How to Become an LPN | Remington College

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  • How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

    2016-05-12

    Do you believe in the ability of doctors and nurses to help protect and save the lives of others? Are you compassionate, people-oriented, and a team player? 

    If you answered yes to both questions, and have ever thought about a career in healthcare, then you should consider a career working as a licensed practical nurse.1 Licensed practical nurses are trained in providing basic medical care so that they can assist in keeping patients comfortable while preparing them for medical procedures.

    What Does an LPN Do?

    Licensed practical nurses work with doctors in medical facilities to help treat and care for patients. 

    They may also be responsible for the following tasks:

    • Taking patient's vital signs and asking initial questions
    • Recording information using charts and medical software
    • Checking on patients and changing dressings, bandages, catheters, etc. 
    • Helping patients bathe, dress, eat, or walk
    • Showing care and concern for the comfort of patients 
    • Working as part of a team during medical procedures

    The duties of LPN's can vary by state and they may have other tasks that are specific to their employment. When you become licensed, you'll learn more about the individual guidelines of your state and the place where you work.1

    Where Do Licensed Practical Nurses Work

    Licensed practical nurses work in healthcare facilities including nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, physician's offices, schools, and more. Most LPNs work full-time and they may have day, night, and weekend shifts depending on where they work.

    Licensed practical nurses may also provide home healthcare.

    What Skills Will I Need as an LPN?

    If you are going to become a licensed practical nurse, you may benefit from having a deep care and consideration for the well-being of others. You should also have the ability to work well as a member of a team and get tasks done. Licensed practical nurses spend a lot of time working on their feet and they need to be able to accomplish things quickly and efficiently.  

    How Long Will it Take to Become an LPN?

    Most LPNs have a high school diploma or G.E.D. and have attended a state-approved training program.1 State-approved programs are designed to give students the knowledge and training to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) and begin working after they earn their license.

    In a licensed practical nurse program students may take such courses as:

    • Nursing fundamentals
    • Medical surgical nursing
    • Mental health nursing
    • Anatomy and physiology
    • Pharmacology
    • Nutrition

    Some nursing programs offer their students on the job training so that they can get experience before they graduate and begin looking for a job

    What is the Job Outlook for an LPN?

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for licensed practical nurses is projected to grow by 16 percent between 2014 and 2024.2 As the American population ages, more nurses will be needed to care for the elderly. We will also need nurses to assist in caring for people with chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes.


    1Employment is not guaranteed for students or graduates.
    2http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm#tab