In a licensed practical nursing program, students learn how to monitor and take care of sick, disabled, or injured individuals in a hospital, assisted living facility, or clinic. In addition to coursework covering the basics of nursing, students participate in laboratory and clinical training. After graduation, students may sit for state licensing exams. They may also continue their education to become a registered nurse (RN).
Licensed Practical Nursing Certificate
Most LPN certificate programs require applicants to be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED. A background check and current physician's report of immunizations are commonly required, along with training in CPR, First Aid, and HIV prevention. CNA credentials may also be necessary.
Licensed practical nursing certificate programs often take roughly three semesters to complete. The curriculum may cover the following topics:
- Nursing pharmacology
- Medical terminology
- Geriatric nursing
- Intravenous therapy
- Medical-surgical nursing
- Anatomy and physiology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Once they obtain their licenses, LPNs may accept positions as home health nurses, charge nurses, nursing technicians or clinic nurses at several health service organizations and companies. LPNs earned an average salary of $44,030 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also reported that job growth for licensed practical and vocational nurses was expected to rise 16% from 2014-2024.
Professional Licensing and Continuing Education Information
Completion of the practical nurse training program is the first step to becoming licensed as a practical nurse. The computer-based licensing test, called the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN), requires a passing score and covers topics that include integrity, patient care environment and health maintenance. LPNs may move on to an LPN-to-RN instructional program to become registered nurses.
The LPN certificate program, which prepares prospective LPNs for the national licensing examination, typically lasts one year and is offered at many community colleges and technical schools. Certificate programs for LPNs include classroom training in medical administration, human anatomy, nursing procedures, and basic patient care techniques.