LPN School Guide

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Online LPN Programs, Classes & Training

Learn how you can empower your future as a Licensed Practical Nurse

Thanks for visiting, one of the best resources on the internet for LPN information. You’ll find lots of great information on this site, including some details about where you might be able to find traditional in-classroom LPN classes (listed at the end of each state page), online LPN programs, a salary page, a blog packed with great information, and much more! The goal of this site is this site is to provide quality information for people in all stages of interest in the field of practical nursing. With that said, keep reading to learn more about what an LPN is, what they do, and other information about the field.

It's 2024 and online LPN programs are in high demand! Training that used to be confined to the classroom is now offered in hybrid online and traditional models from many schools. If you're looking for an LPN program near you that offers the option of online classes.

Are you a caring individual who is looking for an exciting medical career as a License Practical Nurse, or LPN? If you’ve thought about pursuing this engaging career path and are in the process of looking for more information about LPN courses and what the job entails, you’ve come to the right place. This website was designed to aid people like you who are considering the options of licensing in the field of practical nursing. On this site you can research LPN programs, coursework, online options, requirements, testing, continuing education, and much more.

Now is the perfect time to be looking into a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse

Find LPN Programs Online

Jobs are available and pay is competitive. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPN’s have a job outlook of 25% growth, which is a higher and faster rate than most other medical positions within the country. LPNs also make a substantial amount more than positions like certified nursing assistants. The average LPN salary is around $41,500 a year (more or less depending on the state and area in which one works). For the relatively short amount of time it takes to become an LPN, this salary can be extremely rewarding.

LPN Medical Training Overview

Preparing you for a future in healthcare

What Does LPN Stand For?

LPN stands for Licensed Practical Nurse. LPNs are nurses who are licensed by the state they live in and they work with patients just like many other types of nurses. However, LPNs are different from RNs or Registered Nurses. They are licensed to work with patients, but don’t have the same depth of education that RNs have, so they usually don’t perform the same range of duties. LPNs also don’t work in all the places that RNs work, although there is some overlap between the two. LPNs often help patients with daily living tasks and provide supportive care under the supervision of an RN, doctor, or another member of the medical staff.

An LPN is just a step under a Registered Nurse. Training and course work is less than it is for Registered Nurses, but more extensive than CNA training. Starting on the path to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse is as easy as being accepted into a course program for LPN classes. Unlike becoming a full RN, there are no prerequisite college courses needed before applying for an LPN program. Prospective LPN students need to have completed high school, need to be US citizens, and if English is not your first language, need to take and provide passing scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language). Some programs also require background checks. Competitive pay and short training time are huge draws to people looking into LPN training.

Some LPNs go on to become fully Registered Nurses, which takes quite a bit more schooling and time, but also comes with more responsibility and higher pay. However, many stay at the LPN level since there is less responsibility and therefore less stress. LPNs perform duties such as administering medication, checking vital signs of patients, cleaning and managing equipment and instruments, as well as giving out meals. All of the duties an LPN performs are done under the supervision of RNs and other medical professionals. The training an LPN receives can be applied towards other medical training (such as full nursing school), so the time in the program is worthwhile even for those with goals to go further in their medical training.

LPN programs typically take around a year to complete. Many are offered at community or technical colleges, though some programs are also offered online. The first place to look would be at schools which are in close proximity to you. Once a person completes the course work to become an LPN, they must then complete and pass the National Council Licensure exam (this is the test which all LPNs must take no matter what the state requirements are for course work). Once the course work and exam are passed, a person is licensed to work; however, there are also clinical hours which are required as part of the LPN program. Those wanting to become LPNs must complete an internship or hours of training on site, having to put in unpaid hours in order to acquire the necessary experience to be hired on as a full-time employee. LPN jobs are available in hospitals, private practices, in-home care situation, and other medical facilities. There is a lot more supervision in hospital or clinic settings, whereas working in home care LPNs are often on their own.

Where do LPNs Work?

LPN jobsLPNs often work in nursing homes, hospitals, private care facilities, in home care settings, and in residential care facilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these settings make up about 80% of the settings where LPNs work. The other 20% could be a variety of things such as correctional facilities, treatment centers, and other places where people need medical care.

Registered Nurses may work in a variety of places where LPNs can’t work such as surgical rooms, and other places that require a higher level of education. This doesn’t mean that LPNs aren’t extremely valuable to a medical team, because they definitely are—it just means that among nurses, there are different levels of schooling and different specialties that people may choose to pursue based on their interests. Some people may be drawn more to one path in nursing, while others may prefer another path.

