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Health Care Professions: Practical Nursing

Updated on January 22, 2017
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Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.


A career in the health industry is a wise choice and becoming a licensed practical nurse will definitely secure that career. There are thousands of colleges and technical institutions across the United States that offer the LPN program. Licensed practical nurses are respected practitioners that offer care to persons in many environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, convalescent care and private homes.

Becoming a licensed practical nurse isn't very difficult and the major ingredients needed are caring and compassion. With those everything else is attainable. Some schools even have an adult education program that prepares students for the GED and assist them in acquiring this. Some schools have an open policy that accept everyone over the age of 17 and will allow you an entrance test along with the other entry requirements to make it easier for you to pursue your LPN career.

Here are some prerequisites needed for admissions into any LPN program. Note that every schools has it's own list of requirements and the requirements may vary.

  • HSD or GED
  • A GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Pass the TEAS entrance test or any other entrance test required by the school
  • An Essay stating why you would like to pursue this career
  • A criminal background check
  • An FBI investigation
  • A physical
  • A drug screen
  • Personal health insurance
  • TB tests
  • Immunization history
  • References
  • CPR certificate
  • Nursing assistant Certificate

Pre-admissions usually include a pre-entrance test and pre-courses.

About License Practical Nurses

Practical nurses earn between $16 and $22 per hour and in some cases up to $25, that's up to $48,000 per year with the average salary now at $39,000 per year. After graduating with a practical nursing diploma or certificate, you are eligible to sit an NCLEX -PN which is the licensing examination for practical nurses. You have to sit this exam and receive your license before you are eligible to work. This exam is licensed by the State.

It is believed that the demand for practical nurses will increase by 21% to 2018 as more people are becoming health conscious with the desire for extended health and life.

The LPN program generally takes 9 - 12 months to complete and is usually a 60 credit hour program. Some schools offer the option of full day time or part time evening or weekend classes.

After completing the certificate or diploma program graduates may opt into an associates degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. Students may also graduate early and receive a nursing assistant certificate.


What students learn in the LPN program

  • prenatal and postnatal care
  • child care
  • convalescent care
  • communication skills
  • surgical nursing skills
  • pharmacology and clinical calculations
  • anatomy and physiology
  • Fundamental nursing skills
  • basic psychology
  • diet and nutrition
  • nursing leadership
  • and much more.............

Take a chance on a new career that will ensure your future. Nursing pays!

Places where practical nurses work

  • Hospitals
  • Health centers
  • Clinics
  • Doctors offices
  • Nursing homes
  • Convalescent homes
  • Schools
  • Private care (homes)

Things to look out for when searching for LPN programs

It is very easy to find LPN programs right across the United States and that is good but before you go applying make sure it's the right school. You have to make a checklist of what you need or are looking for when studying your LPN program. These are some tips on what to look in a school. These will benefit you as a students.

  • Financial aid. There are many financial aid options and scholarships available throughout the US. But not all schools offer aid and some don't offer enough to help their students. When looking for a school to do your LPN program make sure they have several financial aid options such as Federal Pell Grants, Federal Loans, Workforce investment act, Veterans benefits and especially scholarships. Make sure you have more than three options. The more options you have the better your chances of getting aid.
  • Tuition. During my research which has been ongoing for several months I have discovered that schools that charge the same as everyone is less expensive than those with tier payments. By tier payments I mean; (a) in-state, (b) out of state and (c) international. In most cases the tier payments would be double for out of state and four times for international students.
  • Housing. If you live out of state, consider staying on campus because it can save you some money with subsidized housing assistance. Campus housing is less expensive than private rental anyway,so even with financial assistance you can still save. Food will most likely be provided if housing is and there is usually a discount on your meal packages.
  • Bookstore. Campus book stores are usually cheaper than regular stores and students often get book grants and assistance. Some campus bookstores also have a cash back program where students return used books after they complete their courses and receive cash.
  • Career services. This is very important. Schools which offer career services will help with resume and job search. They may also help with career counselling and planning. Make sure you find out what their career services entail. Some schools even have access to internships and externships and will get you placed as soon as you have completed your studies.

picture of a nurse
picture of a nurse | Source

© 2012 Carolee Samuda


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