How to Become an LPN in Washington DC (A Simple Guide)

How to Become an LPN in Washington DC (A Simple Guide)

Do you want to become a Licensed Practical Nurse?

We think that’s a great choice! 

A career as an LPN is an unforgettable journey. The opportunity to help those in need and work with doctors and other healthcare professionals is not one everyone can get, which makes it all the more appealing.

However, why you should become an LPN is not the issue at hand. The question is… how do I become one? 

Confusing jargon, complicated steps, and seemingly too many requirements make the process of becoming an LPN difficult to understand. 

But don’t worry, we are going to help you with that! 

In this article, we’ve gone in-depth, offering you everything you need to know about how to become an LPN in Washington DC in 4 easy steps.

We’ll also answer important FAQs, including:

  • How much does an LPN in Washington DC make?
  • Is Washington DC part of the NLC?

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get right into it! 

How to Become an LPN in Washington DC – 4 Simple Steps

Down below are the 4 simple steps to becoming an LPN in Washington DC:

Step #1: Enroll in an Approved LPN Program

Step #2: Get Your LPN License

Step #3: Land Your First Job

Step #4:  Keep Your License Active

Let’s have a look at each one.

Step #1: Enroll in an Approved LPN Program 

Schooling is a fundamental step you need to complete in your journey to becoming an LPN. 

Nursing schools will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and qualities you need in your future practice. 

This is crucial because it’s not a light thing to deal with the lives of patients! You will work with people in various stages of health and you may have to deal with critical situations or emergencies.

But don’t worry. The training required for LPNs is not as long and tedious as that of RNs. 

The length of LPN programs is usually 12 months. However, this is for full-time students. If you want to study part-time, then you can usually finish the program in 18-24 months, depending on your schedule.

Program Content 

What can you expect when you enroll in an LPN program?

You can expect to cover many nursing topics, such as: 

  • Pediatrics
  • Maternal and Newborn Care
  • Adult Health
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health
  • Community Health
  • Medical and Surgical Nursing
  • Long-term Care and Geriatrics

You will also get to experience what the real-life job of an LPN is like by being assigned to different healthcare settings. 

You will be able to practice your skills under the supervision of a faculty member or preceptor. 

It is also a good time to evaluate if this is really the career you want to pursue. 


When choosing an LPN program, the first thing you should look at is whether or not it is state-approved.

You should make SURE it is state-approved before you enroll in the program, otherwise, you will encounter a lot of problems when you try to get a license later on.

There is only one state-approved LPN school in Washington DD – Saint Michael College of Allied Health. 

There used to be more schools offering PN programs, but these were closed. You can check the list of approved schools on Washington DC’s Board of Nursing site

Admission Requirements

You must fulfill some requirements before you can enroll in an LPN program. These requirements may change depending on the institution. 

In Saint Michael College of Allied Health, the requirements include:

  • Proof of high school education: diploma, transcript, or GED
  • Obtain a minimum score of 76% on Reading Comprehension and 70% on Math 

They may request additional forms or documents, so it’s best to contact them directly.

You can also visit their website for more information.

They also provide some help for those in financial need. So be sure to reach out to them about this to see if you are eligible. 

Step #2: Get Your LPN License

Graduating from your LPN program is a BIG accomplishment, but it’s not the end. If you want to practice and get a job, you can’t do that without a license. 

So, how can I get a license in Washington DC?

There are two main ways: 

  1. Examination
  2. Endorsement


If you want to become licensed as an LPN for the first time, then there is no escaping the NCLEX-PN!

The NCLEX-PN is the national exam that all LPN candidates must take and pass upon graduating from an accredited LPN program.  

This test is used to determine whether you have the necessary knowledge, skills, and decision-making abilities to practice as an LPN. 

But before you can take the exam, you need to apply for it through Washington DC’s Board of Nursing (BON). 

To do so, you should 

  • Complete the application form. Be prepared to submit:
    • a copy of a government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, passport)
    • a passport‐type photo
    • the Social Security affidavit form if you do not have a social security number
    • proof of name change (if applicable) – such as marriage certificate,  divorce decree, court order, or spouse’s death certificate
    • Letter of Completion (if applicable)
    • special accommodation letters. (if applicable)
    • the application and criminal background check fee of  $237.00 by Visa or Mastercard 
  • Undergo the Criminal Background check.
    • You will receive an email on how to do this after your payment is received.
  • Request your LPN school to send your Official Transcripts directly to the BON.
    • It should indicate the date the degree was conferred or the date of graduation. 
    • It should be sealed and sent directly from your school.
  • Register with Pearson Vue for the NCLEX and pay the $200 examination fee. 

