The healthcare industry desperately needs more nurses both in New Jersey and throughout the country. This need exists for all types of nurses, too, including licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Whether working for hospitals, assisted living facilities, or doctor’s offices, LPNs provide critical hands-on patient care. As an added benefit, becoming an LPN is one of the quickest paths into the nursing profession.
If becoming an LPN in New Jersey interests you, you’ll first need to graduate from an accredited LPN program, take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam, and obtain your New Jersey LPN license. This guide will help you learn more about the entire process of becoming an LPN as well as find the LPN training program in New Jersey that’s right for you.
Best LPN Programs in New Jersey for 2023
Whether it’s their low tuition rates, high NCLEX-PN pass rates, or flexible scheduling options, several LPN programs in New Jersey stand above the rest. The three schools detailed below set the standard for LPN education in the state in terms of affordability, academic quality, and student support. Most importantly, all three are approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing, so you can feel confident they’ll fully prepare you for licensure. Use these school spotlights as a good starting place when choosing the right program for you.
Jersey College’s LPN Program is designed for students looking to start working as LPNs as quickly as possible after high school, so the primary application requirement is having a high school diploma or GED. Students completing the program are academically eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN. Completion of the program additionally provides a solid foundation for transitioning into a nursing associate or bachelor’s degree program.
The entire LPN program at Jersey College can be completed in as few as four, 12-week terms. The curriculum includes classes in nursing fundamentals, mental health nursing, maternal nursing, and pediatric nursing. Most classes are offered on-campus and are available days and evenings for maximum flexibility. Some courses may also be offered online. Students in the program are additionally required to complete a hands-on learning component that provides them with important clinical experience.
The Licensed Practical Nursing Program from Essex County College takes just 48 weeks of academic training to complete and results in a certificate after one, 12-month cycle (January-December). After finishing the 49-credit program, graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-PN leading to LPN licensure. Admission into the program is competitive with applicant rankings based on a review of all admissions criteria. Students are accepted to each program cycle according to their placement on the rankings list until seats are filled.
Most courses are completed on campus. Specialized training is attended at the state-of-the-art simulation laboratory on Essex County College’s main campus. Course titles include Fundamentals of Practical Nursing, Adult Health, Maternal-Child Health, and Role Transition. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply to the LPN Articulation Option from Essex County College to earn their associate degrees and RN licensure.
Camden County College’s Practical Nursing Certificate Program was created to both prepare graduates to sit for the NCLEX-PN to become licensed LPNs and to provide students with a well-rounded college education. The program’s curriculum is comprised of 42 credits of classes that include Foundations in Practical Nursing, Anatomy and Physiology, and Basic Psychology. There are also a few general education coursework requirements, including Communications and Social/Behavioral Science. Classes are attended on campus with clinical training completed face-to-face time at program-affiliated medical facilities.
Admission into the program requires either a GED or high school diploma earned with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Applicants must also pass a physical exam, provide proof of vaccination status, and clear a criminal background check.
FAQs About LPN Programs in New Jersey
What skills do you learn in LPN programs in New Jersey?
Accredited LPN programs in New Jersey, like the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School’s Practical Nursing Program, develop their curriculums to teach students in three major areas. Theory-based instruction includes critical thinking skills, patient assessment methods, and fundamentals of the human body and medical care. Practical skills include those needed to complete specific clinical tasks and are often taught in simulation labs and through clinical training. Finally, professional principles in areas like communications and ethics help LPNs succeed in their careers.
How much do LPN programs cost in New Jersey?
LPN programs in New Jersey differ in cost based on how they structure their programs. While some provide a total number of credits required to graduate, others simply list the classes and the number of instructional hours required, including those for in-class and on-site clinical training. Most programs require approximately one year of full-time study, so many charge a single total program price instead of a per-credit tuition rate. The following schools and their current LPN program costs will give you a general idea of what you can expect to pay for your New Jersey LPN program.
85 quarter credits
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LPN program in New Jersey?
