Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Just as any other health care worker, an LPN degree, or licensed practical nurse degree, when completed, helps assist in the care of the sick and infirm. In the current times of nursing shortages and low nursing school enrollment, the work of a nurse has become crucial to maintaining high standards of patient care. Note that in California and Texas, an LPN is actually referred to as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). Working under the supervision of a doctor or registered nurse, an LPN is able to provide many various patient services:
- Answering patient calls
- Taking and monitoring of vital signs
- Application of dressings
- Administration of ice packs, alcohol rubs, and hot water bottles
- Treatment and prevention of bedsores
- Feeding of patients
- Maintaining proper medical record documentation
Other responsibilities include the observance of any medication reactions as well as the drawing of blood for testing. This is beyond the basic skills of a certified nursing assistant, or CNA. LPNs are also trained in the preparation of patients for more rigorous testing procedures. LPNs can set up procedure rooms with the proper equipment as well as be responsible for oxygen machines, catheters, and other medical supply ordering and maintenance. There are some states that will allow LPNs to administer medications as well as set up IVs (intravenous medications). LPNs can care for a wide range of patients from infants and newborns to the elderly population. In some cases, LPNs are experienced enough to supervise lesser trained assistants. Several factors go into the eventual certification to be an LPN. First of all, a student must have a high school diploma or equivalent and then enroll in a two-year practical nursing program. Many community colleges offer this training, but some high schools are also allowing for this to be a part of a degree program. When this course is completed and some work experience is gained through the training, the student may then sit for a national exam, the NCLEX-PN, as well as state licensing exam. Good communication skills are necessary, as well as the ability to work under the supervision of a doctor or registered nurse. With time and experience, these wages will increase as well. Employers can range from private office settings to hospitals, home health care settings, and personal care companies. Interested in becoming an LPN? Find your nursing degree here:
LPN Online Degree Programs
Kaplan University – BS-Nursing: RN to BSN. Kaplan University’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program could help you pursue new opportunities in specialized nursing and nursing management.
Western Governors University – BSN Degree. Western Governors University—a private, nonprofit, online university—features a competency-based approach to learning that emphasizes mastery of essential skills and knowledge instead of accumulating credit hours.
Grand Canyon University – MSN Degree. Since 1949, Grand Canyon University has been helping students find their purpose and achieve their potential by preparing them to pursue the profession of their dreams, advance in their current occupation, or re-career into a different field.