After submitting all these documents, you should give some time to the BON to process your application. 

If your application is approved, you will receive an email from Pearson Vue with an Authorization to Test (ATT) form and instructions. 

Follow the instructions in the form to schedule your exam and choose your exam location. 

When it’s finally time to take the exam, make sure to come prepared! It’s the last major hurdle before getting your license. 

Just in case you don’t make it on your first try, you can still retake the exam. 


Are you already an LPN in a different state?

Want to practice as an LPN in Washington DC without having to retake the LPN certification exams?

Then endorsement is the way for you.

To be able to apply for a Washington DC license, you should: 

  • Fill up the application form and submit:
    • a copy of a government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s license or passport)
    • a passport‐type photo
    • the Social Security affidavit form (if you do not have a social security number)
    • proof of name change (if applicable)
    • the application and criminal background check fee of  $280.00 by Visa or Mastercard
  • Undergo the criminal background check.
  • Official verification from your original state of licensure
    • You can do this through (with a $30.00 fee).
    • If your state does not participate in Nursys, then request that verification be emailed to the DC Board of Nursing.

You should wait for 30 business days after applying before checking the status of your application at

Note: Washington DC is not part of the NLC. All those who want to practice as LPNs in DC need to undergo the endorsement process. 

Step #3: Land Your First Job!

We know you’ve been studying tirelessly for more than a year, worked hard for the exams, and completed all the lengthy requirements. 

Now, all you are aching for is landing a great job!

Although you may be excited, it is important to note that finding a job as an LPN in Washington DC is slightly more difficult than in other states.

Not only is the population less, meaning there will be fewer patients to attend to, but the LPN job market is highly saturated.

But that isn’t to say finding a job will be impossible. You just need to know where to look and how to present yourself. 

You can start in nursing care facilities, home healthcare agencies, hospitals, doctors’ offices, and continuing care retirement communities. 

Also, though unconventional, the following jobs are interesting, rewarding, and have the potential for career progression:

  • Correctional Institutions 
  • Military Bases
  • Schools
  • Sports Centers 

Step #4: Keep Your License Active

Getting a license is important but keeping that license active is just as important.

The way licenses work is that every 2 years, they expire. 

An expiry may seem harmless, but if you fail to renew it in time, you can be fined and eventually stripped of your license. 

To avoid this, you need to renew your license by participating in continuing education.

For LPN renewals, you need eighteen (18) contact hours of continuing education (CE).

Out of the 18 contact hours, 2 should be on LGTBQ or Cultural Awareness. You can also find a list of relevant topics here

This must be completed in the two (2) years immediately preceding the renewal application date. 

Aside from contact hours, however, DC also gives other options to comply with the CE requirements.

You can read your different options here

As long as your LPN license is active, you’re free to continue advancing your career. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming an LPN in Washington DC

Now that we’ve covered the steps to becoming an LPN, let’s answer two other relevant questions.

How much does an LPN in Washington DC make?

According to, LPNs in DC make an average of $57,554. But it usually ranges from $52,206 and $63,871.

Your salary can increase based on your exact location, how many years of experience you have, whether you have specializations or not, etc. 

Is Washington DC part of the NLC?

No, it is not. 

This means that if you want to practice in DC, you need to apply for a single-state license by endorsement.

Multistate licenses do not apply in Washington DC. 

Wrapping it up

Becoming an LPN isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. 

In your journey to becoming a successful LPN, one of the key ingredients is dedication. 

It’s easy to get swept away and busy with useless tips and tricks, but instead of sticking to random tidbits, dedicate yourself to completing each of the steps, one by one.

The process is simple: education, licensure, job, and renewal. Through hard work, commitment, and resilience, you, too, can complete this process and become the LPN you’ve always wanted to be.

That being said, if you want to get more out of your nursing career, LPN isn’t the end-all, be-all. Competitive and eager students can benefit from more opportunities.

One of the more interesting and in-demand nursing jobs you can pursue after an LPN is becoming an RN or even an APRN. If you want to learn more about new jobs and opportunities, check out our link here

Remember, dream big and never give up!    

Good luck!

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