Is Becoming An Lpn Hard – You always knew you wanted to take care of people. Whether it’s a child, an elderly parent, or a heartbroken friend, you seem to have extra reserves of compassion when someone needs your help. Many people consider the medical field for this reason, but don’t have the time to invest in the school years. If this sounds like you, keep reading!
There are many health care options for those covering all levels of education. One of the most attractive options is to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), LPN jobs are projected to grow 11 percent through 2028—a rate that is faster than the national average of 5 percent for all occupations.
Is Becoming An Lpn Hard
But how long does it take to become an LPN? The exact time to study, apply, and get licensed is flexible, but you can earn a practical nursing degree in as little as 12 months.
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Do we still have your attention? Before you get too far ahead of yourself, let’s take a look at how to become an LPN. Read on for a quick overview of the steps you can expect to take on your path to a new career.
It should come as no surprise that the first step is to research your school options. There are thousands of nursing schools across the country. Before you commit to investing so much time and money into a program, it’s important to make sure it will meet your needs.
It would be useful to make a list of the factors that are most important to you before you go to school. Some factors to consider: Is there a campus nearby? When is the approximate start date? Does your course schedule fit your lifestyle? It is also important to keep the end goal in mind. Do you aim to work as an LPN long term or is your goal to continue to advance in your career? It’s good to know ahead of time because many schools also offer LPN-to-RN programs and even RN-to-BSN programs, which will allow you to further your education in the future.
Tip: Keep a list of your top schools for easy access to apply after the TEAS exam is over.
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The Test of Essential Academic Skills (commonly called the test or the TEAS test) is a standardized test required for admission to medical school—you can think of it as the SAT or ACT for potential nurses and healthcare professionals. Whether you’re a great test taker or not, standardized tests are always a little nerve-wracking. So it’s best to sign up for the time (sooner rather than later) and treat it as a deadline.
Anticipate how much time you think you will need to prepare for your exam and schedule accordingly. Note that some schools participate in the Assessment Technology Institute website for registration and payment for the test, while others do not. Check the ATI website to see if your preferred school is involved. If you do not see your school in the database, contact the program directly for test information.
Admittedly, this is a more time-consuming step than the others on this list. Although it will certainly require a lot of effort on your part, remember that the LPN program can be completed in 12 months.
You will learn the criticalities of providing direct patient care in a variety of health care settings. Many programs, such as universities, have NCLEX preparation in the curriculum, which helps prepare you to take the exam as soon as you graduate.
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Tip: Worried about managing it all? Check out our article “7 Expert Tips for Surviving Stress and Getting Through Nursing School.
Where passing the TEAS exam gives you the green light to get into medical school, taking the NCLEX exam gives you the opportunity to actually start practicing as a nurse. It is basically a final exam after graduation. Your experience in school will prepare you to pass this exam, but you may want additional study time when you graduate.
Taking the NCLEX exam may seem like a long time at the moment, but knowing what lies ahead will help you stay focused as you complete your nursing program. Remember, all that studying and training means nothing until you pass the exam.
Tip: Learn from experience – our article “Nurses Share 8 NCLEX Tips That Helped Them on Test Day” will help you prepare for this important exam.
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This is the interesting part; The step where all your hard work pays off! With your LPN and NCLEX training in the background, you can search for open positions and start building your resume. You can look to the connections you’ve made through clinical and volunteer opportunities as a great starting point for your job search. Also, in many areas local nursing and residential care facilities, physician offices, and home health services are some of the top employers of LPNs.
Tip: Make a strong impression with a strong resume. Our article “8 Things Employers Want to See in a Nursing Resume” can help you stand out.
So there you have it – how to become an LPN in five steps! Now that you have a game plan, are you ready to execute it? Taking the first step now means you can start a powerful and rewarding healthcare career sooner than you think.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed October 2019] www.bls.gov/ooh/. The data represent national, average data for the listed occupations and include workers of all levels of education and experience. Terms and conditions may vary in your area.
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Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2015. It has been updated to include information relevant to 2019.
Kirsten is a content writer in the College of Education where she enjoys researching and writing on behalf of the university. She understands the difference education can make and hopes to inspire readers at every stage of their learning.
This piece of advertising content was created by the University in support of its educational programs. The University cannot provide students for all positions shown in this content. Please see /Degrees for a list of programs offered. External links are for reference only. The University does not guarantee, endorse, control or specifically endorse the information or products available on the respective websites and they are not endorsed by the website owners, authors and/or referring organizations. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education. Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers you can pursue today. Every day, nurses work hard to make a difference in patients’ lives, helping them get better, stay healthy and maintain a high quality of life. If you’re kind, quick-thinking, and love helping others in need, the nursing field may be for you. The question is, which career path should you follow in nursing?
What many don’t know about the nursing field is that there are all kinds of nurses today. There are registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and nurses of all different specialties and job titles. To help you understand the two most common nursing careers, below breaks down the differences between an RN and an LPN.
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An LPN, or licensed practical nurse, is a licensed professional who can provide primary care to patients under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse. LPNs work with patients who are relatively stable, making sure they are comfortable, taking vital signs, checking blood pressure, and monitoring their general health. LPN jobs are very hands-on, as the name implies. LPNs are responsible for monitoring patients and reporting any changes in condition to the supervising RN.
The registered nurse (RN) is the most common type of nurse you will find in the health care field. The primary responsibility of these nurses is to provide and coordinate patient care: assessment, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients in need. RNs have a much broader scope of practice than LPNs, in that they can perform diagnostic tests, administer medications, and educate patients on how to manage their health after treatment. RNs also supervise LPNs, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and home health aides.
Licensed practical nurses typically work in long-term care settings where patients are generally stable, such as nursing homes and other nursing facilities. However, some LPNs work for doctor’s offices, hospitals, and home health agencies.
The majority of registered nurses (more than 60 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) work in hospitals. However, RNs can also find work in schools, private clinics, outpatient settings, and nursing facilities.
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Ready to start your career as a registered nurse? Learn more about our RN program to start your next career today!
Becoming an LPN is one of the fastest ways to enter the nursing field. LPNs must complete an accredited practical nursing program, which takes about one year. After graduation, they can take the NCLEX-PN exam, which gives them
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