LPN Schools

The designation LPN (licensed practical nurse) refers to a specific kind of certification that allows nursing professionals to work in hospitals, health care facilities, and private practices. Licensed practical nurses care for patients in preoperative and postoperative situations and care for them through their rehabilitation periods. They perform simple diagnostic medical procedures, including taking pulses, checking blood pressure, and drawing blood for analysis. They also perform bedside care for patients while they recover from surgeries. Bedridden patients need help taking care of their daily regimen. LPNs wash and dress patients; feed them when necessary; and teach family and friends how to care for their loved ones when they bring them home. The licensing process for LPNs is rigid, although requirements vary a bit from state to state. LPN schools allow you to get the career training necessary to become licensed.

LPNs are licensed by the state. All states require licensed practical nurses to have graduated from high school or to have passed a high school equivalency exam. Certain coursework in nursing is necessary as well passing a standardized exam, the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Exam-Practical Nursing). The NCLEX-PN was created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to standardize the knowledge and best practices of professional practical nurses. The creators of the exam have identified four core areas of knowledge and skills that LPNs must have: safe effective care environment; health promotion and maintenance; psychosocial integrity; and physiological integrity. Nursing schools target these specific areas when training LPNs for their careers.

If you decide to get career training as a licensed practical nurse, do some research. LPN nursing schools can be classified either as vocational schools or technical colleges. These schools generally offer certificate programs that generally last a year and a half, including classroom work supplemented by clinical practice. They may also include an internship that could lead to professional contacts or even employment. LPN programs are also offered at various community colleges. These are often degree programs, conferring an associate’s degree. Such a degree might include more general liberal arts courses in English, computer science, and written expression than certificate programs. Clinical classes are included in both types of programs. In clinical classes, nursing candidates practice skills in real-life conditions, working with patients under the guidance of trained nurses. Students get to learn and perform nursing functions at the same time.

Practical classes in nursing procedures may cover diet and nutrition, as helping patients choose foods to ease their recovery is a part of the job. There is coursework in maternal health and infant care. LPNs often help new mothers learn how to handle, bathe, and feed their babies. Prospective nurses take courses in human growth and development for help in working with young patients and diagnosing problems. Students learn about psychiatric nursing and human behavior to help them handle difficult or mentally ill patients. They also learn how to assist in surgical and emergency situations. The breadth of these courses allows LPNs to choose work in hospitals, private practice, nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers. Once LPNs graduate they can continue to train on new procedures and technology. Doing so will offer them upward mobility in their careers. It will also allow them to feel confident and current in their skill set.

Last Updated: 05/22/2014