Last Updated/Verified: January 12, 2022
High-school graduates in Idaho can become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in as little as nine months and get a job at a hospital, medical center, nursing home, or another healthcare facility in Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, or elsewhere in the “Gem State.”
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Idaho LPN programs provide an alternative to four-year Registered Nurse (RN) degrees and prepare students for rewarding careers in the healthcare sector.
LPNs in Idaho: Quick Facts
- It takes students around 9-12 months to earn an LPN certification in Idaho. That’s much quicker than studying for a four-year college degree.
- LPNs, on average, earn $25.98 per hour or $46,641 per year, according to Indeed. The average overtime salary is $7,750 a year.
- The most popular benefits for LPNs in Idaho include 401(k)s, paid-time-off, and referral programs.
- Lewiston is the metropolitan area in Idaho with the highest average base salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.) Here, LPNs earn an average of $52,390 per year.
- The job outlook is very positive for LPNs in Idaho. There will be a 20.4 percent increase in employment opportunities in the state from 2018 to 2028, according to Projections Central.
Overview of LPN Schools in Idaho
The Idaho Board of Nursing regulates nursing schools in the state. The organization takes various actions to maintain the quality of Idaho LPN programs.
High school graduates who enroll in an LPN course will learn nursing skills such as:
- Human health
- Human development
- Nursing care
- Vital signs collection
- Home health
- Documentation management
- Mental health management
- Infection control
- Nutrition management
- General nursing skills
Students typically learn these skills in two or three semesters and can specialize in disciplines such as maternity care, pediatric care, and long-term care.
There are both full-time and part-time Idaho LPN programs.
Besides the Idaho Board of Nursing, two organizations recognize LPN programs in the state.
- The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) accredits all post-secondary learning institutions in the Northwest region, including colleges and community colleges. It is one of seven regional accreditation agencies in the United States and dates back to 1952.
- The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) ensures the educational quality of nursing schools across the U.S. at various educational levels.
LPN Admissions Requirements
Idaho LPN programs typically require applicants to have:
- A high-school diploma. GED, or equivalent certification with a GPA of 2.75+.
- The courses needed to study for that program. Applicants usually need a C+ average.
- A good score on the ATI TEAS.
Applicants also need to pass a criminal background check and drug test. All schools in Idaho have specific educational requirements, so applicants should check any specifications with an institution before applying for an LPN program.
Tuition & Costs
Students in Idaho pay for tuition and any program supplies on LPN courses, as well as accommodation and day-to-day expenses when living on campus. Eligible students might receive tuition fee reimbursement from a healthcare employer if they work for that organization after graduation. Students can also cover the cost of tuition and other expenses through grants and financial aid.
Tuition fees vary throughout the state. Idaho State University, for example, charges students $20,625 for its practical nursing program. This total includes $14,622 for tuition, $3,095 for other fees, $1,664 for books, and $1,244 for tools and supplies. (Fees for the 2020-2021 academic year.)
LPN Licensing Requirements in Idaho
Earning an LPN certification, which takes around 9-12 months, is the quickest way to become a nurse in Idaho. Students can learn the skills required to get a job at a healthcare facility and apply for work at a local hospital, medical center, mental health center, or another organization. Studying for an RN degree takes four years.
Checklist to become an Idaho LPN
- Get an LPN certification from a school recognized by NWCCU, ACEN, or the Idaho Board of Nursing,
- Get a CPR certification and apply for a card.
- Pass the NCLEX-PN exam.
- Apply to the Idaho Board of Nursing for a license.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) administers the National Council Licensure Examination for Practice Nurses, or NCLEX-PN, through the Idaho Board of Nursing. All students must pass this exam before becoming a nurse.
- An LPN from outside of the state can work as a nurse in Idaho through ‘endorsement.’ They must have a valid nursing license.
- An LPN from outside of the country can work as a nurse in Idaho after passing the NCLEX-PN and receiving an evaluation from the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
LPN Salaries in Idaho
LPNs, on average, earn $25.98 per hour or $46,641 a year, according to research from Indeed. Entry-level LPNs earn an average of $43,904, while LPNs with over ten years of experience earn $50,143. Idaho nurses with specific qualifications typically earn more than these averages.
