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LPN Program: LPN School and Courses, Online LPN Degree Programs and LPN Training

Becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) requires formal training from an LPN school and obtaining a licensed practical nurse degree. The profession is becoming particularly popular in the health care field as demand for LPNs is on the rise, and this specialized program can be completed in just a year. Students interested in working with doctors and registered nurses in the hospital, nursing care facility or home health care services may find this career path very rewarding. LPNs are considered to be generalists and can work in several health facility settings including home health care services, nursing care facilities and physicians' offices.

What is LPN School?

LPN schools provide both classroom and hands-on training for a prospective licensed practical nurse. This allows students to enter the healthcare field with some experience, and many hospitals and healthcare facilities offer work-study programs where students can then transition into a full-time position. Most students are admitted to LPN school with a high school diploma, and prospective students are advised to take core courses in health and sciences during their high school career. An online LPN degree program can also be completed by students who want to take classes on a part-time basis or cannot attend a campus setting.

LPN schools provide both educational resources and career planning resources for students who want to pursue a lifelong career in the field, and typically take one year to complete. These must be approved by the State Board of Nursing; after completing the specialized training program, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). A graduate can then find a job as a licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse.

Students who complete the one-year LPN training can also pursue other specialized associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs including. Many students who wish to further their career enter an LPN-to-RN or LPN-to-BSN program which allows them to pursue a career in fields such as:

  • Pharmacy Practice

  • Surgical Technology

  • Health Care Administration

  • Dental Assisting

  • Social Services

Job Duties of a Licensed Practical Nurse

An LPN works under the supervision of a registered nurse or physicians and is responsible for interacting with and communicating with patients on a regular basis. An LPN helps to:

  • Prepare injections and medication trays

  • Take vital signs

  • Keep track of patient health records and information

  • Help patients prepare for treatment

  • Clean up wounds or scars

  • Collect lab samples for testing purposes

  • Communicate after-care requirements to patients

  • Help nursing assistants manage routine tasks

  • Support physicians and physicians'aides with general duties

Courses Involved with an LPN Program

LPN training programs allow students to obtain practical nursing skills and knowledge in several healthcare fields with courses in:

  • CPR

  • Emergency medicine

  • Biological chemistry

  • Oncology

  • Rheumatology

  • Surgery

  • Obstetrics

  • Physiology

  • Human Anatomy

LPN programs can also be used as a foundation for future educational career opportunities in fields such as nursing treatment regimens; case findings; mental and physical health maintenance; medication and treatment administration; and management, teaching and counseling careers. Some of these programs can be completed in an online format, allowing students to attend workshops and seminars as part of a continuing education track.

Completing an Online LPN Degree

Online LPN degree programs must be approved the State Board of Nursing, and can be an attractive alternative for students who cannot attend a campus setting full time, or for those who wish to complete LPN training on a part-time basis. An accredited online LPN degree program also takes about one year to complete and courses are delivered over the Internet through online lectures, tutorials, webcasts and live presentations. Online LPN degree programs cover all of the major requirements for the standard degree, and in most cases, examinations and quizzes can also be completed online.

Employment Prospects After Completing LPN School

Becoming a licensed practical nurse can be a rewarding experience and serves as the foundation for a lifelong career in the healthcare field. Job opportunities are expected to grow higher than average for related occupations in this field as the demand for health care services continues to rise at a steady pace.

Licensed practical nurses earned an average of $31,080 to $46,640 in 2006 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Office, and the majority of LPNs find work in home health care services and nursing care facilities. The field is most competitive in the areas of home health care services, but nurses who advance their career have a stronger chance of maintaining their position or moving ahead to a leadership role. Graduates of LPN schools can also pursue careers as a registered nurse or further their career in the health and medical field to work as a physician, surgeon or doctor.

Related occupations include:

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LPN Program: LPN School and Courses, Online LPN Degree Programs and LPN Training