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How to Become an LPN

First, find an LPN program that meets your state's requirements for training as well as qualifies you to take the LPN's certification exam. You can find plenty of programs that offer LPN training. However, you need to verify that the program meets your state's requirements. If you live and plan to work in Nevada, you want a program that meets Nevada's guidelines, not the guidelines for Arizona or California. In addition, you need a program that meets the guidelines of the NCLEX-PN certification program. If you can find a program that meets those guidelines, you are good to go. You will need to apply and obtain entry to the program of your choice.

Second, complete the LPN education program. Generally, an LPN program takes 12 months to complete. Each program may have different names for particular classes, but the content is usually the same. You will take courses in anatomy, physiology, adult health, general psychology, mental health, maternal health, pediatric health, and fundamentals of practical nursing. In some programs, you will begin working in a clinical setting to get basic skills you will use once you graduate and obtain employment. This training prepares the student for the real world of medicine.

Third, take the examination and get your license. Every state requires an LPN to complete the NCLEX-PN exam. This exam covers a wide range of topics including infection control, basic care, promoting health, pharmacological therapy, environment control, illness prevention, and illness detection. Once you complete the exam successfully, you need to obtain your state license. Most states require completing a minimum number of training hours and passing the exam. There may be other requirements for health screenings and criminal background checks.

Fourth, find a job. That may sound easier than it really is. When selecting an LPN training program, verify that the school has a placement office. This is often the best option for new LPNs to obtain employment quickly. While in training, if you can take advantage of internships or other work programs, it will be a good item for your resume. Many new LPNs may already have employment as a CNA. Their employers may help them get the additional training and then hire them as an LPN upon graduation. Many areas of the country have a need for qualified LPNs. However, other areas do not have many openings available. It is up to you to make the right decision.