Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN practitioners work in various health care settings under the supervision of registered nurses and doctors. They can work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, home health care services, physicians’ offices and other health care agencies. They provide most of the bedside care including monitoring vital signs, feeding and bathing. In some settings, LPNs are also responsible for collecting samples such as blood and stool from patients.
LPN programs usually take from 12 to 18 months to complete, depending on the number of hours put in per week. This type of education is ideal for people who may want to work at a hospital environment as quickly as possible. LPN courses also provide basic nursing skills and knowledge that allow an easy transition to RN or Registered Nurse programs. While RN programs usually take a minimum or two to four years, you can complete a LPN course in as little as one year. With the growing number of accredited schools all over the country today, taking LPN programs has never been easier.
Why LPN Programs?
There is a great demand for LPN practitioners in the US alone, and it is estimated that the healthcare field will need 850,000 by the year 2016. The LPN program is also more affordable than other courses and students can start working once they complete the program. Financial aids and scholarship grants are readily for students who require assistance in paying their tuition fees.
The LPN course can serve as a stepping stone for those who want to pursue a career in nursing. As LPN practitioners, they can practice their profession and earn while studying to become a registered nurse.
A number of LPN schools offer flexible schedules to accommodate students who work while studying. There are also many accredited online schools for LPN programs. Online schools make it easier for working students manage their schedules.
Students who enroll in LPN programs are required to take some basic courses which include nutrition, basic nursing skills, emergency care, anatomy and physiology, medical-surgical nursing, pediatric nursing and obstetric nursing.
School Accreditation and LPN Licensure
Make sure the nursing school you choose is accredited by the state’s Board of Nursing. In some states, the school’s LPN course must undergo accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the national League of Nursing Accreditation Commission. Once you have completed the LPN program, you will be required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nurses.