Admission Requirements for an LPN Program

For many individuals looking to enter into a health services career, the field of licensed practical nurse is an ideal starting point. Upon completion of a licensed practical nursing program, licensed practical nurses can find employment in a number of locations, including hospitals, nursing homes, home health care companies and doctors’ offices. However, a number of requirements must be met before being admitted into a licensed practical nursing program.

High School Diploma or GED

Before being able to apply for admission to an accredited licensed practical nursing program, it is essential for the applicant to have completed high school and to have received a diploma. If the applicant was unable to receive a traditional diploma, then a GED is also acceptable proof of high school completion for the majority of programs.

Minimum GPA

It is not only important for applicants to have obtained a GED or high school diploma, but it is also important for the applicant to meet the minimum GPA requirements. The minimum GPA requirement for most programs is a 2.5. However, due to the highly competitive nature of receiving a spot in a licensed practical nursing program, applicants with the highest GPAs tend to get first priority in the admissions process. Applicants who may not have had the highest GPA during their high school years also have the opportunity to raise their GPA in some programs when taking prerequisite courses.

Standardized Testing

In addition to having a diploma or GED, applicants must also achieve a minimum score on either the ACT or a test specific to the program in which the applicant is trying to enter. For many programs, a minimum score of 19 is required when applying for initial admission to the licensed practical nursing program.

Prerequisite Course Work

A number of licensed practical nursing programs do require that applicants take a specified number of prerequisite classes. These classes tend to be science and mathematics classes, for example:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biology
  • Freshman Intro Classes

When assessing the validity of prerequisite coursework, it is important to be aware of the 7 year rule for many prerequisite science courses. If a science course is older than 7 years, it is necessary to repeat the coursework before proceeding in the licensed practical nursing program. In order for the completed work to be considered acceptable, a grade of C+ or above must be attained in each class. For those whose grades fall below this minimum, an additional opportunity to attain the appropriate grade is usually granted based upon the institution hosting the licensed practical nursing program.

Other Miscellaneous Requirements

A thorough background check is also done on applicants in many cases. Applicants can be screened to make sure that they are citizens, pass general health checks and some also require them to have CNA certification and training prior to beginning the program.

Those seeking admission to a licensed practical nursing program have a number of criteria that must be met before being admitted to the school of their choice. In order to ensure the best chance for admission, it is important to have a high GPA, standardized test scores and to also hold the prerequisite certifications and coursework.

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