LPN Career, Schools and Training Overview
If you're interested in working in health care but can't or prefer not to make the significant educational investment often required for other medical careers, training to become an LPN could be a good choice. These nurses are employed in a wide variety of settings, including nursing care facilities, hospitals, doctors' offices and home health care services.
LPN is short for licensed practical nurse. This role is referred to as an LVN, or licensed vocational nurse, in Texas and California, but apart from the name, there is no tangible difference between the two. Supervised by a registered nurse or doctor, LPNs work closely with patients and are responsible for basic medical care. This can involve tasks such as the following:
- Administering medication and injections
- Changing patient bandages
- Helping patients dress, bathe and eat
- Keeping medical records
- Monitoring patient vitals
- Reporting a patient's health status to doctors and registered nurses
LPNs might also be called on to provide emotional support to patients -- another reason why nurses are nicknamed "angels in comfortable shoes."
LPN Training Options
Depending on the degree or certificate program you choose to pursue and class scheduling, becoming licensed as an LPN can take as little as one year, after which you need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for practical nursing. You can often find LPN training programs at technical schools or community colleges, although some might be located at high schools or hospitals. Training generally involves a combination of traditional class work, such as biology and pharmacology, along with supervised clinical instruction.
Online LPN Training Programs
Unlike many educational opportunities today, LPN training is not yet available online. Due to to the hands-on, personal nature of training within the nursing program, LPN training requires you to physically interact with patients on a regular basis -- something online training couldn't easily accommodate. Also, training could include clinical experience in acute and long-term care.
Good Qualities to have as an LPN
While anyone can train to become an LPN, you may be a particularly good candidate if you possess some or all of these qualities:
- High physical strength and stamina
- Good judgment
- People skills
- Attention to detail
Advancing your Nursing Career
One benefit of becoming an LPN is that it offers the possibility of moving up in the nursing field. According to the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, with enough experience and training, you might move into a supervisory role or join a specialized nursing group such as infusion nurses, treatment nurses, critical care nurses or special procedure nurses.
If you decide you'd eventually like to train to become a registered nurse, there are many LPN to RN education programs available, making LPN training a stepping stone to more advanced nursing careers. Some LPN to RN bridge programs feature online study options.
More information on being an LPN
If you have additional questions or would like more details on what it's like to be an LPN, salary data and more, check out the other articles on this website.
Schools offering LPN Programs
- Part of the Lincoln Group of Schools.
- Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Accrediting Commission of Career Schools (ACCSC), and Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
- First campus was opened in 1946, now with 22 campuses across the United States.
- Lincoln Group of Schools made over $12 million available through scholarships to qualified students in 2014.
- A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,000.
- Ranked #14 in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News.
- The student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
- At the end of their freshman year, 84% of students return to continue their education.
- Students attend only one class at a time for four weeks, ensuring easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
- Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
- Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
- Offers career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
- 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
- Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1994.
- Designated as a 2015 Top Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
- Currently offers over 20 degree and diploma programs in Healthcare.
- 16 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
- Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
- A part of the Empire Education Corporation.
- Features student-run massage therapy clinics at Pittsfield and Albany campuses, and a cosmetology clinic at the Pittsfield campus.
- 3 campuses located in Albany and New York City Metro, New York, Pittsfield in Massachusetts, with online options as well.
- Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
- Originally founded in 1916 in the Capital District of New York.