LPN schools offer an entry-level nursing education for students looking to break into the healthcare realm. This career path is highly desirable for a number of reasons.
- Fast-Track Education
- Good Starting Salary
- Rewarding Profession
- Plenty of Opportunities
- Job Security
With a national nursing shortage at hand, more schools are offering programs for students who want to become a licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse.
What is an LPN or LVN?
In terms of training and duties, there’s absolutely no difference between a licensed practical nurse and a licensed vocational nurse. Whether you are called an LPN or an LVN really depends on what state you live in.
Graduates of LPN schools work under the supervision of registered nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors. They provide basic nursing care for patients and work in hospitals, nursing homes, physicians offices and provide in-home care. Daily responsibilities are varied and include:
- Ensuring Comfort of Patients
- Administering Basic Nursing Care
- Report Status to Doctors and RNs
- Change Bandages, Insert Catheters, Check Blood Pressure
A high level of regulation means an LPN may be restricted from performing certain tasks. However, it’s a great start toward earning advanced certification and becoming an RN.
What Type of LPN Schools Are the Best?
For entry-level students, online programs are limited. During the first two years, it’s crucial to gain as much hands-on experience as possible. However, there are LPN schools offering a combination of online and in-person classes.
That’s a popular option for students in need of a more flexible schedule. The hands-on classes and clinical requirements are performed in person while some of the prerequisite classes can be performed online.
Accredited schools will provide the best opportunities and education. Schools accredited by a recognized national agency must fulfill crucial requirements to ensure they are properly preparing graduates to enter the profession.
How Long Do LPN Schools Degree Programs Last?
Typically, coursework for an LPN can be completed in one to two years. Those looking to earn a certificate can usually finish in around a year. Students enrolled in an associate degree program can expect to spend two years in school, unless they pursue an accelerated program.
Classes include anatomy, first aid, psychiatric nursing, and other medical-related coursework.
After completing a certificate or degree program, candidates are expected to pass the NCLEX-PN, administered by the national Council of State Boards of Nursing. This licensing is required by employers nationwide, and some may require additional state-level certifications.
What Kind of Salary Does an LPN Earn?
Qualified professionals who attended one of many accredited LPN schools can expect to earn around $40,000 annually. While the lowest paid LPNs earned around $30,000, the highest paid pulled in more than $56,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With more demand for certification and increasing need, salaries are on the rise. To recruit and maintain talented staff, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes are offering generous salary and benefit packages.
However, it’s important to remember that nurses often work unconventional hours, including nights, weekends and holidays. In some settings , shifts may go on for longer than eight hours and nurses may be on call and expected to come in at a moment’s notice.
What Type of People Should Consider LPN Schools?
Nursing will be a very rewarding career for those who enjoy helping and taking care of people. LPNs are often compassionate, well organized and highly professional.
They must be able to take direction from doctors and RNs and follow them to a tee. There’s a certain amount of pressure associated with being a nurse and successful LPNs can maintain the highest standards of care, even under extremely stressful circumstances.