How To Become a LPN
Licensed practical nurses (LPN's) monitor and care for patients by taking vital signs, administering medications and injections, changing wound dressings, collecting body fluid specimens and performing standard lab tests. An LPN also has to collect information from the patient to be admitted. The LPN also had to take care of the sanitary requirements of the patients. Which consists of bathing, dressing, and similar other tasks related to personal hygiene. Once the patient is discharged, the nurse has to inform the family members of the patient about regular medications needed, healthy diet and guidelines for getting well soon.
LPNs assist registered nurses (RN's) and doctors in a variety of healthcare settings, such as group practices, hospitals, home care facilities, such as private and public hospitals, offices of doctors, small health care settings and nursing homes. Employees require LPN applicants to have graduated from an approved practical nursing program. Some are often offered as an undergraduate certificate. Additionally, practical nursing applicants must be licensed by their state and be CPR-certified. Depending on the employer, post program experience may or may not be required.
LPN training programs are typically offered through community colleges, technical and private colleges.LPN training programs generally take 1year to 14 months to complete. During this time, practical nursing students participate in at least two clinical practicum courses and numerous skills labs. Practical nursing training is sufficient for career entry. LPNs who wish to become RNs can pursue more advanced LPN-RN degree tracks.
LPN training programs combine classroom lectures with supervised clinical experiences. Prospective licensed practical nurses learn about health and science subjects, including anatomy and physiology. They also take courses in math for medical professionals and pharmacology. Ultimately, they gain knowledge of patient care procedures for children, adults, pregnant patients and people with mental illness.
Some practical nursing jobs require no experience and are available to licensed practical nurses upon graduation from state-approved training programs and successful licensure. Other employers, in contrast, may require LPN applicants to possess six months to one year of work experience. Additionally, experience in a particular care setting ,such as geriatrics or pediatrics may be required.
All states require that practical nurses pass a licensing exam, however requirement vary by state. Most often, in order to earn the LPN designation, graduates of an accredited nursing school must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursed (NCLEX-PN). The licensing exam is a computerized exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of nursing.
In addition to licensure, some employees may prefer, if not required, applicant to have voluntary certification in intravenous therapy such as that offered by the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses (www.nflpn.org) Most positions may require LPNs to be certified in basic life support.
LPN organizations sponsor a number of educational events. Workshops and seminars are usually offered as 1-day programs and often center on specific nursing topics, such as hospice care. Conferences and conventions, in contrast, can run 2-6 days.Attendees participate in mini-workshops and skills labs and hear from guest speakers.
In order to maintain licensure, LPNs must meet continuing education requirements. Consequently, nurses often participate in college sponsored refresher online or on-campus refresher courses. They may also take part in on-site skills labs.