1) What types of licensed practical nursing programs and degrees are available?
LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse Degree: A one-year training program that trains students to work as a nurse in doctor’s offices, hospitals, home health caretakers and nursing care centers. Practical nurses care for patients and perform basic nursing tasks.
LVN – Licensed Vocational Nurse Degree: A licensed vocational nurse is the same as a licensed practical nurse. Some states call practical nurses vocational nurses instead.
2) What are the degree or experience requirements to be a licensed practical nurse?
Students must have a high school diploma or GED to be admitted into most practical nursing programs.
Most training programs take one year to complete. Practical nursing training can be online or in a traditional classroom setting at many community colleges and online universities.
There are more training programs that bridge into a higher degree and career placements for students who want to start as an LPN, or LVN, and advance to become registered nurses or nurse practitioners.
All states and the District of Columbia require LPNs and LVNs to pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s licensing examination, NCLEX-PN, after completing a state-approved, accredited practical nursing program.
3) Things to consider when choosing an online practical nursing program.
First only consider schools with professional, nationally-recognized accreditations.
What is the best way for you to attend school? Do you have the discipline to do attend your online class and take the tests each week or so? If not, you may want to try a traditional classroom setting. If you can work independently, begin your licensed vocational nursing online degree program search.
You’ll need to fill out a FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, to receive any grants from the federal government and your school. So get your tax things together and send the form in as soon as possible. Be sure to check for early-priority dates and deadlines.
Choose the program that you feel most comfortable with, provided you get accepted to several schools. Also evaluate tuition costs and scholarship and grant offerings.
Different states set different requirements for practicing nurses. Check your local laws to see the state requirements to practice nursing.
4) What schools offer licensed practical nursing degrees?
Chamberlain College of Nursing – The Chamberlain College of Nursing offers a licensed practical nursing to registered nursing (LPN to RN) bridge program completely online as well as on campus in Columbus, Ohio. According to the college, more than 80% of all students attending Chamberlain College of Nursing receive some form of financial assistance.
Indiana State College – Indiana State College’s Department of Nursing offers an online bachelor’s degree in nursing track for licensed practical nurses (LPN-BS) and a track for registered nurses (RN-BS) to complete their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
Virginia College – Virginia College offers traditional classroom practical nursing training diploma programs in Jacksonville, Mississippi and Pensacola, Florida. Virginia College is a private institution, and financial planning for college is available.
Concorde Career Colleges – Concorde Career Colleges offer practical nursing programs in Aurora, Colorado; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri and Portland, Oregon. Concorde Colleges offer hands-on training for practical nurses for one year.
5) What salary and careers are available to students with a licensed practical nursing degree?
The Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of LVNs or LPNs is expected to grow 14 percent between 2006 and 2016, or faster than average.