Most practical nursing training programs last about 1 year, and are offered
by vocational and technical schools or community or junior colleges. LPNs must
be licensed to practice.
Education and training. LPNs must complete
a State-approved training program in practical nursing to be eligible for
licensure. Contact your State's board of nursing for a list of approved
programs. Most training programs are available from technical and vocational
schools or community and junior colleges. Other programs are available through
high schools, hospitals, and colleges and universities. A high school diploma or
its equivalent usually is required for entry, although some programs accept
candidates without a diploma, and some programs are part of a high school
Most year-long practical nursing programs include both classroom study and
supervised clinical practice (patient care). Classroom study covers basic
nursing concepts and subjects related to patient care, including anatomy,
physiology, medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics nursing,
pharmacology, nutrition, and first aid. Clinical practice usually is in a
hospital but sometimes includes other settings.
Licensure. The National Council Licensure
Examination, or NCLEX-PN, is required in order to obtain licensure as an LPN.
The exam is developed and administered by the National Council of State Boards
of Nursing. The NCLEX-PN is a computer-based exam and varies in length. The exam
covers four major Client Needs categories: safe and effective care
environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and
physiological integrity. Eligibility for licensure may vary by State; for
details, contact your State's board of nursing.
Other qualifications. LPNs should have a
caring, sympathetic nature. They should be emotionally stable because working
with the sick and injured can be stressful. They also need to be observant, and
to have good decision-making and communication skills. As part of a healthcare
team, they must be able to follow orders and work under close supervision.
LPNs should enjoy learning because continuing education credits are required
by some States and/or employers at regular intervals. Career-long learning is a
distinct reality for LPNs.
Advancement. In some employment settings,
such as nursing homes, LPNs can advance to become charge nurses who oversee the
work of other LPNs and nursing aides.
LPNs may become credentialed in specialties like IV therapy, gerontology,
long-term care, and pharmacology.
Some LPNs also choose to become registered nurses through LPN-to-RN training
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
Find related resources below:
Licensed Practical Nurse Employment
Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Licensed Practical Nurse Job Outlook
Licensed Practical Nurse Income