One Year of LPN Training and Passage of National Exam Equate to Excellent Job Prospects
Whether you receive your LPN training through introductory high school classes, technical schools, vocational schools, community colleges, junior colleges, or in hospitals, the current demand for nurses at all levels is high and getting higher. And the median salary for LPNs, Licensed Practical Nurses, was $47,000 in 2011.
Also, because the average age of Americans continues to creep up at a steady pace, the need for even more LPNs and nurses as a whole will continue to rise in the foreseeable future.
Training for LPNs regularly is split between classroom studies and active, hands-on work in the field, often in hospital settings under the tutelage of an RN (Registered Nurse) or a physician. Although more and more students are substituting classroom time for LPN training online, even online students are required to perform equal amounts of supervised field work.
Although the training curriculum can vary from state to state, all classes are geared toward the goal of preparing prospective LPNs to pass the national NCLEX-PN accreditation exam. Once that mandatory test is passed, but not before, the student can become a legally approved LPN.
Common LPN classes include:
- Fundamentals of nursing
- Contemporary health issues vocational adjustment
- Nutrition and diet therapy
- Growth and development
- Intro to pharmacology
- Psychiatric nursing
- Medical-surgical nursing
- Maternal child care
In some states additional classes might be taught on biology, chemistry, first aid, physical education, and emergency medical technology.
Grants and Aid Available to Finance LPN Training
If one takes time to study financial options available to them, free LPN training certainly is not out of the question.
Topping the list of free possibilities is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid assistance program offered by the U.S. Department of Education. The only Americans not allowed to seek this assistance are individuals with prior drug convictions, those convicted of offenses when they were receiving federal aid, or persons who are in default in paying back any federal loan program.
Another resource that can compute into a free education for LPN students would be a grant issued through the state nursing grants program. These grants are available to any LPN student and are based upon the financial need of the applying student. The chances of receiving 100 percent of one’s educational cost paid through this program is equally great for those seeking LPN training nj (New Jersey) or LPN training nyc (New York City,) and yet the median annual wage for LPNs working in those two locations varies markedly.
Although such annual wages in both areas remain above the national average of $47,000, the annual median wage for LPNs in New Jersey is $49,000 and the annual median wage for LPNs in New York City is $59,000.
A third resource for LPN students seeking financial assistance is the American Association of College of Nursing. By searching that association’s Web site at www.aach.nche.edu one will find a plethora of related scholarships, grants, fellowships, and other potential funding sources for nursing students.
A list of sources and candidates that might benefit from these programs, as
listed on that Web site, includes:
- Private fellowship programs
- Private businesses or corporations
- Private institutions
- Government agencies Schools
- Minority and ethnic students
- Religious groups
- Potential employers
- Single mothers
Two more potential ways that LPN students could have their schooling costs met are programs designed for LPN training offered in either the U.S. Army or the U.S. Air Force, or classes that can begin as early as a student’s junior year in high school. Although there may be some expenses incurred through such high school programs, those costs normally are miniscule compared to the costs of more standard programs such as through vocational training schools.
What Type of Work Does LPN Training Prepare One to Do?
Obviously, the duties required of an LPN are site-specific to where and for whom any LPN chooses to work, and yet most LPN positions include some commonalities in what’s included in their job descriptions. LPNs regularly work in one-on-one situations with one or more patients under the supervision of an RN or a physician.
Common duties might include collecting the health history of patients, collecting samples for laboratory testing, performing simple laboratory tests, and recording the vital signs of patients such as their temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. They also might be assigned additional duties such as preparing and giving injections and enemas, monitoring catheters, dressing wounds, and giving alcohol rubs or messages.
A critical component of many LPN jobs has to do with the monitoring of vital signs. LPNs should be trained to assess variations from the health norm of different patients and, because LPNs often are in closer contact with individual patients than are RNs or physicians, quickly share any vital sign abnormalities with their supervisors.
Things LPNs are forbidden to perform include surgery and diagnosing diseases.
One year of LPN training can open doors to an immediately accessible vocation that pays relatively well and can become an excellent steppingstone for students wishing to move forward in their health care career, such as taking more classes and becoming much higher-paid RNs.