is imperative to your success. Fortunately, Illinois has many options to choose from, including in-person, online, and hybrid programs.

If you’re looking to maximize flexibility and convenience, exploring online LPN programs in Illinois is a great start. Typically, online LPN programs in Illinois allow you to attend classes virtually but require you to complete clinicals in person, making it easier to work education and training into your busy schedule. If this sounds like the right format for you, then you’re in luck — in this guide, we’ll explore online LPN programs in Illinois and take a deeper look into the profession. Keep reading to get started.

With so many great online LPN programs in Illinois, you may find yourself asking “Which is right for me?” While your best option will depend on personal factors like schedule, budget, and career goals, there are several popular online LPN programs in Illinois that stand out. Let’s take a look at a few below.

Illinois Valley Community College

Logo of Illinois Valley Community College. It features a stylized purple torch within a shield on the left and the words "Illinois Valley Community College" on the right.

In as few as three semesters, Illinois Valley Community College’s Licensed Practical Nursing Certificate program will empower you with the hands-on experience to thrive in a rewarding healthcare role. With tuition that’s a fraction of the cost of state universities, the online LPN program makes it affordable to get an excellent education and prepare to take the NCLEX. The program boasts a 100% pass rate in the last three years. Plus, you’ll learn from highly experienced and qualified nursing educators in a small, modern healthcare environment, allowing for personalized attention to help you develop the skills you need to provide holistic patient care. Most of the program’s general education requirements can be completed online to maximize flexibility for busy professionals like yourself.

  • Tuition and Fees: $4,330
  • Financial Aid Options: In addition to accepting federal financial aid, Illinois Valley Community College also offers several scholarships to help with the program costs.
  • Accreditation: Illinois Valley Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Verve College

Through a blended learning methodology, Verve College’s Online Hybrid Practical Nursing (PN) Program prepares you to provide exceptional patient care in just 12-24 months. The comprehensive program includes lectures, discussions, clinical rotations, and hands-on learning opportunities to ensure you’re prepared to sit for the relevant nursing exams, including the ATI Exit Exam and NCLEX-PN State Licensure Exam. With a hybrid learning environment, you’ll attend theory classes via Zoom and complete clinicals in person. Clinicals will rotate weekly between clinical and campus at both the Chicago and Oakbrook campuses. The program is broken down into several sections that cover key nursing skills and knowledge including the nursing process, documentation, anatomy, pediatrics, senior care, and more.

  • Tuition and Fees: $23,995
  • Financial Aid Options: Verve College accepts federal financial aid.
  • Accreditation: Verve College is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Educational Schools (ABHES).

A Closer Look at LPN Licensing Requirements in Illinois

Completing an online LPN program in Illinois is just one part of the process of becoming an LPN. The state of Illinois requires you to complete several other steps before you’re able to care for patients. You’ll also need to complete specific activities to renew your license and remain in good standing. To help you better understand the requirements for becoming an LPN, we’ve outlined the most common ones below.

Background Check

Before starting your new career, you’ll need to pass a background check to help employers verify your identity, past employment, education, and criminal history. Typically, your employer will use a certain provider and system for handling background checks, but it’s important to be as honest as possible to ensure the process goes smoothly. Here are a few tips to prepare for a background check:

  • Be honest: Lying on a background check can disqualify you from a job entirely.
  • Gather documents: Keep copies of transcripts, paystubs, and license information close by to help you complete the necessary paperwork.
  • Address any discrepancies: Be prepared to explain any issues or discrepancies in your credit report.

Education and Training

To become a licensed LPN in Illinois, you’ll need to complete an approved practical nursing program from an accredited institution. In just 1-2 years, you’ll develop the knowledge and skills to provide high-quality patient care to individuals of diverse ages, backgrounds, and needs. To succeed in an LPN program, it’s crucial to find the right fit. Before enrolling in a program, ask yourself:

  • What type of schedule will I need?
  • Do I prefer online or in-person classes?
  • What’s my budget for the program?
  • What kind of support services do I need to be successful?
  • Does this program match my career aspirations?

