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LPN Programs and Education Requirements

Majors Overview February 6, 2013

Students are offered a short and speedy entry into the nursing field via licensed practical nurse (LPN) training and education programs. Completion of a LPN education program helps students fulfill licensure norms and launch their careers within one or two years. In this article, we have outlined different educational programs devised to prepare aspiring LPNs who are also known as vocational practical nurses.

LPN Diploma or Certificate Program

LPNs are taught to perform various nursing duties via diploma and certificate training programs that are often offered by community colleges or technical schools. Coursework combines classroom lectures with hands-on training in clinical settings and prepares students to perform work in healthcare settings such as hospitals.

Education Requirement

Admission criteria in a licensed practical nursing education program include the possession of a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. Admission in some LPN programs are only given to certified nurse assistants that current holds certification. Specific course requirements are needed from students in various LPN programs; these prerequisite courses include college level English, and related medical sciences such as biology.

Course Topics

Aspiring nurses are offered introductory and foundational instruction; coursework encompasses a broad overview of educational requirements essential for the provision of nursing services to different groups of individuals who need such services. Common subject areas covered in such coursework include Human nutrition, Psychology, Microbiology, Geriatric nursing, Medical-surgical nursing, Pharmacology, Physiology, Anatomy, Legal and ethical nursing issues and Fundamental nursing practices.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), licensed practical nurses jobs were expected to grow at twenty-one percent from 2008 to 2018 (www.bls.gov). The strong job growth will translate into approximately 155,600 new job openings, which are due to an increased care needs for the elderly population and availability of improved medical treatment options. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the perceived shortage of healthcare in remote areas will result in exceptional job opportunities for licensed practical nurses, and hospitals will remain the largest employer of licensed practical nurses for years to come. In 2010, the BLS reported the average yearly salary for licensed practical nurses was $41,360. Candidates earning salary in the top tenth percentile earned $56,010 annually while those in the bottom tenth percentile earned an annual salary of $29,680.

Continuing Education and Licensing Information

To become a LPN, students must complete a licensed practical nurse educational program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Licensed practical nurse licensing requirements vary from state to state; however, continued education is essential to remain licensed through the National Council State Boards of Nursing (www.ncsbn.org). Once students receive licensed practical nurse status, vocational or licensed practical nurses could pursue advanced education. Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs can lead to opportunities as clinical nurse specialists or registered nurses, which will have an increase in responsibility and pay.

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