How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Montana

Montana map

The healthcare industry in the US is a booming industry with a great demand for high-quality, well-educated healthcare professionals.

As such, there is a high demand for suitably qualified and trained LPNs in the state of Montana, among other states.

Candidates who wish to pursue a career in this field are required to attend an accredited course from an accredited institution.

Upon successful graduation from the course, students are required to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing.

5 Licensed Practical Nurse Schools in Montana

1. Great Falls College MSU

Great Falls College MSU Logo

Great Falls College MSU is located in Great Falls, Montana.

The school offers a Practical Nurse Certificate of Applied Science Degree in various forms including face-to-face, hybrid, full-time, as well as part-time.

The program length included a semester of pre-requisites, followed by two semesters of theoretical course work and clinical experience.

This program was approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing.

The school offers a hybrid program that includes distance learning and face-to-face instruction for students who live more than 30 miles away from Great Falls.

The part-time program may be completed in four semesters following the pre-requisite semester.

Students are prepared for a variety of healthcare settings with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality nursing care within the legal and ethical framework of the industry.

The total estimated cost of this course is $7,694.

2. Helena College University of Montana

Helena College University of Montana Logo

The Helena College University of Montana offers a Practical Nursing Diploma course.

The school admits eight students each year at the beginning of spring and the course runs through the fall semester where students complete the course at the end of fall.

This course prepares students for various healthcare settings through theoretical coursework and clinical experience.

Upon successful completion of the course material, students are eligible to sit for the National Council of Licensing Examination (NCLEX) PN licensure examination.

The application process is very competitive and students are required to complete:

  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
  • A pre-entrance exam with a score of 65 or higher
  • Completion of the prerequisite coursework with a minimum grade of “C”

Tuition for this course starts at $108.59 per credit hour.

3. City College at Montana State University Billings

City College at Montana State University Billings Logo

City College at Montana State University Billings is situated in Billings, Montana.

The school offers a Practical Nurse Certificate of Applied Science (CAS) program.

This course is offered fully online and does include pre-requisite coursework that may also be completed online.

While the theory may be completely covered online, the clinical work and lab work is partially completed online and partially completed on-campus at City College.

The program is approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing and the school is accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Upon successful completion of the coursework, students are eligible to sit for the National Council of State Boards Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).

Tuition for Montana residents for 12 or more credit hours is approximately $18,960.

Non-residents will pay approximately $21,640 for tuition and other fees.

4. Flathead Valley Community College

Flathead Valley Community College Logo

Flathead Valley Community College offers a Nursing: Practical Nursing, CAS program that runs over three semesters and consists of 41 credit hours.

The program is approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing and upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the National Council of State Board of Nursing’s Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

This is a very demanding program and students are advised that courses may only be attempted once.

The course material is comprised of a combination of lab work, theory, and clinical experience.

Tuition for this course starts at $162 for in-district students, $211 for in-state students, and $417 for out-of-state students per credit hour.

5. Bitterroot College

Bitterroot College Logo

The school offers a diploma course in collaboration with Helena College.

Students are required to complete prerequisite coursework at Bitterroot College before applying for the LPN course as Helena College students.

All classroom instruction is offered remotely via Helena College faculty, while clinical instruction is offered at the Bitterroot Campus through Helena College faculty as well.

Upon completion of this two-semester course, students receive a Certificate of Applied Science (CAS). This course consists of a total of 42 credit hours.

Tuition for the Bitterroot College LPN course starts at $2,031 per semester for full-time, campus-based students and $7,867 per semester for non-resident students.

Licensed Practical Nurse Schools in Montana – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in Montana

School NameAddress
Great Falls College MSU2100 16th Ave S, Great Falls, MT 59405
Helena College University of Montana1115 N Roberts St #117, Helena, MT 59601
City College at Montana State University Billings3803 Central Ave, Billings, MT 59102
Flathead Valley Community College777 Grandview Dr, Kalispell, MT 59901
Bitterroot College103 S 9th St, Hamilton, MT 59840


Candidates who graduate from these courses and sit for the national examination may expect the following salary ranges:

  • Entry level – $37,814
  • Mid-level – $45,875
  • Advanced – $55,722
Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)s in Montana

City NameSalary
Great Falls$43,876
Butte-Silver Bow$41,827
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County$41,827
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Montana

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Billings, MT480$50,870$24.46$60,180$36,640
Great Falls, MT160$52,120$25.06$61,620$45,000
Missoula, MT280$54,060$25.99$64,610$42,860
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, OCC Code 29-2061, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete the LPN course in Montana?

This course may take anywhere from one to two years, depending on the type of program.

How often do I renew my license in Montana?

Every year.

Is Montana a nurse compact state?

As of 1 October 2015, Montana became a member state.

How many times can you take the  NCLEX in Montana?

Most students pass the test on the first attempt.

However, students who do not pass on the first attempt may retake the test 45 days after the initial test was taken for a total of 8 times.

How big is the demand in Montana for LPNs?

According to the department of labor, there is an expected growth rate of approximately 12% from 2014 through 2024 in this field as there is a national demand for health care workers.

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