The average overtime salary for LPNs in the state is $7,750. Practical nurses can earn more money by working at night and during weekends.
These are the most populous Idaho metropolitan areas with the highest average salaries for LPN, according to BLS:
- Lewiston, ID-WA ($52,390 per year)
- Boise City, ID ($49,680)
- Pocatello, ID ($49,340)
- Twin Falls, ID ($48,300)
- Idaho Falls, ID ($45,000)
Job Outlook for LPNs in Idaho
Idaho has long suffered from nursing shortages. In 2018, there were 9.3 registered nurses per 1,000 population, significantly lower than the national average. Because of these shortages, local healthcare employers sometimes offer LPN graduates various benefits. These perks include sign-on bonuses, student loan reimbursement, and generous paid-time-off.
Projections Central predicts a sizable increase of 20.4 percent in employment opportunities for LPNs from 2018 to 2028.
Top LPN Schools in Idaho
Lewis-Clark State College
500 8th Ave
Lewiston, ID 83501
Lewis-Clark State College welcomes nursing students at its Lewiston campus with a four-semester practical nursing program that’s recommended by the Idaho Board of Nursing. Disciplines include anatomy, physiology, child health theory, and general patient care.
Eastern Idaho Technical College
1600 S 25th E
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
Eastern Idaho Technical College offers year-round admissions for high-school grads wanting to further their nursing careers. Full-time students can complete this practical nursing program in just three semesters; part-time students can graduate in just six.
College of Eastern Idaho
1600 S 25th E
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
This LPN course, which has a 95 percent pass rate, teaches students skills like CPR, patient care, vital sign collection, patient monitoring, and more. The Idaho Board of Nursing approves this program.
Carrington College – Boise
1122 North Liberty St
Boise, ID 83704
A popular LPN program that attracts nursing students from across Idaho. Carrington College’s practical nursing course in Boise has a high pass rate and mixes clinical training with classroom teaching.
North Idaho College
1000 W Garden Ave
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
North Idaho College’s practical nursing program attracts students with its 11-month course that combines nursing theory with clinical experience. In little under a year, students learn foundational nursing skills, as well as specialized disciplines like psychiatric nursing and pharmacology.
Idaho State University
921 S 8th Ave
Pocatello, ID 83209
A fast-paced LPN program at one of the biggest and most reputable colleges in Idaho. Students can become a nurse in just two-and-a-half semesters without having to study for a four-year degree. Disciplines include patient care, human health, nutrition, vital signs collection, and infection control.
College of Southern Idaho
315 Falls Ave
Twin Falls, ID 8330
Graduates from the College of Southern Idaho’s practical nursing program get jobs in various healthcare roles at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other organizations in Idaho and beyond. This full-time LPN course blends classroom-based learning with hands-on medical experience. The Idaho Board of Nursing approves this program.
College of Western Idaho
5500 E Opportunity Dr
Nampa, ID 83687
An LPN program that prepares students for the NCLEX-PN exam over three semesters, with a focus on nursing care skills. Students learn in both classroom and clinical environments and, after graduation, work at hospitals, medical centers, or other care facilities.
Stevens-Henager College – Boise School of Healthcare
1444 S Entertainment Ave #303
Boise, ID 83709
Students learn both nursing and soft skills like communication and time-keeping in this practical nursing program. The intensive course prepares students for the state licensure exam and various healthcare job opportunities.
Eagle Gate College Boise Campus
9300 W Overland Rd Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709D
An accelerated LPN program that nurtures students for work in the healthcare sector. Students learn a broad range of skills in around a quarter of the time to complete a traditional RN degree.
Learn more about becoming an LPN in Idaho:
Idaho Board of Nursing: The organization responsible for the state licensure exam and regulating LPN programs. A valuable resource for high-school grads wanting to become a nurse in Idaho.
280 N. 8th Street, Suite 210, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU): The not-for-profit organization that accredits all educational programs in the Northwest region, including schools listed in the previous section. One of seven accreditation agencies in the U.S.
8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 200, Redmond, WA 98052
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN): This nationwide agency administers the NCLEX-PN exam through the Idaho Board of Nursing
111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 2900, Chicago, IL 60601-4277
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): This organization maintains the quality of all programs at the associate, diploma, baccalaureate, and graduate educational levels.