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Things to Consider When Choosing an Licensed Practical Nurse Program

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs, as they are called in California and Texas) care for the sick, injured, and disabled under the direction of registered nurses (RNs) and physicians. Most LPNs and LVNs provide basic bedside care and take vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiration.

Job Description:
LPNs and LVNs observe patients and report adverse reactions to treatments or medications. The nurses collect samples for testing, perform routine laboratory tests, feed patients, and record food and fluid intake and output. Some LPNs help deliver, care for, and feed infants. Experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides.

Job Schedule:
Patients require care around the clock, so healthcare facilities need LPNs and LVNs on duty 24 hours a day. Many hospitals and medical institutions offer nurses a variety of schedules, from part-time work to daytime, evening, or weekend hours in order to fill their needs. This flexible scheduling can be a benefit to LPNs with other commitments such as family or continuing education courses.

Programs to Consider:

Education and Training Requirements:
LPN training usually takes 12-18 months, and it includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. LPN training is often quite flexible, just like the job itself. Most nursing programs offer evening and weekend courses, so you don't have to leave your current job to pursue your new career in nursing. There are usually few entry requirements for LPN schools - often no more than a high school degree.

The job itself demands good problem solving and time management skills, the ability to multi-task, excellent communication skills, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. While LPNs work as part of a medical team, at times they are required to react quickly to emergency situations before doctors or other members of the team can assist.

If you think you have what it takes to join the growing field of nursing, a rewarding career awaits you. Hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare institutions across the country are recruiting trained and licensed practical nurses. Start your training as a Licensed Practical Nurse by requesting information from one of our featured schools. All schools will provide you free information upon your request.

  • Practical nursing training programs are approximately 1 year, and can be taken at vocational and technical schools. LPNs and LVNs must be licensed in order to practice in the field.
  • The National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN, is required in order to obtain your license as an LPN or LVN. The exam is developed and administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The NCLEX-PN is a computer-based exam and varies in length.
  • Classroom study covers basic nursing concepts and subjects related to medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics nursing, patient care, physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, and first aid. Clinical practice usually takes place hospitals but sometimes may include other settings.