An LPN is a licensed practical nurse. Most of the time, it takes 9 to 18 months to complete the required training to become an LPN—and, following completion of the training, you will need to pass a licensing exam and apply to your state board of nursing for a license before you are eligible to work as an LPN. Sometimes it is possible to become an LPN with online classes—an option that makes the training much easier for adults who are employed or who have scheduling problems.
Find an accredited LPN program in your area that offers online classes. Accredited LPN training programs will always require in-person clinical hours as a component of the program, so you will need to choose one that is physically located in a region that you are willing to travel to on a regular basis for courses that involve clinical training. Searching the Internet with keywords of "distance learning LPN" and your city name may be helpful, or you can contact your state board of nursing for a list of accredited LPN programs in your state and then research which ones have a distance-learning option.
Check the prerequisites of the programs you have located that might fit your geographic needs. You will most likely need a high school diploma, but you may also need to have grades in a number of prerequisite courses such as biology, college English or mathematics. You may also be required to have an active CPR certification as well as current vaccinations, or you may even be required to be a certified nursing assistant.
Complete any necessary prerequisites and then apply to your program of choice. You will probably need to fill out an application form and submit proof of your having completed the prerequisites.
Register for courses once you have been accepted to the program. Order your textbooks and get the information for how to log in to your courses before the start of the term. Don't be surprised if your courses require occasional in-person meetings for demonstrations and other activities that require face-to-face interaction.
Attend your clinical hours in courses that require them. Most of the time, LPN programs that offer theory courses via online learning will have an arrangement with specific health care clinics in the region where LPN students can complete their required clinical training hours. There is no way to complete clinical training via distance learning; no accredited program will even claim that this can be accomplished.
Apply to your state board of nursing for licensure once you have graduated from your accredited LPN program. You will most likely need to fill out a form, pay an application fee and submit proof of graduation.
Study for and pass the NCLEX-LPN licensing exam. Registration for the exam usually happens in conjunction with your application for licensure with your state board of nursing. Once you have a passing grade on the exam, you will be licensed to work as an LPN and eligible to seek employment.
Make sure you have set aside uninterrupted time to study and to focus on your coursework. Don't expect to be able to work full time, take care of your family and study full time as well.
Always make sure that you are attending an accredited program. Non-accredited programs will lead to ineligibility for licensure and employment. Have realistic expectations about online learning. Online learning does not mean you don't have to study, and it does not necessarily take less time to complete than an in-person class.