Common LPN Tasks

LPNs have a wide range of tasks that they perform from things that are more closely focused on patient care, to things that are more focused on administrative duties. Let’s look closer at some of the different things that LPNs do while working with patients, and also some of the administrative tasks that they may do.

LPNs may work with a variety of patients, and what they do in the setting where they work may depend heavily on the needs of their patients. Take for instance an LPN who works in a hospital; they may be doing a lot more tasks related to wound care because so many people are in the hospital because they need surgery or because they are injured. LPNs who work in a nursing home may do more tasks related to helping patients with daily living skills because many patients in a nursing home are there because they are unable to care for themselves, and not necessarily because they are injured, so the setting where an LPN works in important to consider when thinking about the tasks or job duties that they may have.

LPNs may commonly be found caring for wounds, helping patients who can’t move on their own get from one place to another, taking medical measurements and recording patient data (blood pressure, body temperature, etc.), and other supportive tasks such as changing bed sheets, helping dress patients, giving them medication (in some states), helping patients with meal preparation or eating, and guiding patients to treatment rooms. LPNs may also perform administrative tasks such as working with computers, ordering supplies, and working with other members of the medical staff to coordinate care.

Steps to Becoming an LPN

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How to Become an LPN

The answer to the question “How Do I Become an LPN?” depends upon a lot of different things, and most importantly, it depends upon where you live. Different states may have different requirements related to becoming an LPN, so it’s important to know what needs to be done where you live. We can look at some of the basic steps that may be common among different states.

To start, a person who wants to become an LPN needs to be at least 18 years old and they also need to have a high school diploma. If a person doesn’t have a high school diploma, a GED may also be acceptable. Having a clean criminal record is also important, but there are may be some situations when a person may be able to obtain a waiver for minor offenses. Prospective LPNs also typically need to submit to a background check to verify their criminal history and also provide proof that there are current on their immunizations.

After meeting various initial criteria, people generally need to select an LPN program that is approved by the state that they live in. Different states have different agencies that approve programs, but it’s often the Department of Health, the Board of Nursing, or something similar. In addition to that, a program should be accredited by a recognized accreditation organization. It’s very important to find a program that is recognized by the state that you live in as counting toward licensure because there may be programs that may not be recognized, so it’s a good idea to do your due diligence here so you don’t end up being in a program that doesn’t benefit you; no one wants to spend a long time in school and pay for that only to find out that it didn’t count, so be sure to do your research there. For the past several years, online education has become more and more prevalent. Today, students are more eager to enroll in online courses than ever as it simplifies their busy lives and allows them to more conveniently further their education. If you are interested in LPN school online, there are many options and lengths of programs to choose from.

Once a person finds a state-approved LPN school and completes the schooling (the length of programs may vary among states and also among schools), then they typically need to take the NCLEX nursing exam. Once a person has completed their education, clinicals, passed the NCLEX, and met any other state-specific requirements, they can typically apply to be listed in the Nursing Registry for the state and would be then granted LPN licensure. Again, this section is quite general in terms of information, and may not be completely accurate for state that you live in, so it’s important to check with the Board of Nursing in your state of whichever agency is responsible for nursing licensure to get accurate and current information.

The first step to becoming an LPN is finding a program which meets the state requirements in which you live. Once you find a program (either at a local school or online) you must then go through the application process. Many applications take quite a bit of time to complete and have many different components. Typically, applications will ask for things like criminal and work history and school transcripts; an essay portion is often required as well. Some schools require students to pass a basic skills exam prior to being enrolled in an LPN program. Some schools also require an admissions interview. Others require those who speak English as a second language to take an exam testing their proficiency in English.

LPN programs offered through community colleges and technical schools are often tied to an associate’s degree program, though it is possible to just take course work for LPN accreditation. There are also LPN courses offered along with Bachelors of Science in Nursing programs. Each track has different benefits and drawbacks; ultimately, the choice depends on your career goals. Simply going through the accreditation process for LPN certification is the fastest way to get out of the classroom and into the work force, however many LPNs have the goal of eventually becoming a full RN. For those who are interested in going on to an RN, it could be wise to opt for a program with more college credits, such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. This will lay the groundwork for future schooling, which would mean fewer classes to take in the future.

The course work in LPN programs covers a lot of general medical topics. Basic nursing skills are an integral part of the program courses. Other areas that are covered are anatomy, physiology, nutrition, emergency care, and more specialized areas of nursing (such as pediatrics, obstetrics, and medical-surgical). In addition to the medical course work, if you are completing an associate’s degreeas part of your program, you will also complete general education requirements (such as English, math, social sciences, and more).

Some states have different requirements for licensing, therefore, it is important to check with the state nursing board to ensure that you have met all criteria. Colleges which offer LPN programs will also be aware of the state requirements. The benefit of going to a school for accreditation rather than taking courses online is having people who will help walk you through the process and know the requirements of the state nursing board.

