A Licensed Practical Nurse plays a vital role in the world of health care. Obtaining certification to practice as a L.P.N. or L.V.N takes about 2 years. There are many options available as to how you go about obtaining your certification and there are several resources available to help you along the way.
First, you must have a High School Diploma or G.E.D. Then you must find an accredited school of nursing. Find out from the facility you are considering to attend what is required of you before you submit your application packet. You will have to complete the pre-med college course prerequisites before you can even apply. General courses most likely will include Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Nutrition and Psychology. These courses need to be completed at a community college or university. Sometimes you can take courses via satellite at a specified location or you may be able to able to CLEP out of a few courses by taking them online, though you will have to attend a clinical rotation at an approved healthcare facility. CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program which is a means of obtaining college credit through independent study and then testing out of that particular course. You would still be required to attend the nursing program and clinical rotations in order to become proficient in your skills but clepping can save you some time and money if you are able to apply yourself and are proficient in comprehending what you read.
Another thing to consider before applying to a nursing program is how you are going to pay for your education. Financial aid is available to those who qualify and can be granted as a Pell Grant, a student loan, a scholarship, or even a work study program. For those who do not meet financial aid requirements there are other options available to consider as paying for college can be pretty expensive. You may want to seek out other means of assistance. Some health care facilities offer to pay for your education under contract which basically means that they foot the bill for your education if you sign a contract to work for them, usually for 2 years, after you have received your license. Some of these hospitals will pay you while you train with them and even assist with child care. This is a great way to get a free education. You can also apply with the Job Corps which is live in program that basically pays your tuition and living expenses while you are attending school.
Once you have completed the L.P.N. program and have obtained your diploma you are eligible to submit an application to take the NCLEX-PN which is the state mandated exam specific to the L.P.N. and the application will most likely include your personal information, a background check and a copy of your transcript at a minimum. You will also be required to submit payment for the exam which is non-refundable. The NCLEX- PN is composed of 75 to 265 questions. The test will either shut off after 75 or will continue on to the full 265. Wherever it stops is not an indication of pass or fail. You are required to pass the exam in order to receive a valid nursing license. Upon passing the NCLEX exam you will be a full- fledged L.P.N. and will be able to seek employment as a nurse.
Nursing is a challenging and rewarding profession. Obtaining a Nursing License can seem daunting as there is much to consider and many tasks to fulfill. A little proper planning on your part can help you to reach your goals and open the door to an exciting new career no matter how you go about it.