Are you interested in upgrading yourself from a nurse’s assistant to a Licensed Practical Nurse? Do you want an entry-level job like no other job out there for benefits and opportunity? A nurse’s aide is an excellent job for someone who wants to work in the nursing profession. From a nurse’s aide you can transition to a licensed professional. How do you get such an opportunity, you ask?
You go online and do a search for an LPN program. Today there is a great need for licensed LPNs in the world as a result of the aging population, and the programs which are mostly requested include: Associate in Science in Nursing, Associate in Applied Science in Nursing, BS in Nursing Administration, BS in Nursing RN to BSN, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN to BS.
Much as one can go online and do a search for an LPN program, however, this is not one of those programs or professions where you can complete the whole program from the comfort of your home. A great part of the program requires you to be hands-on in a hospital environment or a clinical setting. Having said that, there are nurses and prospective nurses who want to study as much as they can at home, and do the hands-on part of the program after hours or when they are not on duty. You will not find an accredited, legitimate nursing course online where you will not have to do some onsite training. With this fact in mind, these cannot be regarded as online LPN programs. Still, they are currently what most individuals are going for as they would like to take as many courses from home as possible.
The most common reason for wanting to transition from a nurse’s assistant to an LPN is to be able to qualify for the position of a Licensed Practical Nurse and in so doing earn a higher salary and widen the path for career opportunity. There are great opportunities for a nurse’s aide or a licensed nurse, and a sense of prestige attached to the position. Still, the demands of already being in the nursing profession can make it difficult to set aside time to attend classes at a college or university. This is one of the key reasons LPN programs have become so attractive. The online courses provide all the necessary concepts, including communication, human anatomy, and advanced concepts in nursing. Someone considering entering the profession will do himself or herself a service by first doing a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Class as a typical curriculum will involve both in-classroom and onsite instruction that will fully prepare oneself for this demanding job. In fact, CNA classes are typically expedited in order that you may finish your degree in a shorter period of time. Similar to LPN programs online, someone enrolled in a CNA program will be able to take classes working around his or her busy schedule; either on the weekend or in the evening.
The importance of an LPN program
LPN programs cover important nursing concepts such as anatomy, psychology, and computer education. They deal not only with concepts around curing individuals of their ailments, but also learn how to spot illness and how to communicate with patients, and especially doctors so that the best treatment is always provided with the least amount of stress or fuss. Anatomy is studied in depth so the nurse has a deep understanding of the different tissues, organs and systems that make up the human body. Psychology is also an essential part of most LPN programs online as these courses will help the student of nursing to understand patient behavior. A nursing student should also have good knowledge regarding computers and technology as we are as reliant on computers today as we are on electricity. Classes in computer education is important in that it gives future LPNs the tools to successfully compile reports, calculate statistics and search the internet for information on disease and treatment methods.
How does one get started?
- When you are ready to start studying and enroll in a CNA class or LPN program, the best place to start is to go online and check out the universities and community colleges. Read through the different programs. You obviously have a subject of interest in mind. A good program to start with is the one just suggested; the CNA program which can take you from a nursing assistant to a licensed nurse where you will have great benefits and pay, and opportunity for promotion and a boost in your career. When you go online, play around with search phrases as they often produce different results.
- Once you’ve chosen the program and completed the required coursework you’ll be able to work in a hospital or nursing home setting. You would have received the right training to be able to deal with patients, from children to senior citizens. There is great job satisfaction and you feel good at the end of your working day; you are someone who wants to help others. Unlike some other careers, the student of nursing has an excellent chance of becoming employed in the nursing field right after graduation.
- You are not limited to taking your CNA classes on a college campus as there are now websites that allow you to take them in the comfort of your home. These LPN programs require both classroom-based education and an onsite clinical environment to fully prepare you for the rigors of the job.
An LPN work environment
A Licensed Practical Nurse may work in a hospital, outpatient clinic, nursing home, and mental health facility and is responsible for basic patient care, including bathing, monitoring vital signs, and wound care. The depth of nursing responsibility can differ from location to location.
Job and Degree Requirements
LPNs are not required to work beyond a typical 40-hour workweek, but some may be assigned to work 12-hour shifts, as well as rotating shifts. Nursing staff work around the clock in a hospital or a 24-hour care facility. It’s a rewarding job, but also stressful. In some facilities, they are often short-handed, and the emergency or casualty department in a hospital is definitely a place more nurses are needed.
The benefits of being a Certified Nurse’s Aide
There are many benefits for a certified nurse’s aide and for nurses in general. Some of these benefits include:
- Flexible hours, the option of working part-time or full-time, depending on what works best with your schedule, also taking the needs of the hospital into account. There are day, evening, and night shifts. Starting out, you may have to work a combination of any of these shifts.
- Great job security. Due to the large demand for qualified professionals in the nursing field, your chances of being able to find a job upon certification are high. If you are willing to study for a degree in nursing, you have an even greater chance for promotion and career advancement.
- You have job satisfaction and emotional well-being at the end of the day. You feel good about helping others. Nurses and nurses’ aides have jobs to be proud of.
- Excellent pay and great benefits. Starting out you won’t have the highest of salaries, but nursing is a field which is constantly growing and experienced nurses earn a very competitive salary, as well as a good benefits package.
There are specialized nursing degrees in the following fields also: anesthetist, behavioral health, cardiac, case management, cath lab, certified nursing assistant (CNA), clinical specialist, community health, correctional, critical care, environmental health, forensics, and so on.
CNA to LPN Requirements
The most important requirement for a CNA to LPN online course is experience as a certified nursing assistant. However, nursing experience is just one of the many pre-requisites to enter an online practical nursing program. As is the norm, interested students must successfully pass an entrance exam to enter the program and may also be required to pass a drug test and background check. Some states have a list of prerequisite courses which must be competed before admission to an LPN program can be granted. It is not that easy to walk into the world of doctors and nurses with a stethoscope around your neck and not have the right training. After all, you have other people’s lives in your hand.
In conclusion, there may be no other field of work in which entry-level personnel has a chance for such great career opportunities. The sky’s virtually the limit for Licensed Practical Nurses. Someone desiring to transition from a nurse’s aide to a licensed practical nurse can probably complete a year of study at the same college or institution where he has completed his CNA program. The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics reports that LPNs in hospitals are not nearly as in demand as they are in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. LPNs that are most interested in hospital nursing should pursue the RN program, the two-year Associates in Nursing degree (AND).