Completing the NCLEX Exam & Clinical Hours

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After LPN course work is complete, the next step is to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The NCLEX test covers different areas of needs to assess the test taker’s knowledge in the realm of safe and effective care. These include such items as management care and safety and infection control, psychological integrity (which include items such as coping and psychosocial adaptation), health promotion and maintenance (which covers questions on growth and development), and disease detection and prevention. Finally, the NCLEX also covers physiology integrity, with questions on basic patient care and comfort, pharmacological and parenteral therapies, reduction of risk potential, and physiological adaptation. The LPN program course work should adequately prepare a student for the NCLEX exam, although studying is also necessary. There are practice tests available online, and it is highly recommended to take advantage of such reviewing opportunities. It is not recommended to go into the test without having studied prior to the exam.

Clinical hours, which are hours of training in a clinical setting under the supervision of certified nurses, are also required as part of an LPN program. These are critical training hours where everything that you learned during course work is put to use in a real-life medical setting. Often the school where the program is being completed will help set up the clinical observation hours. The number of hours which need to be completed will depend on the state you live in and also the program you are enrolled in. These hours need to be documented and signed off by your supervising nurse or clinical staff, and are required in order to complete the entire LPN program and to be certified to be working as a paid LPN. It is because of these local in-person requirements that it is strongly recommended that you select an LPN program near you.

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No LPN program can be completed 100% online, so it is important to find a good school with LPN classes near you. Use our search tool to locate local LPN schools, and simply request more information on the LPN programs that interest you. Enrollment is easy, if you choose to register.

Get ready to launch into this exciting medical career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. There has never been a better time to get your nursing license!

Online Options for Licensed LPN Training

Exploring online degree programs for LPNs

Although some of the course work can be completed online, not all of the LPN work can be done this way. Clinical hours, for one, cannot be completed online. Many schools these days offer what is known as hybrid programs. Many schools offer some LPN courses online, which allows for more flexibility, especially for people who are working and trying to complete a program at the same time.

It is important to be very skeptical of courses that claim to be complete LPN programs online. It is difficult to complete an LPN program on the internet alone, as the program has such a heavy emphasis on clinical hours. In addition, if the online LPN program is not offered by a school in close proximity to you, they probably don’t have the existing relationships with hospitals and clinics to set up clinical hours (most local colleges that offer LPN programs have these existing partnerships). This means having to set up clinical hours independently, as well as having to verify course accreditation through the state you live in to make sure the course work is even an acceptable means of LPN programming.

If you are looking for an online LPN program, a good place to start would be looking for a school that is close to you to see if they offer some courses online. This will allow you to be sure of the validity of the online course work; it would also allow you to work directly with professors and staff at the school when needed. The school will be a large help to an LPN student when looking to set up clinical hours and also when preparing to sign up for and take the NCLEX exam for LPN licensing. The good news is that many colleges and technical schools offer online course options as part of their programs. This allows for flexibility in our fast paced culture. Check with local colleges or technical schools to see how much of the LPN program course work is available as online classes.

While some LPN programs offer online flexibility, there is also a benefit to having to complete courses in person. Building relationships with other classmates and teaching staff is part of the LPN program experience. Also, the huge emphasis on clinical hours is a great benefit to LPN training. This means that licensed LPNs have already had a lot of hands-on experience once they begin working in the field, which means that the skills they are required to do have been polished in a medical setting.

What Do LPN Classes Entail?

The next step in achieving your professional and personal goals

The classes needed to become an LPN vary depending on the state in which you live and where the program is completed. Associate’s degree students will have to complete general education college courses in addition to the courses that directly apply to practical nursing. All LPN programs cover basic nursing courses and other general medical courses. LPN classes are designed to train students in the areas that a practical nurse needs to be able to perform and also to prepare students to successfully pass the NCLEX exam.

One of the first classes an LPN student will take is an introduction to nursing. Here they learn the role of the licensed practical nurse and all the components of nursing. Typically this course would cover a brief history of nursing to current day practices, as well as an understanding of the hierarchy of the healthcare team and where an LPN falls into the chain of command.

Another area that is covered during LPN classes is the ethics of nursing and medical practice. Here, a student is taught the role of the nursing board, an understanding of legal issues such as malpractice and negligence, patient confidentiality and privacy, and cultural sensitivity. An understanding of all of these matters is vital for anyone who is training to work in the medical field.

Anatomy and Physiology are key components to any medical training and are covered in LPN classes and program work as well. During these classes it is important that LPN students memorize key medical terminology and the corresponding function of each system of the human body. The memorization and integration can be some of the most cumbersome of the LPN course work, but it is the groundwork of medical schooling.

