Finding LPN Training Programs
In order to engage in LPN training you will first have to find these training programs. These can be found in both online and face-to-face situations, but remember that there will always be clinical work that will need doing and that the training program or school that you choose for your LPN qualification must be certified by the State Board of Nursing. There are some basic steps you can follow for finding an LPN training program, as well as some very useful tips to consider when choosing between the many training options that are available:
- Tuition fees: Like the location of the school, tuition fees are important, but, if possible, do not base your final decision solely on this criterion. A cheap school may look attractive, but remember that the reason it is cheap may be that the quality of the tuition is not very good. On the other hand the tuition may be great and it could be a bargain. Likewise an expensive school may not necessarily be the best quality either. There are simply too many other factors that play a part for you to base you decision on fees and fees alone. In many cases you may not have a choice, especially if you are working with a tight budget, but if possible, take the following considerations into account as well.
- Length of the program: Before you start considering which school you would like to study at, you should be sure to know how much time you are willing and able to devote to the program. This refers to how many years or months you are willing and able to study for as well as how much time you will be able to devote to it on a weekly or daily basis. Once you have a good idea of how much time you have, it will become easier to choose a school based on how long the program will take to complete.
- Clinical facilities and exposure: Remember that you will have to complete a clinical portion in order to become an LPN. This is an essential and unavoidable aspect of any LPN program. Consequently the clinical facilities offered by the program are very important. The better the facilities the more likely you are to be well prepared for your career as an LPN. You should also make sure that the amount of time that the program proposes, you spend on clinical work adequately. If you do not do the clinical portion of your training, then you will be unable to become licensed as an LPN. The first step is to contact your state board of nursing. Each and every state has a board of nursing, and the program that you do has to be accredited by this board. If it is not, you are wasting your time. Consequently it makes sense to start out by asking the state board of nursing for accredited schools in your state. This may save you time later, as you will not have to be told at the last minute that the school you are interested is not accredited, leaving you with no other choice but to find another one.
- Course ware: The type of coursework offered by the program is, as has been mentioned previously, very important. The coursework will have to prepare you adequately for the examination, and should be presented in a way that makes sense and that is easy to follow.
- Financial aids: Many students require financial aid in order to study. Many schools offer financial aid packages for their students, so if you are one of those students who require help with your studies then you may be able to narrow down your search in terms of what financial aid is offered by which schools. You can also visit your local institutions to find out whether or not they offer LPN training. Use the phone book to find out what schools are in your area.
- Location of the school: The location of the school can be a very important factor. You do not, for example, want to enroll in a school that is too far away from where you live as this will add to your financial burden in terms of traveling costs. However, this is not a good criterion to base your final decision on unless you have also considered the many other factors that play a part in what makes a school good or not.
- Guidance provided by the school for NCLEX-PN exam: As mentioned previously the main outcome of this training is to get you through the qualifying LPN exam. If you are not being adequately prepared for this exam by the LPN program then you are effectively wasting your time and your money. A good way to judge this is to find out what will be tested in the exam and make sure that you are going to receive sufficient training on those topics at each school. Search online for the schools that are in your area and for information about each of those schools in order to check that they are the kind of thing you are looking for.
- Reputation of the college: If the college has a good reputation then it is likely that it is a good college to study at. Schools earn good reputations by having good to excellent teachers and programs, which means that the better the reputation of the school, the better it is as a choice.
- Percentage of NCLEX-PN passed candidate from the school in past years: The point of this training is to prepare for the exam. If there is a low pass rate from the school that you are interested in, then this may mean that the tuition is inadequate to prepare you. Perhaps the coursework is incorrect or the lecturers are unskilled. Finding out how many students from that school do in fact pass the examination is an important part of looking for the perfect school at which to do your LPN qualification.
LPN Training Online
To a certain degree it is possible to do your LPN training online, which is great because it means less time and effort on your part. There are a few things to keep in mind when thinking of doing this training online:
- The school you choose must be accredited, so make sure that this is the case when you consider the different online options.
- Remember that a training course cannot be offered entirely online as there are required clinical practical hours that you cannot escape form and that absolutely have to be done. Consequently you may want to choose a school that has its clinical training facilities close to where you live to cut down on travel costs.
- Search the internet using keywords to find the online LPN training program for you.
There are many different prerequisites that you will have to fulfill in your state before you are eligible for taking part in an LPN program. It is very important that you be aware of these prerequisites and that you make sure that you meet them. Some prerequisites you may be required to meet are:
- High school diploma
- Grades in a number of prerequisite courses such as Biology, college English or Mathematics
- An active CPR certification
- Current vaccinations
- Be a certified nursing assistant
Once you have determined whether or not you have the prerequisites you can then apply to the program that you have decided in the best option for you. This will usually require you to fill in an application form. Along with the application form, you may have to present proof that you have indeed completed the prerequisites. Also:
- Buy all of the textbooks you will need to complete the course.
- Make sure that you have a clear idea about how to use the online system and how to log onto you classes and access course work. You will need to be prepared to attend face-to-face meetings and workshops when they are required.
- Make sure that you complete the required clinical hours. Remember that this cannot be done online. If you have enrolled in a course that claims to be able to certify you entirely online, they are lying to you.
- Once you have completed the program you will have to apply to your state board of nursing for an LPN license. This will usually cost a fee and your license will have to be renewed at set times (make sure you know how often this must happen so that you don’t come up short later in your career). You will most likely also have to fill in an application form and submit proof of graduation in order to be licensed.
- When you apply for licensure with the state board of nursing you will most likely apply to write the NCLEX-PN examination at the same time. You will have to pass this examination in order to become a fully certified and licensed LPN.