If you are interested in pursuing a career in the health care industry, lpn programs may be a good option for you to consider. In Texas and California, Licensed Practical Nursing is referred to as Licensed Vocational Nursing, but the programs are almost identical. 155,600 new jobs are anticipated to open up for practical nurses/ vocational nurses through 2018 and the average salary for an LPN is $35,000-$45,000 per year. However, depending upon different factors salaries can go up to $53,000 throughout an individual’s career.
Individuals that are interested in taking lpn programs should be caring, detail-oriented and genuinely interested in caring for the ill. As a licensed practical nurse you will work directly with patients most of the time so it is imperative that you have a sincere interest in their well-being.
Licensed practical nurses work alongside medical doctors’ and registered nurses’ to help care for patients and are typically responsible for a lot of the hands-on aspects of patient care and usually must report their findings directly to supervisors. Some duties that they are responsible for include: providing bedside care to the ill, obtaining samples for testing and performing basic laboratory tests and recording fluid intake and output. Also, licensed practical nurses are able to administer medication, start IV drips and obtain the medical history of a patient which they can utilize to fill out insurance forms, referrals and more. Licensed practical nurses can find employment in specialized locations such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices or in home care but they can also find employment in almost any health care facility.
There are different LPN programs to choose from but to become licensed the minimum program length is nine months. Typical topics covered in the programs curriculum include nutrition and diet therapy, maternal and child health, psychiatric nursing and introduction to pharmacology and the various topics are taught and practiced via classroom lecture, laboratory practice and clinical experiences.
One type of LPN program offered is a career-ladder program in which students can typically become an LPN after the first year. Graduates can then choose to exit the program and remain an LPN or pursue further education and become a Registered Nurse after completing the additional coursework.
Short term and specific training LPN programs typically result in a diploma and last anywhere from nine months to a year. The curriculum for these programs usually consists of prerequisite courses, nursing courses specific to the licensure exam and employment and some general education classes. These programs are ideal for individuals that are interested in short-term career specific training. A majority of these programs also offer evening and weekend classes for individuals that need flexibility in the scheduling.
Upon the successful completion of the training programs, students become eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam for practical nursing which is typically abbreviated as the NCLEX-PN. Passing this exam allows students to become licensed, which is mandated to find and maintain employment as a Licensed Practical Nurse.