Documentation is a large part of the practical nurse’s job, as everything done in a medical setting needs to be recorded properly to ensure patient safety and medical professional accountability. Extensive training is done to teach LPN students how to properly document. This includes learning acceptable abbreviations, more medical terminology, and an understanding of standard charts and forms.

Growth and development over the human lifespan is another course topic that is studied during LPN class work. This is covered to give nurses a foundation in understanding the human process and what is typical and atypical in terms of development at any given age. This can be a vital diagnostic tool as well as basic background information.

Another topic that is covered in LPN classes and training is patient safety, which includes an understanding of the medical environment and procedures to ensure the safety of patients in the care of the medical team. In relation to patient safety is the topic of infection control and prevention, which includes proper procedures to reduce the risk of spreading germs within a medical environment. Medication administration is another responsibility of practical nurses that includes procedures for administering medication and follow-up documentation. The exact procedures need to be known and followed by every medical professional as they are not guidelines, but rather required procedures.

The Benefits of Online LPN Classes

Find an LPN program with a flexible format that accommodates your lifestyle

There are many LPN programs that offer flexible course options. Many of these programs do require some of the classes, as well as clinical hours, to be completed in person; therefore, it is impossible to do the complete LPN program online. If you are looking for the flexibility of taking the bulk of your LPN classes online rather than in person, you will need to do a bit of investigative work before applying to a program. The best option is to check with local colleges, technical schools or community colleges to see if they offer LPN programs and to ask if some of the LPN classes can be done in an online format. The good news is that more and more colleges are offering classes online in addition to those they offer on site.

The major benefit of doing online LPN classes is the flexibility of timing. Many people are working as they go to school and need their class work to fit around their job schedule. Online courses allow a person to complete the work within a period of time but do not regulate when a person does their studying or completes the components that go along with the online course. This means that a person could work their regular schedule and complete their course work when it is convenient for them to do so. It is important to note that there are still due dates for assignments and tests to be completed. Online LPN classes are primarily self-regulated but do also follow a specific timeline. Once you have found a program in your area that does offer the classes for LPN training to be completed online, you can apply and once accepted, begin to work on the classes according to the school timeline. There may be some classes that are not offered online and these you would need to work your schedule around in order to complete. More and more schools are trying to meet the needs of the working student, LPN courses included.

LPN vs RN: What Makes Them Different?

Although this topic is covered on the LPN to RN page of this site, we’ll briefly touch on it here. LPNs and RNs are similar in that they are both nurses, however, there’s a big difference in their level of education and the different things that they are allowed to do.

An LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) typically undergoes a shorter length of education than a Registered Nurse (RN). Generally speaking, RNs need to attend at least two years of school (often times at a local community college) in order to take the NCLEX-RN exam, as well as satisfy a few other certification requirements with specifics depending upon the state where they live. LPNs have to do similar things, but generally speaking, the requirements are not a rigorous.

In terms of their job duties, LPNs are generally more limited in what they’re allowed to do where RNs are generally more able to do a variety of things. RNs are also able to specialize in certain fields such as cardiac nursing, geriatric nursing, etc., where LPNs are not usually able to specialize. For more information on moving from an LPN to RN, check out the LPN to RN page on this site for some information about the basic process of transitioning from LPN to RN.

Finding LPN Schools

There are a number of schools that offer LPN programs, and if you select your state from the map at the top of this page and then scroll down to the very bottom of that state page, you can see a list of schools in your state that may have LPN programs near you. The list at the bottom of these pages is just a starting point, and there’s no guarantee that any of these schools will have LPN programs, and if they do, that they will have programs that fit your needs. You can also search for programs using the sponsored widget that appears on various pages on the site, but understand that this widget is an advertisement and there is also no guarantee of finding a school that meets your needs there (see the advertising disclosure and privacy policy for more information about ads on this site).

You can also contact the Board of Nursing in your state (or whichever department is similar to the board of nursing as it may not have that exact name where you live) to get a list of approved LPN programs and then use that list reach out to schools for information so you can decide what’s best for you.

Further Reading and Learning

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of Licensed Practical Nursing is expected to grow at a rate 25% from 2012 to 2022, which they rate as “much faster than average.” While this never guarantees any type of job or job placement, it does indicate that Licensed Practical Nursing is a growing field with good potential.

This site has a tremendous amount of great information from the state pages, to the salary page, to the blog, and more, so please feel free to look around and take in everything that has been authored here. Hopefully after spending some time on this site you’ll know more about the profession and various aspects of practical nursing. Thanks for visiting!

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