LPN Training & Certification | License Program Information

Before we dive into LPN training and certification, we’ll provide a brief overview of this healthcare specialization.

An LPN or licensed practical nurse provides direct care to people with mental, physical, and psychological challenges.

In many cases, these challenges result from an illness or injury.

LPNs assist individuals with getting dressed, cleaning, eating, taking medication, and performing basic movements.

As a result, they play a critical role in providing bedside care to individuals requiring long-term assistance.

LPNs also enable registered nurses, physicians, and practitioners to focus on higher priority tasks.

In many cases, LPNs enter the nursing field within 12 – 24 months.

It allows them to quickly begin working and provide primary care to patients who need medical assistance.

Beginning a career as an LPN is also an excellent way to learn about the medical field early.

As a result, aspiring nurses determine whether it’s an ideal career before jumping into a long-term education program.

What do LPNs do?

LPNs provide essential medical assistance to patients who need help with many of the daily tasks they have trouble completing in their daily lives.

It includes assisting with bedside care, dressed/undressed people, and bathroom assistance.

LPNs also prepare and help with meals, give medication, and even assist the individual’s children.

Overall, LPNs provide care to a broad range of age groups requiring care and assistance.

Tasks Performed by LPNs:

  • Assisting patients with getting in/out of bed
  • Dressing or helping patients with intricate clothing
  • Assisting with using the bathroom, shower/bathing, and cleaning
  • Providing medication and feeding individuals who are unable to feed themselves
  • Recording vital signs and updating/maintaining medical records
  • Working with registered nurses, physicians, and other medical professionals to improve the patient’s overall care

LPNs act as a liaison between the patient and medical staff by monitoring their health and reporting issues.

As a result, they’re indispensable to the registered nurses, doctors, and physicians that rely on them.

They also share a close bond and relationship with their patients.

Therefore, they must maintain non-disclosure to those not providing direct patient care.

The Journey to Become an LPN

Becoming an LPN begins with earning a High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent.

Most schools, colleges, and universities require it before you can enter the LPN program.

Students in the process of earning their Diploma may pursue complementary courses like anatomy and microbiology.

Some High Schools offer LPN programs to prepare students for the NCLEX-PN state exam to become an LPN.

You can find a local LPN program through a local college, university, or vocational school.

You can also search online to see if a nearby school offers an accredited program.

Some schools require aspiring LPN students to pass specific prerequisites before joining the program.

Prerequisite courses may include Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, Developmental Psychology, Microbiology, English, and Math.

In some cases, students may complete these courses in high school.

As a result, there are fewer prerequisite courses to complete.

Once you enter the program, you will spend the next 12 – 24 months learning to become an LPN.

The time it takes to complete the program depends on whether you earn a certification (1 year) or associate’s degree (2 years).

At the end of the training program, students must pass the state NCLEX-PN exam to become LPNs.

Course Curriculum

While in the LPN program, students learn various skills and assessment techniques.

Accordingly, the curriculum enables LPNs to become proficient in their work.

LPN Training and Education:

  • Perform basic patient assessments
  • Assisting the patient with proper hygiene care
  • Properly perform and manage patient mobility
  • Assist with Basic medical care
  • Understand pain management
  • Perform basic medication administration
  • Understand and perform appropriate infection control and prevention

Students also learn human anatomy and biology, technical terminology, the legal aspects of LPN work, and other topics.

How to Find a Good LPN Program

If you’re interested in becoming an LPN, there are several ways to look for a good LPN program.

First, look for an accredited program by an organization like the ACEN (accreditation commission for education in nursing).

It ensures LPN schools provide adequate training programs for students to pass the NCLEX-PN exam successfully.

Second, consider using online resources to summarize the school’s average pass/failure rate.

It can help you narrow down which schools offer the most effective training.

Third, consider each program’s payment options and compare their cost to determine which school you want to join.

Paying for The LPN Program

Now that you’ve found one or several LPN programs, you’ll have to decide how you’ll pay for the program.

Depending on the school, you might use one of several payment options.

  • Cash
  • Loans
  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Work-study program

Each option allows students to pay for the program in a manner that best suits their needs/abilities.

Cash

If you have the money available, paying with cash ensures you won’t have to worry about interest, payment plans, or a work-study program.

As a result, it eliminates the finance/interest part of your education so you can focus on other things.

Loans

Suppose you don’t have the money available or prefer to pay for the class over time.

In that case, a loan allows you to still complete the program without paying upfront.

It may also cover costs for books, stethoscopes, medical uniforms, and other essentials.

Grants

Some programs help students by paying for education without the need for repayment.

For example, a grant can help with costs by reducing or eliminating what you’ll owe for the program.

As a result, it’s much easier to attend school and not worry about a financial burden.

Scholarships

As with grants, some organizations/schools offer scholarships.

Scholarships help cover the nursing school’s costs and allow students to save money and avoid repayment.

Work-study programs

Lastly, some LPN programs offer to cover the program’s cost if students agree to work for them for a specified time.

Nevertheless, depending on your goals, it may or may not be a great option.

A work-study agreement may not be beneficial if you want to work for a particular company after completing the program.

You may also receive less money while employed to compensate for your education.

Therefore, you must understand the terms of the work-study program to determine whether it suits your goals.

Other Financial Factors

Aside from paying for the program, there are several other secondary costs.

Some of these costs include:

  • Books
  • Stethoscope
  • Uniform & Supplies
  • NCLEX-PN exam

Career Outlook and Opportunities

The career outlook for the nursing field (including licensed nurse practitioners) is on a continuous incline.

Society continues to age, and more individuals find themselves needing long-term care.

As a result, LPNs can expect to see continued career growth within their profession.

In addition to career growth, LPNs benefit from better job security, increased career opportunities, and higher pay.

Finally, starting a career as an LPN is a great way to gain early experience.

It enables healthcare providers to decide what career path may be best suited for them.

Some healthcare centers enable LPNs to become specialized care providers and managers.

However, LPNs can apply their experience and training to other nursing programs.

For instance, some LPNs pursue further education to become registered nurses.

As a result, numerous schools offer LPN to RN bridge programs.

It allows them to transition into an RN program seamlessly and complete their college courses faster.

Many registered nurses begin careers as LPNs because it looks great on a resume and provides insights into the profession.

Why Become an LPN

LPN improve the lives of patients by reducing their stress, providing bedside aid, and improving the patient’s mood/outlook.

These specialists work with registered nurses, doctors, and physicians to provide well-rounded medical care in long-term facilities.

LPNs have a profound responsibility and appreciation for improving society, and their work is highly self-rewarding.

LPNs are in a unique position to gain the necessary experience quickly.

Unlike other timely and costly professions t(i.e., registered nursing), LPNs gain valuable experience at a fraction of the time and cost.

If you want to gain first-hand experience before making a long-term education decision becoming an LPN is highly advisable.

It allows you to understand medical care and determine your feelings about the profession before pursuing an RN or APRN career.

As a result, you’ll save tons of time and money pursuing this profession if you don’t genuinely enjoy the work or the people.