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
- Ranked among the Best Grad Schools for their Physician Assistant program in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
- Campus is 56,000 square feet of modern lecture classrooms, specialty laboratories with state-of-the art equipment, writing and math lab, student center, and more.
- Programmatic accreditation from several organizations, including the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
- Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Flexible Scheduling
- Financial Aid
- Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
- Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
- Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
- Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
- Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
- Online Courses
- Financial Aid
- Ranked one of the Top Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
- Provides reduced tuition rates for active-duty guard and reserve members, veterans, and active-duty military spouses.
- Offers a Single-Parent Scholarship for new students enrolling in select degree programs.
- Has a high satisfaction rate— 83% of surveyed graduates said they would recommend the university.
- Offers small class sizes— the average undergraduate class size is 18; the average graduate class size is 13.
- Financial Aid
- Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
- Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
- Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
- Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
- 5 campuses in Lawton, North and Central Oklahoma City, Moore, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Has 100 campuses— many of which are on or near public transportation routes.
- Provides trained student finance planners to assist students seeking financial aid.
- Offers classes built around small teams, so students get personal, one-on-one skills training.
- Incorporates hands-on training into all programs to provide students with important experience.
- Provides day, evening, and weekend classes. (Classes offered may vary by location.)
- Financial Aid