Professional Nursing Examination

Once you’ve completed your LPN program, you’ll need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) exam. The online exam will assess your knowledge and skills in four categories: Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, and Physiological Integrity. While the NCLEX-PN exam isn’t a walk in the park, being well-prepared can help you pass. Here are a few ways to prepare:

  • Develop a study plan and stick to it.
  • Utilize the wide range of free study materials available online.
  • Ask for help from peers andmentors who have already taken the exam.
  • Take practice tests.

Renewal of Licensure and Continuing Education

The Illinois Nursing Board requires LPNs to renew their license every two years. To remain in good standing, you must complete 20 contact hours, which are hours spent on continuing education. All LPNs must complete a one-hour state-mandated sexual harassment training. These requirements not only allow you to renew your license, but they’ll also ensure you’re up to date on best practices for quality patient care. There are many online courses available to help you complete the contact hours requirement, here are a few examples of approved courses:

Career and Earning Potential for Illinois LPNs

While licensed practical nursing is one of the most popular entry-level nursing careers, it can be a competitive field, especially in Illinois. Within Illinois, the job growth for LPNs is significantly slower than the national average with under 2,000 average annual job openings. However, these statistics shouldn’t deter you from becoming an LPN. For most people, being an LPN is a path to more advanced career opportunities, allowing you to master basic patient care. Plus, with high turnover rates, passionate and caring LPNs are always in high demand, regardless of the current economic conditions.

If you’re looking to maximize your LPN salary, the Chicago area is the place to be. The city boasts great salary potential with averages that are higher than the state average. Plus, since Chicago is a large metro area with a diverse population, you’ll likely find ample career opportunities working with a diverse array of patients and other practitioners, allowing you to boost your resume and gain vast experience.

So, how much can you make as an LPN in Illinois? To get a better idea of the job and salary outlook for LPNs and gain insight into your earning potential, take a closer look at the tables below.

AreaEmployment
(2020)
New Jobs
(2020-2030)
Job Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
(’20-’30)
Illinois19,5905302.7%1,550
US688,100751,9009.3%60,700

Source: Projections Central

Location10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Illinois$47,490$59,310$72,230
Bloomington, IL$46,580$56,630$68,200
Carbondale-Marion, IL$39,570$50,150$57,410
Champaign-Urbana, IL$46,880$52,720$63,230
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI$50,530$62,380$73,260
Danville, IL$46,410$56,770$64,400
Decatur, IL$46,590$56,360$70,960
Kankakee, IL$47,750$58,970$65,080
Peoria, IL$46,870$57,520$64,150
Rockford, IL$49,130$57,900$64,430
Springfield, IL$45,370$50,750$62,080

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resources for Illinois LPN Students and Professionals

  • American Nurses Association-Illinois: The American Nurses Association-Illinois serves as an advocate for nursing across the state and ensures nursing priorities are integrated into laws and regulations. The organization holds regular virtual and in-person events that touch on popular nursing topics. They also hold a training academy for nurses who are interested in running for elected office.
  • Illinois Nurses Foundation: With a goal to inspire and elevate nursing and healthcare, the Illinois Nurses Foundation provides grants, scholarships, and professional development opportunities to nurses across the state and recognizes their contributions to their community. The organization annually celebrates the contributions of young and emerging nurses through their “40 under 40” initiative.
  • Illinois Nursing Workforce Center: A resource for current nurses and nursing students, the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center aims to bring quality and affordable healthcare to Illinois residents. The organization provides data and reports on the current state of nursing as well as helpful resources for nursing education, licensure, and rules and regulations.
  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC): The Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides resources and support to help you pursue advanced education. The organization’s website offers an abundance of free resources for nursing licensure and certification, scholarship and fellowship programs, and loan repayment programs to ensure you have all the support you need to pursue a nursing education.
  • Learning Nurse Resources Network: As a platform for informal nurse education and professional development, the Learning Nurse Resources Network provides resources for nurses of all levels. The organization’s website features assessment resources that enable nurses to better understand where they need to improve, eLearning opportunities to enhance knowledge, and a library featuring articles, research reports, and papers.
  • Nursing Education Scholarship Program: With a mission to help increase the number of nurses in Illinois, the Nursing Education Scholarship program helps students overcome financial barriers to launching a nursing career. The scholarships offered by the organization can be used to pursue a certificate in practical nursing, an associate degree in nursing, a hospital-based diploma in nursing, a bachelor’s degree in nursing, or a graduate degree in nursing.