FAQs About Career as LPN
Choosing to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, is a smart decision today, as a career as an LPN offers many advantages. However, if you are like any other aspiring practical nurse, you probably have some questions about the occupation.
What do I need to do to begin my career as LPN?
Just as with most other professional careers, before you can obtain a license, you need to undergo a training program. To begin a career as an LPN, the first thing you need to do is locate an accredited college or trade school that offers an LPN program.
How quickly can I complete my LPN training?
One of the great things about a career as an LPN is that the training program is relatively short as compared to an RN training program. While a basic RN training program typically takes around two years to finish, you can complete a practical nursing program in only two or three semesters depending on the school you wish to attend.
What can I expect during my LPN training?
During your LPN program, you will be required to attend a variety of classroom lectures, laboratories, and clinical training sessions. Many of your clinical training sessions will take place in a medical setting such as a local hospital or nursing home. Depending on your school, you may be able to complete some of your courses online.
What do I need to do after I complete my LPN program?
After you complete an approved LPN training program, what you will need to do is study for your national licensing exam for LPNs. Passing this exam, which is known as the NCLEX-PN, is required for you to obtain a practical nursing license. Resources you may wish to use to study for your exam include:
- NCLEX-PN Preparation Courses
- Study Groups
- NCLEX-PN Study Guides (Hard Copy or Online)
- NCLEX-PN Sample Exams (Found Online)
- Your College Notes and Textbooks
How do I get my license after passing my NCLEX-PN?
The process for obtaining an LPN license after passing the NCLEX-PN varies a bit among states. In most states, as long as you pass the exam, you will only need to meet a few other requirements before being issued a license. This usually involves the following:
- Payment of a Licensing Fee
- Submission to a Criminal Background Check
- Submission of a Fingerprint Card
- Ability to Provide Proof of Citizenship
- Submission of a Passport-Sized Photo
What will I do after obtaining employment as an LPN?
The answer to this question largely depends on where you choose to obtain employment. For example, the common daily tasks of an LPN working in a nursing home may be quite different than those of an LPN working in a rehabilitation center. Nevertheless, some of the most common responsibilities of LPNs include:
- Taking and Recording the Vital Signs of Patients
- Administering Various Types of Medication
- Drawing Blood for Lab Analysis
- Collecting Other Bodily Specimens for Analysis
- Administering Vaccines
- Cleaning Wounds and Applying Fresh Dressings
How much can I earn as an LPN?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for LPNs working in 2014 was about $42,500 per year. Your actual salary depends on a broad range of factors including your employer's typical pay scale, the location where you work, and your level of experience.
How often will I need to renew my LPN license?
In most cases, you will need to renew your LPN license each year. However, some states allow renewals every two years. Additionally, the date by which you will need to renew your license depends on the state where you are employed. At the time of renewal, you will likely need to complete various continuing education courses and pay a small renewal fee.