Are you interested in becoming a licensed practical nurse, also referred to as an LPN, but aren’t sure where you should start? This is a common issue many aspiring LPNs face as this is a confusing and often misunderstood sector of the nursing industry. If you’re interested in starting a dynamic career as an LPN, the foundation of this career is placed within your training. Because of the sensitive and intense nature of this career, in order to truly succeed, you must enroll in an effective and accredited training program. Throughout this article we’ll discuss the various elements that go into selecting an LPN training program.
Selecting an LPN Training Program
The foundation of your career as an LPN is based in the training program you choose to enroll in. As with many professional careers, there are several options available to you. Unlike becoming a Registered Nurse, there aren’t strict educational guidelines when it comes to the training you choose. While with an RN you must have at least an associate’s degree – and in most states, a bachelor’s degree – you can begin working as an LPN by completing a certificate program. Keep in mind, there are several elements you must look for and be considerate of.
The first of these is ensuring that the school/training institution is accredited by your state board of nursing. Failure to enroll in an accredited school may mean you aren’t eligible to sit for the licensing examination, which would ultimately mean you wasted your time and money. Avoid this disastrous situation by contacting your state board of nursing and asking for a list of all accredited training institutions. Along with being accredited by your state board of nursing, you should also ensure that the school/nursing department is accredited by an outside accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. This ensures your training is of the highest quality, which is important when it comes time to taking the licensing examination as well as when it comes to actually performing your job.
Once you’ve located a few schools you may be interested in, you should then determine what their entrance requirements are. While these can dramatically vary based upon the level of degree you wish to receive, the majority require all applicants to hold a high school diploma or GED. You may also be required to have completed certain college-level coursework.
The majority of LPN training programs are found at community colleges, vocational schools or at traditional four-year universities.