Licensed practical nurse (LPN) courses are most often offered at community and technical colleges as part of diploma and certificate programs that last around one year. Students gain the skills needed to monitor patients' vital signs, do some laboratory tests, help patients with daily living duties and observe patients for any issues.
Graduates of both diploma and certificate programs are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN), passage of which is a component for licensure as an LPN in all states. They can also go on to pursue specialized nursing certifications.
Here is a list of concepts commonly explored in LPN classes:
- Medication administration
- Vital signs
- Mobility assistance
- Mental health
- Wound care
- Lifespan development
List of Courses
Anatomy and Physiology
An anatomy and physiology course introduces major human body systems like the skeletal and nervous systems, addressing their function and location within the body. Topics might include cell function, skin, joints, muscles and blood composition. Depending on the level of an anatomy and physiology course, other areas of study may include the circulatory, respiratory, digestive and urinary systems.
In a nursing fundamentals LPN class, students gain a broad overview of nursing processes, such as patient assessment, medical documentation, patient mobility and wound care. Students also gain an understanding of infection control and workplace safety. This foundational course prepares LPN students for laboratory coursework and clinical practice.
Pharmacology for Nursing
Pharmacology is the study of drug uses and effects. In a pharmacology for nursing course, students learn about common drugs used to treat illness and disease, drug functions and side effects, and an LPN's role in delivering drugs to patients, which varies by state. This course typically is given in lecture format.
A surgical nursing course addresses an LPN's role in caring for surgical patients. Specific topics of instruction may include long-term care, management of multiple patients, recognizing irregular body functions, hospital admission and discharge procedures, and preparing patients for surgical procedures. Some colleges offer this course as part lecture and part hands-on learning.
A pediatric nursing course covers illnesses and diseases that affect children. Students learn about typical child development, as well as assessment, prevention and treatment of abnormal health conditions. At the completion of this course, students should also be able to communicate with children and families of different backgrounds.