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Online LPN Programs - Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse
Many aspiring nurses have an interest in online LPN programs and courses. If your goal is to become an LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse, you can take online classes through an accredited practical nursing program to fulfill the academic portion of your required training. In addition to classroom studies, you will need to complete a certain number of hours practicing in a live clinical setting before you will be eligible to take the licensing examination.
Nursing is one of the fastest growing and most in-demand career choices. One of the biggest attractions to pursuing a career as an LPN is that you can get your career off the ground with as little as 18 to 24 months of training. A degree in this field can easily set you up to earn a starting salary of $45,000-$55,000 depending on where you live. This number is projected to see continued growth as the demand for qualified LPNs continues to increase. Best of all, you can train for a career with the flexible schedule provided by an accredited LPN program. Practical nursing programs are primarily offered through community colleges, vocational schools, and technical colleges located throughout the country.
Once you complete your training, you will work side by side with doctors and Registered Nurses to offer basic patient care such as monitoring blood pressure and temperature, cleaning and dressing wounds, and in some cases administering medication to patients. LPNs working in clinics may also spend a considerable amount of time helping to educate patients while providing counseling and support.
Selecting an LPN Program
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse requires that you first complete a state-approved LPN training program and then pass a national nursing exam called the NCLEX-PN. A good place to start your search for a program that meets your needs is right here on the Internet.
Start by gathering information on several programs in your area that interest you. Feel free to request a free information package from as many schools as you'd like. Remember, you are the client and they are there for your benefit. Make sure you are comfortable with course scheduling, the admissions process, and the faculty. You may also want to take the time to request data on class size and historical graduation rates. Both of these criteria are potential indicators of quality.
Next, make a list of any questions that are important to you and have them ready to submit. Before selecting a program, you want to make sure you fully understand things like cost, financial assistance, required classes, access to one on one help, etc. When it comes to online nursing programs, they are not all created equally. Keep in mind that there are currently no programs available that will allow you to complete 100% of the licensing process online. You will still need to complete part of your training in a clinical setting where you can practice your skills on live patients. If you aren't comfortable with training in a live setting, you may want to re-evaluate whether or not a career as a nurse is a good choice for you.
You can however complete many of the core course requirements through online classes. As you start your search for a good program, find out which one you feel most comfortable with and then see what other students in the program have to say. The best way to get a feel for program quality is to speak with students who have already been enrolled for a while or who have recently graduated. If possible, always try to get opinions from multiple people so you can get a more accurate picture of what you could expect as a student.
Are Online LPN Programs as Good as Traditional Schools?
The answer to that question depends on who you talk to. Some would say that an online program is actually better because it allows students to work or spend time with their children during the day while completing their LPN studies at night or when their schedule allows. In many cases, the technology of today allows students to have an online experience that is nearly identical to that of a classroom setting without the hassle of a long commute or crowded classes.
Chances are good that if you have taken an online course recently from an accredited school, you already know that most online classes have become quite good in recent years. It is important to keep in mind that the distance learning courses you complete will not take the place of actual on the job training and this portion of your education will still take place in a clinical setting.
LPN Nursing Programs
Some Programs to Consider
You may want to look at the Chamberlain College of Nursing owned by DeVry. They offer an accredited online nursing program with a reasonable cost per credit hour. They are a well-known program that offers financial assistance, grants, and work-study programs for students. This certainly isn't the only program available but it might be worth looking into.
As mentioned before, do your research and get as much information as you feel you need before you decide on a school. Your education is one of the best investments you can make in yourself as you start your career in nursing. Take your time and make an informed decision that will get you on your way to a successful career as an LPN! The video provided below will give you an idea of what an average day looks like for a Licensed Practical Nurse so you can get a better feel for what it involves.
Once you begin your classes, it is beneficial to have access to a few good study guides and test preparation materials for the NCLEX-PN exam. This is the National Council Licensure Examination that students in all 50 states must pass before receiving a license. The test is similar to the one an RN must pass but not as advanced. With that being said, the exam does require several hours to complete so adequate preparation is an absolute must.
Below you will find a few recommended resources that will answer some of the most common questions nursing students encounter. Some of the topics covered include infection control, effective delegation and prioritization. These core topics have become a major focus on the licensing exam in recent years. By taking the time to properly prepare for your LPN exam, you will set yourself up for a stress free transition from a nursing student to a Licensed Practical Nurse.
- LPN Programs and Job Outlook
This is a resource provided by the United States Department of Labor through the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It provides a comprehensive overview of the work environment, training process, and career outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses.
- NCLEX Test Preparation
NCLEX practice test information and exam questions. Free NCLEX test preparation help to get you ready for success.
- NCLEX Examinations
A complete guide to the exam process complete with fact sheets, registration information, and much more from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.