Becoming a licensed practical nurse is an excellent career choice, particularly for those people with a caring nature. People who are anticipating nursing as a career always consider LPN certification or becoming a registered nurse. Of course, as in any area of study, the student will need to meet specific academic criteria to get the certification. When you consider that you can become an LPN in the space of a year, it makes it even more attractive. Licensed practical nurses provide the same kind of care to patients as other medical professionals, working under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians.
Some of the daily tasks of licensed practical nurses include taking patients’ vital signs, feeding patients, giving them their medication, immunizations, and dressing wounds, amongst others. They report to the registered nurse in charge when there are unexpected changes in the condition of the patients. They put in about 40 hours per week and split this between day, evening and weekend shifts.
Practical And Theoretical Training
It is worthwhile to do some research about the type of work LPN’s do, because their responsibilities differ in different regions. People who are considering joining the nursing field usually have to first decide if they want to become a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Registered Nurse. A person can become an LPN in the space of about a year, but before anyone can pursue a career as a licensed practical nurse, they must be accepted to a vocational program, which must be state-approved for students to earn their certification as a licensed practical nurse.
LPN certification training includes both practical- as well as theoretical training. Some of the things they cover will include first aid, anatomy, pediatrics, nutrition, medical-surgical nursing and others. When students have graduated, they must become certified through the National Council Licensure Examination. The exam will cover –
- safe and effective care environment
- health promotion and maintenance
- psychosocial integrity
- physiological integrity
The NCLEX Leads To Rewarding Jobs
There are many jobs available for licensed practical nurses. The training you receive will prepare you to take your state’s PN-NCLEX, known as Practical Nurse-National Certification Licensure Examination. The learning process is made up of discussions, lectures as well as practical applications in clinics or hospitals. The NCLEX-PN is made up of multiple choice questions of which you select one. Some of the exams are more difficult because they have more than one correct answer.
The NCLEX qualifies you to get your first job as a nurse, and passing it and getting your license to practice can lead to a rewarding career, but also a step towards licensure as a Registered Nurse. LPN’s submit an application to take the exam through their state board of nursing. They in turn will go over the applicant’s course history to determine whether they are eligible to register for the exam. The board will then provide you with a list of testing centers, with details of how to schedule a testing date and time. LPN certification will mean performing some of the following tasks –
- receive reports from the previous shift in a hospital. Helping out with admissions paperwork for new patients.
- establishing who gets medication, tube feedings, and IV’s.
- LPN’s go on rounds with the doctors.
- completes charts and paperwork.
- hands reports over to the next incoming shift and briefs them on any changes.
Carry On Work While Studying
There are generally three ways to start nursing, and you can opt to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Registered Nurse. You can even earn your RN degree while acting as an LPN, especially since certification often takes place at night, allowing LPNs to work toward their RN while still working.
In order to become a licensed practical nurse, you need to complete an accredited certificate or diploma program. After completing your state-approved nursing program, you will need to prepare for your LPN licensing exam, known as NCLEX-PN. You can purchase study guides for these exams at your local bookstore or online. You will have to achieve good enough grades, which can be as low as a C average, but minimum LPN requirement for entry will not always guarantee acceptance. Sometimes a ranking system is established where preference is given to those applicants with higher scores in prerequisite courses.
Find An Accredited School For LPN
There are a number of places that offer LPN certification programs, allowing students to earn a certificate in licensed practical nursing within a year. Those interested first need to earn a high school diploma, and some colleges request aptitude tests. If you have already considered LPN as a career choice when you are still young, the first step towards a career as an LPN is to find the right school. It is worthwhile noting that the prerequisite to begin training is a high school diploma or equivalent.
The beauty of taking training in high school means you can save a considerable amount of money. Another cost-effective way for getting LPN certification is through the military. After training and successful passing of the NCLEX-PN exam, you will be able to start working in the military. Not every school that offers courses is accredited. This is vital as accreditation for LPNs is mandatory for legal employment after school. If you opt to go further with nursing training, most colleges will accept those students who come from accredited schools.
You also want to know that the school has a mixture of hands-on clinical practice and training and that you can practice training on actual patients.
While earning an LPN certificate, students learn things like anatomy, nutrition, human behavior and NCLEX preparation.
The National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses is known as the NCLEX-PN. You can register for the examination through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, which requires a registration fee.
LPNs can also go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, both of which qualify them to take the NCLEX for registered nurses. Of course there are also online programs offered, and these are most convenient as you get to complete your degree in your own time at your own pace. These online programs are very popular for anyone wanting to enter the medical field but who still need to keep their nursing job going. Whether you attend a college or you opt to study online, you will want to make sure that the program meets the requirements for Licensed Practical Nurses in your state.
After successfully completing the NCLEX-PN, you will receive your LPN certification. Once completed, a number of exciting positions will open to you.
Who Offers Certifications?
The American Nursing Credentialing Center or ANCC offers a list of certifications in specialty areas like pediatrics or diabetes management for instance. There is also another professional organization which assists with ensuring that official LPN requirements are met , and they are the National League for Nursing. They offer certification for nurse educators. To ensure full compliance with LPN requirements, it is a good idea to research the different web sites where different nursing programs and degrees are offered, whether there are long waiting lists, and what the costs are.
- The American Board of Managed Care Nursing offers a certificate as a Certified Managed Care Nurse.
- The National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses offers a certification as a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse.
- The Certification Board for Urological Nurses and Associates has a certificate for LPN after 1 year of urology experience.
- The National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecological, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties has a certificate as a Menopause Educator for licensed LPNs.
Additional LPN Certifications
LPN’s can go on to get a number of LPN certifications in order to enhance the opportunities of getting work even more. Most nursing certifications require a Registered Nurse license, but there are certainly others that can only benefit you. A common certificate is the Intravenous and Blood Withdrawal certificate. There are other certificates that can be obtained by fulfilling a specified amount of nursing hours after graduating from an LPN program. To apply for these certification board examinations, a nurse must meet all the necessary requirements.
Flexible Classes For Anyone Interested In Nursing
The LPN is able to gain all the education and hands-on experience necessary to reach all their objectives. By going on to earn any number of certificates, nurses will certainly increase their opportunity in acquiring top jobs. People who have lost their jobs or looking at a complete career change can certainly look at being an LPN. Classes are conveniently offered at many vocational schools and schedules are flexible, making it possible for anyone to attend. LPN certification is short and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPN’s are in demand, with many interesting job opportunities. Who knows, while working as a LPN, you may feel inclined to further your education in order to become a registered nurse.