How to Become a LPN
How to Become a LPN
Whenever people are sick, they usually go to their doctors and physicians to soothe and cure their symptoms. Unfortunately, people tend to forget the one other main party that is also responsible for looking after their health. Undeniably, nurses are the most underrated in the medical field, while their jobs are often the hardest.
Being in the medical field can be tough. However, it can also be very rewarding. Considering the demands of the job, it is unsurprising how there is a great need for a wide variety of nurses, especially LPNs who are currently high in demand. According to statistics, the demand for LPNs is expected to increase over the course of ten years. At present, an LPN can earn anywhere from $35,000 to $60,000 per year.
There is no denying how attractive the lucrative salary and the promising career an LPN job offers. However, the field requires a certain amount of training in order to become a competent LPN. With that being said, below is a thorough overview on how to become a LPN.
The Steps to Becoming a LPN
What is a LPN?
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs, or LVNs in CA and TX) are the medical professionals responsible for caring for a patient’s basic needs. Although they are still considered a part of the medical profession, a LPN does the job under the supervision of a registered nurse.
Their duties involve helping the patient eat, dress, take a bath, take medicine, and other basic needs. This can include such tasks as taking temperatures and checking the vital signs of the patient. If you want to learn how to become a LPN, you’ll need to know how to perform all the necessary skills needed of you.
Requirements for becoming a LPN
Becoming a LPN takes a shorter amount of time compared to the programs that registered nurses go through. However, the programs that are offered to LPNs still involves an extensive education of taking care of patients. In order to gain the necessary qualification to work as a LPN, you should consider the following:
1. Decide which certification you want.
In order to learn how to become a LPN, you will need to choose the length of the program that you are willing to take. The fastest way into the medical world is by choosing a certification or a diploma LPN program, which can often be completed within a year (sometimes even less). Diplomas can be earned by attending online classes or part time programs. Although, if you decide to pursue a much higher medical position or to pursue additional studies, the credentials that you’ve obtained cannot be used. If you would like to advance in the upcoming future, you will want to take a longer, more extensive program (often 2 years at the least).
2. Decide if you want the program to be accredited.
While accreditation of a LPN program isn’t strictly necessary to sit in for the NCLEX-PN (a state-approved program is all you need), it is recommended if you want the extra benefits listed below. To find out whether a program is accredited, contact the two major accrediting bodies: the Accreditation Commission For Education in Nursing (ACEN, formerly NLNAC) and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
3. To learn how to become a LPN, you are required to finish a state-approved year-long program.
Programs offered will vary depending on your state. Different states in the US offer different programs depending on state curriculum and requirements, some have shorter programs while others offer year-long studies. Check with your state’s nursing board to find out the exact requirements.
4. After completion of training, you are now ready to take the NCLEX-PN.
The National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) must be passed in order to successfully learn how to become a LPN. The test consists of 85 to 205 multiple choice test questions and students are given 5 hours to finish the exam. If by any chance you do not pass, you will have to wait 45-90 days in order to retake the test.
5. It is highly suggested if you pass the NCLEX-PN to obtain further training before entering the workforce.
In order to land a job that focuses on a particular clinical role, additional self-wellness training is required. Some of the available training includes neonatal education, long-term care, I.V therapy and more. For some, learning how to become a LPN is not enough, there are those who would like to perform as many functions as possible in order to be the best nurse they can be.
6. After completing the LPN program, passing the NCLEX-PN, and completing optional further training, you are now ready to enter the workforce!
These nurses are often seen in hospitals which offer extensive care for the sick and the elderly, they are also mostly seen working in elderly homes or rendering home services to the patients who are not able to leave their house.
Qualities of a Successful LPN
Being a nurse is not for everyone. It is certainly hard to accomplish a job that requires taking care of a patient who is often sick or disabled. LPNs are not expected to help in any medical procedures but they are expected to care for the patients’ basic needs when no one is there to do it for them. In order to be effective and efficient, the best qualities for becoming a nurse are:
- If you want to learn how to become a LPN that does the job well, you must be filled with compassion. The nurse should always put the patient’s sake first more than anything. You should also be empathetic with the patient’s condition.
- You must feel energized while you are at work. It is required for the nurse to be alert at all times especially when with a patient. Long hours of extensive work can drain a person. This is why nurses should take care of themselves in order to be able to care of someone else.
- A LPN must be meticulous when caring for the patient. LPNs should know how to take care of the patient no matter what the situation is. They have to make sure that the patient is receiving the care that he/she needs.
- The LPN should have great communication skill. Impeccable communication skills are important in interacting with anyone. In order for you to learn how to become a LPN that can properly care for the patient, you must first have to understand others. The LPN should know how to communicate to the patients well to avoid any misinterpretations that could affect the patient’s health.
- Most importantly, to become an effective LPN it is required for nurses to have endless patience for the ones that they are caring for. LPNs often cater to the elderly. Needless to say, taking care of old people is not easy. Most of the time aging patients are forgetful and cranky. Nurses need to be patient in answering every query and providing any request. They should also be persistent whenever their older patients are stubborn – refusing medication or activities they are asked to do.