One of the biggest challenges to becoming an LPN is paying for your education. Luckily, there are a variety of financial aid options available, including federal student loans, private grants, and scholarships. Grants and scholarships are available both through schools offering LPN programs as well as through a variety of private organizations. New Jersey also administers its own financial aid program through the New Jersey Financial Aid Management System that is open to all New Jersey students.
To learn more about financial aid and scholarship opportunities specific to LPN programs in NJ, visit our LPN scholarships guide and our main financial aid guide.
How long do LPN programs in New Jersey take to finish?
Most LPN programs in NJ have on-campus instruction where students attend class full-time. With these types of programs, students typically earn their LPN diplomas or certificates in about a year. Some programs, like Ocean County Vocational Technical School’s Practical Nursing Program, are accelerated and can be completed in as few as 10 months. Programs like the one at Eastwick College can take as long as 21 months, though, for students taking part-time, evening classes.
Inside Look at Online LPN Programs in New Jersey
Like most nursing programs across the nation, LPN programs in New Jersey teach students through in-class and on-site training. Given the number of hands-on skills needed to work as an LPN, nursing students can expect about half of their academic hours to consist of hands-on practical training. This means that online LPN programs aren’t common in New Jersey. In fact, most accredited NJ LPN programs are primarily on-campus. This doesn’t mean online learning isn’t entirely out of the question for LPN students. A few schools, including, for example, Jersey College, provide the opportunity to take a limited number of classes online.
LPN Licensing Information and Requirements in New Jersey
Before you begin your LPN training, be sure you understand all of the qualifications for LPN licensure. For example, in addition to graduating with a certificate or diploma from an LPN program, you’ll also need to pass a criminal background check.
The general process to becoming an LPN or LVN (licensed vocational nurse) is similar across the country, but each state does have its own specific requirements. The licensing of LPNs in New Jersey is handled by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.
Education and Training
The first major requirement to becoming a licensed practical nurse in New Jersey is graduating from a certified LPN program. Almost none of the LPN programs in NJ have programmatic accreditation from an independent nursing accrediting agency like the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) but are instead approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing. Check out the applicable New Jersey statutes for detailed information about the specific requirements for licensure in the state.
Professional Nursing Examination
The second major requirement to becoming an LPN is passing the national certification exam, more commonly known as the NCLEX-PN. This computer adaptive test (CAT) is administered by Pearson Vue. Questions get harder or easier depending on the test taker’s performance on previous questions. The CAT method avoids giving easy questions to well-qualified test takers and hard questions to those who aren’t prepared to pass the exam.
LPN Licensing Application
To apply for your LPN license, complete an application online on the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs website. This process includes paying an application fee of $75 and an initial licensing fee of $120. Applicants must also pass a criminal history background check, provide information confirming their academic and experiential backgrounds, and confirm their completion of an approved LPN program.
License Renewal & Continuing Education
LPNs must renew their licenses every two years through the New Jersey Board of Nursing and by paying a $125 fee. During those two years, LPNs are required to complete 30 contact hours of continuing education. A continuing education course must be approved by a credentialing agency that’s accredited by the American Nurses Crediting Services (ANCC). When an LPN renews a license, they are required to confirm the completion of their continuing education requirements.
Salary and Job Outlook for LPNs in New Jersey
Like many other nursing occupations, the demand for LPNs is strong in New Jersey. Although the current projected growth rate for LPN jobs in New Jersey is below that for the nation overall, students graduating from LPN programs will likely have little trouble finding jobs after they graduate.
Where working as an LPN in New Jersey really excels, however, is in pay. Earnings for LPNs in the state are well above those across the nation overall. This difference in earnings is particularly pronounced in the state’s major metropolitan areas. Additionally, New Jersey LPNs earn more than their counterparts in neighboring states like New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Job Outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses in New Jersey (2018-2028)
Source: Projections Central
Annual Earnings for Licensed Practical Nurses in New Jersey
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020