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LPN Programs, Classes & Training Online

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

Are you a caring individual who is looking for an exciting medical career as a License Practical Nurse or LPN? An LPN is just a step under a Registered Nurse, training and course work is quicker than Registered Nursing School, but longer than CNA training. 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 citizens and if English is not your first language need to take and provide 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.

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, discover where you can complete the course work, and how long it takes to become a LPN. It also gives information about top LPN classes, online programs, requirements, LPN testing, continuing education, and much more.

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

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Jobs are available and pay is competitive. According the Bureau of labor statistics LPN’s have a possible job outlook of 25%, which is a higher and faster rate of growth than most other medical positions within the country. LPN’s also make a substantial amount more than positions like certified nursing assistants, much closer to the pay of fully registered nurses. The average amount an LPN make 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 training it takes to become an LPN, this is truly a decent salary rate.

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LPN Training Programs

Preparing you for a future in healthcare

Some LPN’s go on to become a 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. LPN’s perform duties such as administering medication, check vital signs of patients, clean and manage equipment and instruments, as well as giving out meals. All of the duties an LPN performs are done under the supervision of RN’s 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 LPN’s 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. This means having to complete an internship or hours of training on site. It also means 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 type settings, whereas working in home care LPN’s are often on their own.

Steps to Becoming an LPN

Learn about LPN programs online

The first step to becoming an LPN is finding a program which meets the state requirements in which you live. Again, it is easiest to check local schools which would know the state requirements. Once you find a program (either at a local school or online) you must then go through the application process. Many school’s applications take quite a bit of time to complete and have many different components. There is typically much that needs to be provided about criminal and work history, school transcripts are usually requested, and often an essay portion is required as well. Some schools require students to pass a basic skills type 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, however 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 and ultimately the choice depends on career goals of the individual who is enrolling. Simply undergoing the accreditation process for LPN certification is the fastest way to get out of the classroom and into the work force. However, many LPN’s have the career goal of eventually becoming a full RN. For those individuals it could be wise to opt for a program with more college credits such as an associates or bachelor’s degree. This will lay the base work for future schooling, which would mean less classes to take in the future.

The certification needed to work as an LPN comes after the course work is complete and the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is passed. In order to take the NCLEX a person needs to apply for a nursing license through the state nursing board in the state which they reside. Some states have different requirements for licensing, therefore, it is important to check with the state nursing board to ensure that you have met criteria. Colleges which offer LPN programs will also be aware of the state requirements. The benefit of going to a school for accreditation versus taking courses online is having people who walk you through the process and know the requirements of the state nursing board.

The NCLEX test covers four areas of needs. The questions are to access the test takers knowledge in the areas of safe and effective care environment. Safe and effective care environment includes such items as management care and safety and infection control. Another area of the test is on psychological integrity, which are items such as coping and psychosocial adaptation. Health promotion and maintenance is another area, this area covers questions on growth and development, and disease detection and prevention. Finally, the NCLEX also covers physiology integrity. This area has 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 for reviewing purposes. It is highly recommended to take advantage of such reviewing techniques. It is not recommended to go into the test without having studied prior to the exam.

The course work for 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 specified areas of nursing (such as pediatrics, obstetric, and medical-surgical). In addition to the medical course work, if you are completing an associates as part of your program you will also complete general education requirements such as English composition, math, social science course, psychology etc.

Clinical hours are also required as part of the program. Clinical hours are hours of training in a clinical setting under the supervision of certified nurses. Often the school where the program is being completed will help set up the clinical observation hours which are needed. 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 will need to be documented and signed off by your supervising nurse, or clinical staff. These are critical training hours where everything that you learned during the classes is put to use in a real life medical setting. These hours are required in order to complete the entire LPN program and to be certified to be working as a paid LPN.

Online LPN Programs

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 in this way. Clinical hours, for one, cannot be completed online. Many schools these days offer what is known as hybrid programs. These are offered through local schools, after enrolling a student can complete some of the LPN courses in an online format. This allows for more flexibility, especially for people who are working and trying to complete a program at the same time. It is important to note that when taking LPN course work online it is important to stay caught up the due dates of assignments. It is easy to get behind on work when it is completed online, since it is easier to procrastinate. There is often a lot more accountability when classes are done in person. Online LPN classes take self-monitoring and self-discipline to stay caught up and focused.

It is important to be very skeptical of courses which 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. 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 internships (most local colleges that offer LPN programs have these existing partnerships). This means having to set up clinical hours independently, it also means 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 LPN online program you would be better off looking for a school that is close to you and that offers some or even most of the 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 assistance 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 these days. This allows for flexibility in our fast paced, internet culture. Check with local colleges or technical schools to see how much of the LPN program course work is available as online classes.

LPN programs online offer flexibility, however, there is also a benefit to having to complete some courses in person. 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 LPN’s 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 they have already done in a medical setting. One of the biggest reasons for this is to ensure that medical professionals are fully prepared and practiced at the skills they need to perform on the job.

LPN Classes

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 the college where the program is completed. Also, if a person is attending a technical school for a LPN certificate their classwork would be different than those going to a community college where LPN classes are worked into an associate’s degree in nursing. 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.

The first class (or something similar) that an LPN student would take is an Introduction to nursing. Here they learn the roll of the licensing practical nurse, and all the components of nursing and its components. Typically this course would cover a brief history of nursing to current day practices and rolls of nurse. Understanding the hierarchy of the healthcare team and where an LPN falls into the chain of command. Also the nursing process (assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation), and communication amongst the care team and patients.

Another area that is covered in depth during LPN classes is the ethics of nursing and medical practice. During these classes a student is taught the role of the nursing board, an understanding of legal issues such as malpractice and negligence, and patient confidentiality and privacy. These classes will also cover ethical practices of nursing. Falling under ethical and legal responsibilities of nurses and medical professionals is the issue of cultural sensitivity and racial equality. 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 part of the human body. For some this can be some of the most cumbersome of the LPN course work, but it is a vital part of medical schooling for nurses as well as doctors.

Documentation is a large part of the practical nurses job (and any medical professional for that matter). Everything that is done in a medical setting is recorded properly. This is to ensure patient safety and medical professional accountability. Extensive training is done to teach LPN students how to properly document everything. This includes learning acceptable abbreviations, more medical terminology, and an understanding of standard charts and forms.

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

Other topics which are covered in detail through LPN classes and training include patient safety. This 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. Cleaning procedures are vital to nurses training and practice on the job.

Medication administration is another responsibility of practical nurses and the procedures are covered in depth throughout LPN classes and clinical hours. The procedures for administering medication and documenting the administration are necessary. The exact procedures need to be known and followed by every medical professional in any medical setting. They are not guidelines, but rather required procedures.

Another area of study for practical nurses is basic patient needs.

LPN Classes Online

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

As stated above, there are many LPN programs which offer some of the courses to be completed online. Many of these programs do require some of the classes to be completed in person, and obviously the clinical hours need 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 the 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 ones they offer on site.

The benefit of doing online LPN classes is the flexibility of timing. Many people are working as they go to school and need their schooling to work around their job schedule. Online courses allow for a person to complete the work within a period of time but does not regulate when a person does their studying or completes the components that go along with the online format. This means that a person could work during the day and complete their course work in the evening 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.

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