Licensed Practical Nurse Schools and Training Programs
Get information on the training you'll need to become a licensed practical nurse. Find out about the required courses, including online study options, and learn what is necessary for state licensing.
What You Need to Know
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a nurse who helps patients at their most vulnerable moments, working both at the bedside and occasionally in a laboratory setting. The training required to become a licensed practical nurse depends on your state and varies from high-school vocational programs to college programs.
|Licensing||Completed through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing|
|Courses||Developmental psychology, health assessment, clinical research and analysis, human mobility, acute and chronic pain, paramedic or surgery transition and night nursing|
|Responsibilities||Providing healthcare to patients who may be recovering from various injuries or who may be terminally ill; conducting laboratory work; providing technical assistance; administering medication|
What Training Will I Need?
Each state regulates the training programs of LPNs, meaning institutions ranging from technical schools to community colleges or even high school vocational programs could offer sufficient training for an LPN (www.bls.gov). Some training programs are even offered through hospitals.
For licensing, which is required to work as an LPN, all states work through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The exam you need to take after you finish your education is the NCSBN National Council Licensure Examination - Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN). The examination covers the basic skills needed as an entry-level practical nurse under state health boards (www.ncsbn.org).
What Schools Provide the Necessary Education?
It is recommended that you complete an LPN program that has been state-approved. Approval can be verified by contacting your state's board of nursing. Schools that provide LPN programs include:
- Gaston College
- Metropolitan Community College
- Trenholm State Community College
- Emily Griffith Technical College
- Chattahoochee Technical College
How Are Training Programs Organized?
To complete courses that are important for LPNs, you may enroll in a nursing certificate or diploma program, usually offered through a community college. The programs involve learning specific techniques and standards to use as an LPN. The courses you take at the beginning of your program usually include those in psychology, anatomy, physiology, and composition. Examples of coursework you might encounter as you advance through your program include:
- Developmental psychology
- Health assessment
- Clinical research and analysis
- Human mobility
- Acute and chronic pain
- Paramedic or surgery transition
- Night nursing
- Adult health
- Health concepts
- Medical terminology
- Nursing fundamentals
Some of the courses may be taken online if a certificate program is designed only to enhance your existing knowledge in nursing or supplement your current degree program.
What Does a Licensed Practical Nurse Do?
Often, LPNs assist with a patient's bedside care while they are recovering from illness or surgery, while they are terminally ill or when they are recuperating from an injury. Besides caring for a patient's needs, as an LPN you may also conduct laboratory work with tissue samples taken from a patient. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most states regulate the responsibilities of LPNs in their scope of care, such as administering medicine to a patient or helping with equipment like ventilators or intravenous fluids (www.bls.gov).