How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed Practical Nurses are involved in providing routine care to patients such as administering medications, changing bandages, taking vital signs and observing patients’ health. They are also responsible for providing emotional support to patients and their families.
If you are interested in taking care of the ill and injured, then you should read this guide. It will help you understand how to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in the U.S.
Should I Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?
Do you have a friendly and caring personality? If yes, then you should think about becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Before starting any career, it is good to research about the education and training requirements that have to be met in order to step into that particular profession. The table below lists the general requirements for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses.
|Education Required||Postsecondary non-degree award.|
|Training||On-the-job training is not required.|
|License/Certification||LVNs and LPNs need to get licensed.|
|Key Skills/Qualities||Speaking Skills, Physical Stamina, Patience, Interpersonal Skills, Detail Oriented and Compassionate.|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National||$48,500 (Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses)|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||11% (Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses)|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Forecasts by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the job opportunities for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses will grow by 11% from 2018 to 2028.
Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
This section explains the stages involved in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in the U.S.
1. Graduate From High School and Pass the TEAS Exam :First of all, you will have to earn a GED or a high school diploma in order to meet the requirements for nursing school. Before you start working on your nursing school application, you will also have to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). This is an MCQ based exam that will test your basic science knowledge, as well as your quantitative and reading skills.
2. Complete Your Nursing Education :This step involves finding a state-approved LPN program and submitting an admission application to the nursing school. During your course of study, you will be introduced to a variety of topics such as chemistry, anatomy, biology and first aid. The LPN program will take around twelve months to complete.
3. Take the NCLEX-PN:After completing the LPN coursework and supervised clinical practice, you will be expected to register for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). You should work on as many practice tests as you can in order to ace this exam.
4. Get Certified through Professional Associations:Once you have gotten a good score on the NCLEX-PN, you might also want to complete a professional development course in order to get certified. Getting additional training in a specialized area, such as IV therapy, gerontology, pharmacology, or long-term care, will help you stand out from the competition.
5. Enter the Workforce:After obtaining the certification, you can start looking for jobs. You will be required to create a resume and will have to post it on different career websites. You can also contact your school’s career support office – they can help you connect with potential employers.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?
The process of becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in the U.S. is not too long. First, you must earn a high school diploma or a GED. Then, you must enroll in a LPN program, which usually takes one year to complete. After completing your nursing education, you will have to clear the NCLEX exam. The results of this test are generally shared with students six weeks after they have taken the exam. After passing the exam, you should think about getting certified in order to make yourself more marketable.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse?
In order to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse in the U.S., candidates have to satisfy the following conditions:
The person should:
- Possess a GED/high school diploma.
- Have completed an approved Nursing program.
- Have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN)
How Much Does a Licensed Practical Nurse Earn?
According to the employment statistics reported by BLS, Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses made an annual mean pay of $48,500 in 2019.