How To Become An LPN
A licensed practical nurse is one of the many members of a health care team that cares for a patient in a hospital or a nursing facility. An LPN works under the direct order of a physician or a registered nurse. Licensed practical nurses help care for the sick, injured and disabled and those healing from a disease or surgery. They can work in numerous different care facilities and have a good job outlook. Many people are interested in becoming a licensed practical nurse and it is something that is an easily achievable goal for those that try their hand at it.
Becoming a licensed practical nurse is not as difficult and as involved as becoming a registered nurse. Many people choose to be an LPN while they are working toward their registered nurse degree but others are happy with that position and choose to stay at that level for their career. In order to become a licensed practical nurse, a candidate must complete a licensed practical nurse education program. These programs generally take one year to complete and are offered at community colleges, technical schools and in some cases hospitals. Students should make sure their courses are being offered through program that is approved or accredited by their state’s board of nursing so that they will receive a valid nursing degree. After earning the degree or completion certificate, the student must then complete their state’s licensing exam to be eligible to enter the work force.
Tuition and fees to enter a licensed practical nurse program usually start in the $2,000 range. This amount depends on the school’s fee and tuition schedule and can vary widely from school to school and from state to state. Most schools offer some form of financial aid to help with the costs and independent and government offered scholarships can be used toward the cost of the education if they are awarded to the student. If people who are working as a licensed practical nurse later decide they want to become a registered nurse there are some colleges that will offer credit for college courses toward a bachelor’s degree for the course work that was finished in the LPN program.
The Department of Labor lists the average LPN salary as between $33,920 and $47,220. Employment in the licensed practical nurse field is expected to grow 21 percent between now and 2018. The majority of the growth is expected to occur in nursing homes and home health care agencies.