Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Overview
Nursing is an age-old profession. For centuries, people have worked to help others in their community recover from sudden illness, cope with chronic medical conditions, deliver babies safely and help ease people’s final days. The same is true today. Everyone will need medical care at some point in their lives. From broken bones to dealing with the aftereffects of chemotherapy to having a baby and getting protected from dangerous and infectious diseases with vaccines, nurses are there to assist the world of humanity at every turn.
A dedicated nurse can make an enormous and wonderful difference in the world. If you are thinking about entering this growing field, you’ll need to complete a series of steps. Earning a degree, working with patients as a student nurse, passing national exams, and making a career as a licensed practical nurse for yourself is a wonderful way to get the credentials needed and become a member of a profession that has deep roots but is truly modern at the same time.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Tuition
If you decide to become an LPN, you will need formal credentials to apply for a job. This proves that you have mastered a body of knowledge and can follow all necessary instructions and medical procedures. All candidates for an LPN license must complete a series of courses, practical training and then earn a state license. Courses in nursing may be held at a community college or a vocational school. Before you do anything else, you should find out what area institutions offer the nursing training you need.
You should also know how much money you’ll need to pay intuition before you begin. Tuition for an LPN program varies widely depending on several factors. If you attend school in the state where you have residency, you’ll generally have lower costs than if you’re opting for an out-of-state program.
Some schools may charge more even if you are attending locally. Nursing is a popular profession with many new applicants each year. Some schools may have a waiting list just to be considered for admission. If you want to enter the field immediately, you may opt for a program with higher costs if it is possible to start next term. In the long run, the ability to enter the field might offset such costs with increased wages. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from about two thousand dollars for a local community college to as much as twelve thousand for a popular program in another state.
Additional Costs for Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
In addition to the cost of tuition, you can expect other expenses as you move through the program such as textbooks. You’ll need to buy a nursing uniform and work clothing as well as medical items such as a stethoscope. You’ll also need more than a uniform to make sure you look neat during your training. Once you’ve completed the basic classes, you will need to complete a term off-site clinical training. You will have to pay to get to the facility as well as for other costs like parking permits. Many people are unable to work at all during the clinical period, not even part-time so you’ll have to leave your existing job and sacrifice that income.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Curriculum
All nursing students face a heavy course load in the sciences. Expect to study subjects such as microbiology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and statistics as well as college-level English.
In addition, they will need to study courses related specifically to nursing. Courses such as behavioral health, maternal nursing care, foundations in nursing, and other material must be mastered at a college level in order to earn the credential.
Clinical Hours for Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Classwork forms the backbone of all LPN educational training. Once you’ve completed all the required courses in a satisfactory manner and demonstrated mastery of basic material, now is the time to enter the field and work directly with people.
All nurses must complete a term of on-the-job training. This period is known as clinical training. Clinical training is designed to provide the prospective nurse with hands-on training in actual nursing procedures. Clinicals can take place in many types of medical facilities. You may be able to pick the facility you like best or it may be assigned to you as part of the parameters of the program. Applicants may be able to ask for a certain location. For example, if you have an interest in working with older people, you might ask to do this part of your training at a home for seniors.
Clinicals take place under the close supervision of an expert staff member. During this time, you will be expected to show that you can put what you’ve learned into actual practice. Applicants are observed closely. They’re graded on their ability to perform procedures accurately, respond to patient concerns and take accurate notes about the patient’s present condition. A typical course of clinical training requires roughly a term of full-time observation at a facility.
NCLEX-RN Exam and RN Licensure
Applicants who have completed all the requirements of their program can then proceed to the next step. All nurses must be licensed by the state. Licensing requires them to get permission from their program that they have mastered the material completely. Once the program has confirmed this fact, it’s time to prepare for state exams. The applicant will need to sign up for the exams. They are given by a separate organization. The exam, known as the NCLEX-RN exam, is composed of a series of questions related to the field of nursing practice. The test is graded on a pass / fail basis. The test can be taken several times if necessary.
Once the applicant has passed it, they can apply for a nursing license. The license is granted by the person’s home state licensing board. Applicants will have to undergo a background check. Licenses are good for a certain period of time. The date of the license depends on the state. Nurses must renew their licenses in order to retain their jobs.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Jobs
After each applicant has completed their courses, clinicals, passed the exam, and earned a license, they can then go looking for jobs. Nurses are in high demand in many areas of medicine and fields. A nurse should decide which particular field of nursing she likes best. She can work in many areas in a hospital ranging from the emergency room to assisting surgeons. A nurse can work with patients in many types of fields including those who are receiving physical therapy, children with medical issues, or expectant women. A nurse may also choose to work in a doctor’s office, teaching facility, or local doctor’s office. Many graduates have their pick of options, letting them find the right place to work for their personal talents.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Career
One of the best things about becoming an LPN is the option for further training and advancement. An LPN may decide to pursue an RN degree in order to open up even further opportunities. She can go even further and earn a master’s degree and even a doctorate. Many workplaces encourage LPNs to expand their field of knowledge. They may even offer tuition assistance and paid time off to attend classes. An LPN degree can serve as the basis for an ongoing career that lets the worker proceed at her own pace and discover her personal talents.