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LPN Certification and Certificate Programs

In order to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), also known as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), individuals need to complete an accredited certificate or diploma program. They then qualify to sit for a licensing examination.

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LPN Certificate Programs

Many 2-year community colleges and trade schools offer LPN certificate programs. Students can earn a certificate in licensed practical nursing within a year, or 2-3 semesters. During that time, they gain nursing experience through both classroom and laboratory work - learning how to care for patients across a variety of healthcare settings.

Educational Prerequisites

Aspiring students must first earn a high school diploma or GED certificate. Colleges may also require applicants to pass basic aptitude tests, which gauge fundamental English and math skills. Additionally, some schools necessitate that applicants complete introductory biology courses before enrolling.

Certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing

While earning an LPN certificate, students learn how to apply didactic lessons in a clinical setting. Common courses cover:

  • Human behavior
  • Critical thinking
  • Nutrition
  • Patient care
  • Anatomy
  • Pharmacology
  • NCLEX preparation

LPN Certification

The National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses is commonly known as the NCLEX-PN. Registration for the examination can be secured through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (www.ncsbn.org). Taking the exam requires submission of education transcripts and paying a registration fee.

The NCLEX-PN is a pass or fail exam using a Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) process. It features pertinent nursing questions, which require both written and practical answers. Once a student successfully completes the exam, licensure to officially become an LPN is granted.

Continuing Education Information

LPNs can go on to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing, both of which qualify them to take the NCLEX for registered nurses (RNs). Registered nurses supervise licensed practical nurses and work more closely with physicians.

Career and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that LPNs and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) earned $41,920 as a median annual income in May 2013. The BLS also estimated that LPN and LVN jobs will increase 25% for the years 2012 through 2022.

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  • School locations:
    • Idaho (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Registered Nurse
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
        • Registered Nurse
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    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Registered Nurse
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Registered Nurse

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics