Online LVN To RN Programs

An LVN to RN program is structured specifically for a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) who is interested in obtaining certification as a registered nurse (RN). As well, these programs can be for current registered nurses who are simply interested in obtaining more education in order to pursue advancement in their organization, in addition to salary increases.

A nurse can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through these types of programs. After earning such a degree, she can opt to either continue her education by working towards an MSN, or head back to practicing in a healthcare organization.

Salary of an LVN to RN Who Completes the Program

A registered nurse typically commands a higher salary than a Licensed Practical Nurse, and rightly so as a registered nurse has studied longer and has more knowledge than either an LPN or LVN. A nurse who has completed advanced education programs – often earning a BSN degree or an MSN degree – stands to make a significant amount more than someone without a college degree. An average salary for a registered nurse is typically in the range of $50,000 to $75,000 annually. Some nurses make up to $90,000 a year.

Available LVN to RN Degree Programs

Many accredited academic institutions offer LVN to RN programs. There are many routes one can take to becoming a registered nurse. While LPN to RN programs are excellent, there are also degree programs available that offer students the chance to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or a Masters in Nursing degree.

  • LVN to RN: A licensed practical nurse who is interested in becoming a registered nurse will benefit most from this type of degree program. Students in this program will be given the knowledge, and skills needed in order to take the NCLEX Examination. Passing this exam will enable them to begin practicing as registered nurses.
  • LVN to BSN: This degree program is aimed specifically at licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) interested in learning about essential topics in nursing, including patient care, basic health care management principals, and more.
  • LPN to BSN: Best for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) interested in furthering her career by obtaining a bachelor’s degree. LPN to BSN courses deal with many subjects across the nursing spectrum. Graduates will be aptly prepared to apply for jobs in the nursing field, or to seek promotions in their current health organizations.
  • LPN to RN: A licensed practical nurse (LPN) to registered nurse (RN) program is tailor-made for nurses who want to complete LPN to RN courses that will enable them to have an advantage in the hiring and promotion process over their peers. Courses will focus on the essential areas of nursing, including preparations for the NCLEX Examination.
  • RN to BSN: Being an RN is a highly rewarding career decision. It should be noted, however, that without a degree from an institution of higher learning, there can be barriers to promotion within a single organization. This can be solved by pursuing a BSN degree. Being a BSN degree holder by completing RN to BSN courses can result in a pay increase, as well as improved career opportunities.
  • MSN: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs offer nurses a way to obtain an advanced graduate degree in their field. Nurses who have a keen interest in holding leadership positions within their organizations should strongly consider pursuing this type of degree.

Academic Institutions Offering LVN to RN Programs

A number of accredited institutions of higher learning offer LVN to RN degree programs. Some programs require a significant amount of in-class study. Others offer the option of completing the LVN to RN courses online. This type of online nursing degree is beneficial for a student who has other family commitments, or a job. He can study and work in the comfort of his home, and still look after his family.

Competitive LPN to RN degree programs worth checking out

Indiana State University is currently the only university that offers an online LPN to RN/BSN degree program.

Kaplan University where students interested in becoming registered nurses can enroll in degree programs such as an RN to BSN program, an RN to MSN program, an MSN Nurse Administration program, and an MSN in Nurse Education.

Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences focuses on providing an education for students in medical fields – and aids students who are serious about working in health care organizations. Students can enroll in an RN to BSN degree program.

University of Phoenix is the largest online university in the world in terms of enrollment and provides students with many different program options at all levels of study in the nursing field, specifically RN to BSN, MS in Nursing, and PhD in Nursing.

Azusa Pacific University offers an excellent accredited degree program option for interested nurses: LVN to RN or LVN to BSN, which takes two years to complete.

San Joaquin Valley College, an accredited private junior college that offers accelerated career-focused curriculum and instruction for nursing students – LVN to RN program offers nurses a chance to complete coursework that will prepare them to sit for the NCLEX-RN program.

Chabot Collegeoffers a program designed to assist LVNs to achieve eligibility to sit for the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses.

Mendocino College has an accredited LVN to RN bridge program tailored for a student interested in furthering his or her nursing career. More details on Mendocino College below.

National University offers a program for LVNs who want to complete the minimum number of units needed to be able to sit for the licensure examination. The LVN to RN degree covers a variety of topics and concepts essential to the nursing profession.

It is unfortunate that many students who want a career in the nursing profession opt out of the LVN or LPN programs in the mistaken belief that there is no financial or other aid.

There is assistance for those who can prove need and who qualifies. There is also the FAFSA. Once the FAFSA is completed, the scholarship search can begin. There are a variety of scholarships available for nurses and those interested in LVN to RN programs. Some of these scholarships include, Discover Nursing Scholarships, American Health Care Association Scholarships, National Black Nurses Association scholarships, Nursing Student Loan Program and Scholarships, and more.

LVN to RN courses at Mendocino College

The first semester of LVN-to-RN Bridge coursework consists of a transitions course (NUR 50) in which LVNs are instructed on issues of role transition, concepts of Nursing Diagnoses, and critical thinking concepts. Skills competencies are evaluated in a separate lab course. It is strongly recommended that students have some recent acute care medical-surgical experience as a licensed vocational nurse before starting this course. A math exam consisting of dosage calculations is also given. The exam must be passed at a grade of 90% or more in order for the student to continue in the program.

LVN to RNThe second semester involves twelve clinical hours and two lecture days (approximately 5 hours per day) that also have an open skills lab component (3 hours per week). The clinical day involves travel to outside facilities. Transportation is the student’s responsibility. Clinical sites may require considerable driving time so dependable transportation and funds are required to cover fuel costs and auto repairs. Courses include Complex Medical-Surgical Nursing, Leadership and Management, Nursing Seminar and Pharmacology.

The third semester involves clinical hours, which vary between one 12 hour shift and mini-intensives where three or more shifts are done over a short period of time at distance learning sites, as well as two lecture/lab days (approximately 5 hours per day). Courses include Complex Medical-Surgical Nursing, Advanced Leadership and Management, Mental Health Nursing, and Advanced Nursing Seminar.

Colleges With Online LPN to RN Bridge Programs

  • Anamarc College, Santa Teresa, Mexico
  • Broward College, Fort Lauderdale,Florida – also has on-campus program
  • Calhoun Community College, Tanner, Alabama
  • Chamberlaine College of Nursing Columbus, Ohio – also has on-campus program
  • Connors State College, Muskogee, Oklahoma
  • Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Wesson, Missisippi
  • Fairmont State University, Fairmont, West Virginia
  • Gaston College, Dallas, North Carolina
  • Hutchinson Community College, Hutchinson, Kansas
  • Jefferson Community College – State Univ of New York, Watertown, NY
  • Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Lower Columbia College, Longview, Washington
  • Michigan Community College Virtual Learning, Michigan
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Detroit Lakes
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Moorehead
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Wadena
  • Monroe County Community College, Monroe Michigan
  • Northern Virginia Community College, Springfield, Virginia
  • Northland Community and Technical College, Minnesota
  • North Georgia College & State University
  • Panola College, Carthage,Texas
  • Pratt Community College, Pratt, Kansas
  • Rose State College, Midwest City, Oklahoma
  • Snead State Community College, Boaz, Alabama
  • South Suburban College, South Holland, Illinois
  • University of Cincinnati-Raymond Walters College, Cincinnati, Ohio

All of these are online programs. Many of the universities also have on-campus programs. You now have a place to start.

Online Master’s Programs

According to Wikipedia, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an advanced post-graduate degree for registered nurses and is considered an entry-level degree for nurse educators and managers.

The degree may prepare a nurse to seek a career as a nurse administrator, health policy expert, or clinical nurse leader. This graduate level degree may focus on some of the different advanced nursing specialties such as acute care, family, geriatrics, neonatal, etc.

Different universities have different programs and there are several paths to the MSN degree if you intend to pursue a career in nursing. Once you have completed your Licensed Practical Nursing course, you can proceed with your studies to become a Registered Nurse (RN) and then continue on to your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). If you have a Bachelors degree in nursing, you may wish to continue on to a Masters in nursing degree which will allow you to earn more and apply for many more positions in your field, for example, a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist.

There are many opportunities with an extended education for someone keen to enter the field of nursing. Although a bachelors or associates degree in nursing is ideal for many entry level positions, advancing in the field often requires graduate education, for example, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Nurses with an MSN degree have intricate knowledge of the healthcare profession, and maybe also has a particular specialization, which can be used for treating patients in a variety of medical situations.

Universities have become innovative, and one such university in Jacksonville, boasts a Master of Science in Nursing Degree in a 100% online environment. Programs are offered in a 24/7, 100% online classroom. The benefits ofcourse of such an environment is that with their online study materials, tests, and chat rooms, they get 24/7 flexibility.

Advantages of an Online MSN Degree

  • Complete your Master of Science in Nursing degree in two years.
  • Complete your coursework anywhere, at your own time, and speed.
  • Develop new expertise with direction from nationally recognized faculty.
  • Earn the same degree awarded to on-campus students.
  • Liaise with professors and classmates via message board and email.
  • Take up to two courses at the same time.

You can choose either a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Nursing Administration or Nursing Education. Both online MSN degree programs are taught by professors who hold doctoral degrees, and who are highly experienced and respected in the nursing field. These experts will help you bridge the gap between classroom theory and real-world application.

Online Master’s ProgramsAt the same university, it goes on to say that job openings for college and university professors are plentiful, and that with a nursing education master’s that you’ll be ready to begin a rewarding career as a clinical nurse educator, director of education, adjunct professor and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you choose to teach nursing students doing their clinical rotations at a general medical and surgical hospital, you can enjoy an average annual salary of more than $73,000. It states further that with an aging workforce and retirements looming, that once the economy picks up, demand for nurses with formal nursing administration training will continue to increase – and that a nursing administration master’s can put a candidate in line for a lucrative position such as a chief nursing officer (CNO), chief executive officer (CEO), or nursing director. According to Payscale.com, Directors of Nursing can earn an average of more than $94,000 a year.

According to yet another university, the health care industry is changing and nurses will play a key role in ensuring the continued quality of patient care during its evolution. The growing demand for registered nurses has led to a shortage in nursing faculty and the need for strong, effective leadership in the industry is critical. The university offers its online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to prepare registered nurses to become administrators, leaders and health educators.

The university claims that its MSN curriculum is truly innovative and combines an eight-course core with the flexibility of four additional elective courses that can be combined to develop a custom ‘area of focus’ where nurses will study these content areas in the context of emerging demographic trends such as the expected increase in the elderly population and/or trends in caring for vulnerable populations, including the homeless, those with chemical addictions, HIV/Aids, the poor and indigent and those with catastrophic illnesses.

The flexibility offered by the courses allow nurses in the online MSN program to delve deep by taking multiple courses in a specific discipline, or gain broad-based exposure to a number of different areas – taking one course from each discipline. This allows the student the opportunity for a truly personalized academic and career growth plan that meets the skill demands of current and future professional settings. At this university students are allowed to take elective courses concurrently with the nursing core during the program, which will accelerate completion from 24 months to approximately 16 months. An adviser at the university will also be able to help you choose elective options that support nursing certifications such as Certified Nurse Executive and Certified Nurse in Disaster Management.

There are so many programs at so many universities that the best way to decide at which institution you should apply, will of course depend on cost, and many other factors, and you should go online and make a list of the universities and community colleges in your area and have your questions ready. Remember that different universities have different programs and plans and different costs. Check online for an MSN program that can be tailor made for you where you are able to earn your degree in less than two years with a flexible schedule that allows you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your home, and also in a clinical environment where part of your studies will be conducted. You have many programs to choose from.

Paramedic LPN

According to Wikipedia, prior to 1970, ambulances were staffed with advanced first-aid level responders who were frequently referred to as ambulance attendants. There was little regulation or standardized training for those staffing these early emergency response vehicles.

Today it is different. Ambulances are equipped with life-saving equipment and technology, and ‘paramedics’, a name that was unheard of before the seventies, are trained to respond to emergency situations, and can treat a patient right inside an ambulance that is on its way to the hospital.

People with asthmatic problems or patients suffering from heart disease, or poisoned victims, have often been saved. Paramedics are faster than a doctor making a house call, and have the equipment and life-saving medication and drips with them. In the medical professionals it is all about time; arriving too soon or too late. In the same way it can also be said that firefighters are paramedics in a way.

The education and skills required of paramedics vary state by state. There are education programs for prospective paramedics, which can be as short as 8 months or as long as 4 years. An Associate’s degree program is 2 years, often administered through a community college. The institutions offering such training vary greatly in terms of programs and requirements. Still, students must meet the same state requirements to take the certification exams, including the National Registry exams.

From research it seems that there are no online paramedic programs. The paramedic programs are hands-on programs where you learn and gain experience in the field so to speak, and in this case, a hospital or clinical setting. There is a big difference between being a registered nurse and a paramedic. The Emergency Service Training Institute in Texas, for example, offers courses in paramedic training. There are two formats to choose from. Requirements for the EMS135 Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic, which is for a total of 624 hours, are as follows.

Clinical/Internship Prerequisites

  • You must be as least 17 years old – 18 to become certified.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED
  • You must have a valid driver’s license
  • You must have a current Health Care Provider CPR card.
  • You must have a negative tuberculosis (TB) test within six months of the class start date.
  • You must have proof of two measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccinations.
  • You must have had a tetanus vaccination within the past ten years.
  • You must have completed the hepatitis-B vaccination three shot series.
  • You must have proof of the chicken pox disease or a positive immunity.
  • You must have a current criminal history background check of the last seven years.
  • You must have proof of health insurance card.
  • You must have a current EMT Basic certification (either Texas or National Registry.
  • You will be required to submit to a drug screen.
  • Proof of the EMT Basic certification must be provided before the start of class.

Two Fast Track Paramedic Formats

  • The ten-week format meets three days a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
  • The fifteen-week format meets two days a week, on Tuesday and Thursday from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The number of hours for both classes total 624 hours, which are divided into 240 didactic/lecture, 192 hospital clinical, and 192 ambulance internship.

Paramedic LPNThe hospital and ambulance rotations are completed after the classroom portion of the class. The student will have up to six months after the last day of class to complete all didactic, hospital clinical, and ambulance internship requirements. Students are required to provide the student textbook and associated workbook. They will be provided with a clinical uniform shirt for clinical/internship rotations during the class.

This course meets or exceeds minimum hours and content established by the Dept of State Health Services. Students successfully completing didactic and clinical components of this program will be eligible to receive a course completion certificate and the National Registry written and skills exam.

Topics to be studied include advanced patient assessment, Haz-Mat, basic pharmacology, shock, automatic external defibrillator, advanced airway management, fluid therapy, medication administration, and cardiac monitoring.

Further Information and Requirements

  1. Payment and registration must be received at least fifteen business days prior to the start of class.
  2. All EMS students are required to wear uniforms which will consist of a light blue Class B Uniform shirt, navy blue dickies, closed-toe polished black boots, or shoes. No tennis-type shoes can be worn. A student can wear a t-shirt under a Class B uniform shirt which can be worn during skills practice. Make sure to order these items beforehand. Students are also required to have a set of scrubs for clinical rotations.
  3. Clinical shirts and IDs will be provided to students. This is included in their fees. Students will be required to provide navy blue dickies and black, rubber-soled shoes which can be polished.
  4. Students will be required to provide a sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff), stethoscope, and pocket mask with a one-way valve. These are available at most medical supply stores or The HUB Store. Students will be expected to bring all three items with them to each class session.

This is by no means all the information and all the institutions out there who offer nursing diplomas. At the end of the day it is up to you to decide which programs you are interested in. Go onto the internet and search for LPN, RN, LVN, or any kind of nursing program. Write down the names of hospitals and colleges who offer the program and compare cost, how long the training will take, where your clinical work will be done, proximity to the college, and other requirements. Vary your search and come up with even more details.

There are enough institutions out there for you to make a good choice. Let cost be an important consideration, but don’t choose a program based on how inexpensive it is. Yes, you want the best deal, and that includes the best university or college for the best education.

Important Facts About Online Nursing Schools

Online nursing schools may seem like a very attractive option if you do not have the resources or means to enter a school that offers offline tuition.

There are certainly a number of advantages to studying online as well as a variety of schools for you to choose from that offer LPN training in this format. Before you read on, however, note the following potential disadvantages to online study:

  • Studying online means that you will miss out on valuable interaction with teachers and other students
  • It also means that your clinical work will be harder to complete – clearly this cannot be done online, so it is necessary for you to make alternative arrangements to complete your clinical portion of your studies
  • You will have to find a way to keep yourself motivated as there will be no one around looking over your shoulder to make sure that you do the work
  • Some employers do not take online qualifications as seriously as offline qualifications (even though this is not a justified prejudice)

These are all things that you can overcome, but it is important to keep them in mind as you go through the process o considering and selecting online nursing colleges.

Reasons To Choose Online Nursing Schools

We have already touched on some of the things that may stand in your way of successfully becoming a nurse through online LPN school. However there are also a number of aspects of online nursing schools that make the options very attractive indeed. These include:

  • The cost of tuition, which tends to be lower
  • The fact that you don’t have to bother with classroom structures
  • The high degree of flexibility, and
  • The chance to keep your current job while you study

Each of these will be discussed in more detail below.

Lower Costs

Online nursing schools tend to be cheaper than what you could refer to as offline nursing schools. This is because you do not need to contribute to the cost of materials or facilities in your tuition fees. This makes it a very attractive option indeed.

However if the cost of tuition is the only reason why you need to do an online course remember that there are various financial aid options to help you take an offline course in the shape of:

  • Affordable student loans
  • Grants, that you do not have to repay
  • Scholarships that reward you for being a top achiever
  • Aid from an employer who would like you to become an LPN

Online schools are not a bad idea at all, but you do have options financially speaking and you can consider a broader horizon than just the online nursing school option.

No Classrooms

With an online program you will not have to put up with a classroom situation, something which a lot of students find hold them back. This is because the convener of the course runs the class at the speed of the slowest learner. If you are not the slowest learner you may not find the classroom structure conducive. Many students also find that working in a room full of other students distracts them.

If you choose an online college you will not have to attend any classes at all. Everything that the course convener or lecturer wants to say to you will be communicated online in a virtual way. For example they may email you your assignment tasks and your results. Or there may be an online platform that the school uses through which you and your lecturer communicate. All this is related to one of the most attractive features of an online program: the flexibility. This will be discussed next.

Own Study Times And Flexibility

One of the main reasons (after the cost of the program) why students often select online nursing colleges is the fact that the schedule is substantially more flexible. This is ideal for people who:

  • Work full-time and who cannot give up their jobs in order to study. These people will be able to study at night and on the weekend in their own time.
  • People who have young children who require a great deal of attention. These people will be able to fit their study schedule in around the activities of their children.

Online programs are not nearly as strict as offline programs. When it comes to assignments there may be due dates but you will probably find that you have more freedom in terms of submissions. The best advantage is that you can set your own schedule so that your studies fit in neatly with your other obligations.

Work And Learn

Again, this ties in with the previous reason for joining an online school. The flexibility of the schedule means that you will not have to give up your current job in order to study further. A lot of people simply cannot afford to do this which is one of the key reasons why these online programs are so attractive to so many people.

Online Nursing SchoolsIn addition you may find that if you are already employed in a health care capacity as, for example, a CNA, your employer or the institute that you work for may have ties with an online university that offers nursing programs. To become an LPN you need to complete a certain amount of clinical training. You could do this under supervision at your current place of employment while completing the necessary theory course work online. Inquire at your hospital as to what options that have in this regard and see if you can get help that way.

Requirements For Online Nursing Schools

There are some general requirements that you will have to adhere to when making the decision to study for your nursing qualification online.

Firstly you need to make an effort to submit your application forms before the closing date. These forms include your actual application form for the school that you plant to attend as well as the FAFSA form if you plan to apply for financial aid. Even with online schools this is an important requirement. There are also some basic education requirements that you will have to meet:

  • Most online programs require that you have a high school diploma or a GED in order to attend the school.
  • In addition there is normally a minimum GPA that is required to qualify for an online school.

In addition you may have to pass entrance exams in order to get into the nursing school. This happens far less frequently with online schools than with face-to-face schools. Find out if this is a requirement before you apply for the school.

Many nursing schools require a background check and a drug test. Again this is less frequent in the case of online school, but it is still a requirement you must be ready and able to meet if necessary.

Top Online Nursing Schools

Let us take a look at some of the specific options that you have. There are not many online LPN schools to choose from, but the ones that do exist are of fairly good quality. The most popular options are:

  • The University of Phoenix
  • Kaplan University
  • Indiana State University
  • Dover Business College
  • Ball State University
  • Chamberlain University
  • Davidson County Community College
  • Hutchinson Community College
  • Northwest Technical College
  • Regis University

As far as online nursing programs go, these are the best. If you have the option, go for these ones first.

Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing Online Nursing Colleges

There are a few key factors that you should keep in mind when trying to choose the best online school for you. The schools mentioned above are some of the better known options, but chances are that you will find advertisements for other online schools. However, many of these turn out to be scams to get your money leaving you with a useless qualification. On the other hand they may be legitimate schools that do not offer decent tuition and that therefore prevent you from passing the necessary examination. A close examination of each school with the following factors in mind is required.

Reputation

The reputation of the school is a key factor to look out for. Obviously it is better to consider the better known schools as they have established reputations and there is a lot of information available regarding their academic records. If you are considering a school that is not on the list you should consider reading online consumer reviews. Finding out what past pupils felt about the school can have a huge impact on your own perception of the school. In addition you should take the time to inquire at the health care institutions in your area, regardless of whether or not they are places where you would one day like to work as an LPN. Ask them whether or not they would consider hiring someone with a qualification from that school. The perception of prospective employers is perhaps the most important factor in the reputations of online nursing schools.

Accreditation

There are two bodies that can accredit online LPN schools. These are:

  • The National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC)
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

The one that you are interested in as a prospective LPN is the NLNAC. This is the body that gives accreditation to undergraduate programs, such as the LPN program. An important factor in choosing a school is determining whether or not the school is properly accredited. If it is not you will not be permitted to take the examination and you will therefore not be able to work as an LPN. You will effectively have wasted your time and your money. Your state’s board of nursing will be able to inform you whether or not the school you are interested in is properly accredited. In addition the information should be displayed openly on the school’s website (although you should always double check these claims). If a school is not willing to disclose information regarding whether or not it is accredited you should treat it with suspicion.

Fees

The cost of the program is of course something that you will have to consider, especially if your financial situation is a limited one. Most people think that the more expensive a program is, the better the tuition you will receive from that program. This is far from being a consistent rule. Some schools trade on their names while their tuition quality drops. What you need to do is compare the pass rate from the school and the relevance of the coursework against the cost of the program in order to best determine whether you are in fact getting good value for money. The program offered by the school needs to prepare you for two things in order to be worth your money:

  1. It must prepare you for the NCLEX-PN exam
  2. It must prepare you for your actual career as a nurse

Most of the key information that you should be aware of regarding online nursing schools is contained above. Perhaps the most important factors that you should keep in mind in this regard are those related to selecting the best school for you. On top of the practical factors mentioned above there are a number of personality factors to take into account, namely:

  • Do you have the self-motivation necessary to complete your nursing qualification online, or
  • Do you require the structure of a normal classroom situation?

People who get frustrated easily when they do not understand something may have trouble with online nursing schools. This may mean that a face-to-face situation may be better for them. However it is obvious that this is not always possible. If you do have to select a route to your qualification that does involve in-congruency with your personality, be aware of that in-congruency at all times in order to account for it.

LPN Qualifications

If you want to work as a licensed practical nurse there are a number of LPN qualifications that you will have to meet in order to achieve this. There are a number of educational and legal qualifications, but do not forget that there are also personality qualifications that you will also have to posses if you want to be a successful LPN.

LPNs can work in several different domains which may call for slightly different LPN qualifications. They may also differ slightly from state to state. However the basic LPN qualifications remain the same.

Educational LPN Qualifications

To become an LPN an important LPN qualification that you will have to hold is a degree or certificate of some kind from an LPN school in your state that is approved by your state’s board of nursing as well as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) do not bother attending a school that is not accredited at this will effectively be a waste of your time and your qualification will count for very little. There are a number of institutes that offer the educational training required to qualify as an LPN, including:

  • Technical colleges
  • Vocational colleges
  • Junior colleges
  • Community colleges
  • Hospitals
  • High schools

Note that if you complete your LPN qualification through a special program before you have finished high school you will not be able to work as an LPN until your high school qualification is also complete. However there are very few programs in place that allow prospective LPNs to do this. You will have to demonstrate that, at high school level, you completed:

  • Two years of math classes
  • Four years of general science classes
  • Four years of English classes

If you have a fair amount of freedom when it comes to selecting your high school subjects, choose those subjects and classes that will get you ready for a career as a nurse. For example you could choose to take biology over history as this will be far more useful to you as a nurse. It will also help you to get your qualification more easily as you will already have basic knowledge of some of the topics that are covered. Subjects that could help you include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Health occupations

There are a number of LPN requirements that you will have to meet before you can enter an LPN program to get an LPN qualification. There requirements usually include the following in most states:

  • You will need to have a GED or high school diploma. In many cases you also need a GPA of a certain amount.
  • You will have to be the right age. Most states require you to be at least 18 years old while others require you to be either 17 at the youngest or 19 at the youngest before you can enter the program.
  • Sometimes you will be required to pass an LPN entrance exam or to have completed certain prerequisite courses. This called the Nursing Entrance Test. It tests you on basic math, reading, and comprehension skills, the point of this test is t make sure that you have the basic skills required to survive an LPN program and get your qualification.

Most LPN qualifications take about 1 year to achieve, so be prepared to commit the time that is required to receiving your qualification.

To be an LPN you will have to attain both theory knowledge and hands-on training during your educational period.

Theory

This is usually taught in a classroom setting although some LPN schools do offer the theory side of the course online. There are a number of topics that you will cover in this regard, including things like;

  • Physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Patient care
  • Basic nursing concepts
  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Surgical nursing
  • Obstetrics nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology
  • Pediatrics
  • First aid

Clinical

It is a requirement in all states that you complete a certain number of practical hours before you can become an LPN. This is something that you cannot avoid, and nor is it something that can be done through an online course. The number of practical hours that you need to complete can vary form course to course and state to state. This part of your education will take place, usually, in a hospital or clinic. Clinical training can take place in:

  • A hospital
  • A private practice
  • A clinic

During your clinical training you will be closely monitored by someone in a higher position to you. This is usually an RN. There are very few things that you will be allowed to do by yourself while you are still learning. In addition to monitoring you and teaching you how to do things correctly, your supervisor will also assess you on your progress and your level of knowledge in the practical sphere of things.

LPN qualificationThere are several benefits to the clinical part of your LPN training. For example it often happens that the institute where you did your clinical training will offer you a job once you have achieved your LPN qualification. This means that you will not have to worry about looking for another job. Or the institute may be willing to provide you with a reference letter which will make finding a job far easier as hospitals and other healthcare facilities prefer to hire nurses that already have a certain amount of experience. You will also, in general, be a more confident nurse starting out when you take the time to do as much clinical training as possible.

Specializing

There are a number of specialty LPN qualifications that you could strive towards if you want to advance your career in the industry. A specialty is basically an area of nursing that you are an expert in. For example you could be an oncology LPN with expert knowledge in cancer. Here is a list of some of the most common specialties:

  • Critical care nurses
  • Cardiac nurses
  • Medical or surgical nurses
  • Oncology nurses
  • Orthopedic nurses
  • Primary care nurses
  • Psychiatric/mental health nurses
  • Rehabilitation nurses
  • Addiction nurses
  • Perioperative nurses
  • Correctional nurses
  • Emergency nurses
  • Geriatric nurses
  • Occupational health nurses
  • Hospice nurses
  • Nephrology nurses
  • Neonatal nurses
  • Pediatric nurses
  • Respiratory nurses
  • School nurses

Background Checks

In most cases you will have to take a background check before your state board of nursing will confirm your LPN qualification. This is because you work with people in vulnerable situations and you can therefore not be someone with a criminal record as this indicates that you do not have the trustworthy personality required in an LPN. Risks cannot be taken with the safety of patients. Usually you will have to pay for fingerprinting so that the state board of nursing can check that you are not in any of the legal systems. In some special cases you may still be able to get an LPN qualification even if you have a criminal record. In most cases, however, you will not. Other checks that you may have to undergo include a test for drugs as well as a health check as you cannot compromise the health of your patents by being unhealthy yourself.

Exam And Licensing

To practice as an LPN you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN, exam. This is also a requirement in all states and something that you cannot hope to avoid. However the exam is manageable for any nursing student who has worked hard and done all of the studying required. If you have a natural affinity for the profession you will find the exam questions easy to answer because they will make logical sense to you. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing administers the exam. Pearson Vue is the company in charge of the exam and you will have t pay $200 to Pearson Vue in order to be eligible to write the exam.

There are some considerations to keep in mind when writing the LPN exam. One is that it is computer based. All of the multiple choice questions will be answered on a computer at the testing center. If you do not have very good computer skills, now may be the time to work on them.

There are four main parts to the test. Make sure that you have a good working knowledge of all of them before you attempt to write the LPN exam to get your LPN qualification. The four main parts of the test are:

  • Health promotion and maintenance
  • Physiological integrity
  • Safe and effective care environment
  • Psychosocial integrity

Once you have completed all of the educational requirements and once you have passed the test you will need to get your LPN license to practice. Usually you have to apply for licensure with your state board of nursing before you apply to write the test. This is because your state board of nursing needs to assess your eligibility to sit the exam. This includes looking at the school where you did you training and deciding whether r not t is an appropriate one. There are also a number of other eligibility requirements that you will also have to meet. Like with so many other things related to your nursing career, these requirements can differ significantly form state to state. This means that it is your responsibility to contact your state board of nursing and find out for yourself what your state requires of you.

Additional Qualifications

There are a number of attributes that you could call personality qualifications for being an LPN. To be an LPN you will need to:

  • Be able to follow orders – there are many people in higher positions of power than you who know more than you do. Be accepting of this and do what they tell you to do.
  • Be able to work under supervision
  • Have good decision-making skills
  • Exhibit a good bedside manner
  • Have good observation skills
  • Have good interpersonal communication skills – this is probably the most important skill to have. There are a number of different people that you will have to communicate with in a variety of different ways. These people include other nurses, doctors, patients, and patients’ families. It is your responsibility to communicate with these people in a way that makes their jobs or lives easier.
  • Be patient
  • Have a desire to learn – as a nurse you are always learning and you always need to be learning in order to keep up with technological and methodological advances in the field. A desire to learn will stand you in good stead as a nurse both while you are in training and when you start your actual career.
  • Possess the ability to multitask
  • Be caring and empathetic
  • Be able to handle stressful situations – a number of stressful situations tend t arise when dealing with sick people. You will need to have a good tolerance for this level of stress.

There are also a number of physical requirements that you will have to meet. As an LPN you will need to:

  • Be able to stand for long periods of time
  • Be able to lift heavy objects with no assistance
  • Be able to handle working long shifts and inconvenient hours

The various requirements that you will have to meet to get an LPN qualification are many, but they are achievable. With an LPN qualification you will also have the opportunity to move on to becoming an RN with a degree of some kind. Once you have gotten your foot in the door of the healthcare industry the opportunities that you will have are endless. In addition the healthcare industry is a very stable one in which to work as there will always be a demand for healthcare professionals.

LPN Entrance Exam

Like with every other field of work or career that you may have considered over the years, becoming an LPN involves an LPN entrance exam that you simply cannot avoid. However this is a test that should present you with very little trouble if you work and study hard ahead of time. Many nurses pass these tests without any trouble at all.

The LPN entrance exam can refer to two main tests that you have to write during your time as an LPN:

  • The LPN pre entrance exam for entering the school or program through which you plan to study as an LPN
  • The actual LPN entrance exam for becoming an LPN with a license who can practice

There are several factors and facts that you will need to know about and take into account with both of these exams.

LPN Pre Entrance Exam For Getting Into LPN Programs

The following factors are included in an LPN pre entrance exam for entering an LPN program:
The Pre-Nursing Assessment Test-PN consists of 150 items and requires three hours to complete. The three major areas of the test are:

Reading Comprehension/Reasoning Ability – 40 Questions (1 hour)

The content and reading level of exam passages are similar to the applied-science passages found in LPN textbooks. Topics of the passages include nutrition, infection, safety, child abuse, exercise, etc. There are two diagnostic scores:

  1. Reading comprehension–20 items.
  2. Reasoning ability–20 items.

Numerical Ability – 50 questions (1 Hour)

There are three diagnostic scores:

  1. Basic operations with whole numbers (add, subtract, multiply, divide)–10 items.
  2. Fractions, percents, decimals (basic operations plus conversions of fractions to decimals & vice versa)–20 items.
  3. Applying skills in actual situations (ratio and proportion, non-algebraic formulas and conversions)–20 items.

Language Ability – 60 questions (1 Hours)

The questions involve common terms that are used frequently in nursing practice. There are three diagnostic scores:

  1. Vocabulary – 20 items.
  2. Spelling – 20 items.
  3. Grammar and usage (sentence correction)–20 items.

How To Register For The LPN Exam

There are a number of things that you will have to do before you can write the NCLEX-PN exam, or, as you may know it, the LPN entrance exam. If you follow these steps and make sure that you comply with everything mentioned here you will have very little trouble with the registration process.

  • You will need to contact your state board of nursing and apply for a license to practice as an LPN before you will be eligible to take the test. It is very important that you look into the details and LPN requirements in your particular state as they can differ significantly from state to state. For example some states will let you practice with this license on a conditional basis before you have even passed the exam while others require you to pass the LPN entrance exam before you are allowed to work as an LPN. Sometimes there are also different age requirements from state to state. Some states expect you to be 17, others expect you to be 18, and still others expect you to be 19.
  • You will need to provide your state board of nursing with all of the necessary documentation to prove your eligibility to write the LPN exam. This includes your high school and college transcripts and identification documents. Before you can write the test you will need to receive confirmation from your state board of nursing that you are in fact eligible to do so.

This is just the first step of the process. You will then need to actually register for the examination. There are three main ways in which you can register for the LPN entrance exam:

  • You can apply online. Go to the Pearson Vue website. Pearson Vue is the group that administers the LPN entrance exam. You will need to answer all of the questions that are asked on the website. Answer them truthfully and do not leave any out. Once you have completed the application form for the exam you will then need to pay the exam registration fee. This is $200 in all states. You can pay using your credit card online, or you can download the confirmation and post a cashier’s check or money to Pearson Vue. The address that you should post it to is on the website.
  • If you want to apply entirely by mail you will also have to download the application form and send it along with certified check, cashier’s check, or money by mail to the Pearson Vue address.
  • You can also register for the LPN entrance exam via telephone. To do this you must first download the application form and fill in the answers so that you will be able to answer them quickly when you call. Then call 1-866-496-2539. You will be directed to a customer representative who will ask you for the answers that you filled out on the application form. It will be a far quicker process if you have already thought about your answers. You can also pay the $200 fee over the phone using your credit card.
  • Select an examination date and study for the exam.

Once you have done the above all you will need to do is to show up at your testing center on the day of the test with a printed copy of authorization to test (ATT) from Pearson VUE and one form of acceptable identification. Take the test by following the instructions that you are given and wait for your results. These should take about one month to get back to you and will either confirm or deny your right to practice as an LPN. If you fail you have the option to retake the test.

Requirements For The Exam

LPN Pre Entrance ExamIf you want to write the LPN entrance exam there are a number of requirements that you will have to meet. The first requirement is education. This refers to what qualifications you will need before you can write the test. For one thing you will need a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification before you can write the test. In addition to that you need to complete an LPN training program from a school or institute that is properly accredited with the state board of nursing for your state. If the program is not accredited you will be wasting your time. There 1500 accredited schools across the country for you to choose from. The program will be about 12 months long and you will be required to study both practical and theory work. It’s impossible to write the LPN exam if you attend a program that does not have an adequate focus on clinical practice. There are four broad areas of coursework that you will be required to be knowledgeable in for the exam:

  • Creating a safe and efficient care environment (including management and safety)
  • Promoting and maintaining health
  • Psychosocial integrity
  • Physiological integrity

In addition to the above various states may have other requirements. Look carefully into these requirements. Some states will require you to be a certain age or to have received a certain score in high school in order to be an LPN. When it comes to licensing after the exam you may need to do a background check and pay for your fingerprints to be taken. Drug screening may also occur and you will have to have a clean bill of health. Before you embark on the journey to become an LPN you should look closely at the specific requirements for your state.

How To Study For The LPN Entrance Exam

When studying for the exam there are a number of factors that you will need to consider in order to ensure that you are making the most of your study time and preparing adequately for the LPN entrance exam:

The first thing that you will need to consider is the structure of the exam. There are a few important things to keep in mind here. One is that the exam will be multiple choice, so make sure that you prepare for it by answering as many example questions as you can (more about that later). The second is that the test will be conducted at specified locations via computer. If you do not have very good computer skills you will be doing yourself a favor by improving the skills that you will need for writing the LPN entrance exam online. If you are sure that you know what you are doing you will feel far more confident when it comes time to write the actual test. You will have five hours to answer the multiple choice questions. When you get your grade it will be marked simply as a pass or as a fail. If you fail you can take the test again.

In order to know where to focus your energy when you are studying it is important to consider the breakdown of the test:

  • Safe and effective care environment = 11 to 17 percent of the exam material
  • Safety and infection control = 8 to 14 percent of the exam material
  • Health promotion and maintenance = 7 to 13 percent of the exam material
  • Psychosocial integrity = 8 to 14 percent of the exam material
  • Basic care and comfort = 11 to 17 percent of the exam material
  • Pharmacological Therapies = 9 to 15 percent of the test
  • Reduction of Risk Potential and Physiological Adaptation = 10 to 16 percent of the exam material

About LPN Entrance Exam Practice Test

If you want to be properly prepared for the LPN entrance exam you need to take an LPN entrance exam practice test. There are many of these available online at resources such as Study Guide Zone. The point of doing a practice test is to ensure that you are well prepared to write the actual test. There are a few ways in which an LPN entrance exam practice test can help you:

  • It will prepare you for the type of questions that will be asked. The test conveners often repeat questions form test to test, and there is a fairly good chance that some of the questions you are asked will be the same as the ones that you study in a practice test. Therefore you need o answer as many example questions as you possibly can in order to be adequately prepared for the LPN entrance exam.
  • It will also prepare you for the format of the questions. This is an important part of doing well as multiple choice questions are often asked in very specific ways. Practice with the testing method will do you well.
  • You will develop a good idea of how long you will need to spend on each question in order to be certain that you can complete the test in the time period provided. The more you practice, the faster you will be.
  • Last but not least you will feel more confident about the LPN entrance exam if you prepare in this way as you will have a clear idea of what is coming. Nurses who use this method report higher levels of confidence when taking the test than those who do not, so it is a method that is well worth trying if you are serious about doing well on the exam.

Exams can be frightening, but you need to remember that, as long as you have followed the instructions listed above, and as long as you have done the best that you can in terms of your coursework and your study habits, you will be fine. Panic, as well as nerves and an elevated stress level, are big things that stands in the way of success on the LPN entrance exam, so if you are able to control your emotions and remain positive a large part of the battle will already be won.

Facts About LPN Specialty Certification

There are several LPN specialty certification options that are open to you once you have qualified as an LPN. Essentially what these certifications and qualifications allow you to do is to become an expert in as specific field.

This means that your skills will be in higher demand than just an ordinary LPN. Although many LPNs prefer to maintain general skills, there are also those that would like to focus specifically on some area that interests them more than other areas. Pursuing LPN additional certification of this kind is an option that is in fact open to all LPNs.

Getting LPN Specialty Certification

The first thing that you need to do when going through the certification process is to gauge your interests. In order to do this you must ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kinds of people do you like working with?
  • Do you want to work in a high-pressure environment or one that is more relaxed?
  • What areas of medicine interest you?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What kinds of responsibilities are you looking to have while on the job?
  • What kind of hours do you want to work? How much flexibility do you need?
  • How does your job need to fit in with your lifestyle?
  • What kind of personality do you have and what areas of medicine are your personality a good fit for?
  • Do you have the time and resources to go through all of the requirements needed to become certified?
  • How will getting a certification help your career?

This, as well as the tips contained in the next section, is a guide that will help you determine which area you would like to specialize in as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Each specialty comes with its certification board. The differences in terms of requirements and so on between each of these boards can be significant. In addition different states may have different requirements in terms of certification for a specialty. It is important that you explore the various requirements and procedures thoroughly to avoid wasting your time. Take the time to do this research. If you do not you may end up wasting a lot of your time by not following the correct process.

Once you have gathered all of the necessary information you should then go ahead and fulfill the educational and practical requirements necessary to become an expert in your chosen field of nursing. The amount of time that this will take can differ significantly from specialty to specialty, but as you will already have a basic understanding of nursing to start off with it should not, in the long run, take very long at all.

Choosing The Area You Want To Specialize In

There are a few fairly basic things that you should keep in mind when it comes to making the best decision about what area you would like to specialize in as an LPN.

Tip 1

The first thing that you need to consider is how you handle stress. As you will see when you read about the different specialties below different levels of stress are inherent in each job. Determine whether:

  • You are someone that thrives under stress and who does your best work when there is a lot of pressure on you (in which case you should consider something like an emergency room specialty), or if
  • You are someone who does not cope easily with stress at all (in which case a career in primary care may be the answer)

Tip 2

The second thing you should keep in mind is what kind of setting you want to work in. For example if you want to work in a more relaxed environment you should consider a career as a hospice nurse as this is often a home based position. If you want a bit of excitement or danger thrown in to your job, consider working as a correctional nurse in a prison setting. A specialty in something like oncology or cardiology would be good if you want to work in a hospital or doctors office.

Tip 3

Test out a few of the options that are available to you. Because it is very difficult to know if you are going to enjoy a specialty without having ever done work in that area many hospitals or schools offer short trial periods that will allow you to get a good idea about what exactly a specific specialty that you are interested in entails. This is a great way for you to get a better idea of what area you are best suited to work in as an LPN.

Tip 4

LPN Additional CertificationA very important part of the process of deciding what specialty you would like to pursue involves knowing what the education requirements are for that specialty. This means that you need to carefully analyze whether or not you will be able to go directly from your LPN qualification to the specialty or if you are required to get an RN qualification in between. There are a variety of different educational requirements involved in different specialties, so plan a head and know what is expected of you before you make the decision to apply for specialty LPN training.

Tip 5

A great way to get an idea about whether or not a nursing specialty is right for you is by talking to nurses who already work in those fields. Ask them questions, find out what they do on a daily basis and consider whether or not they seem to enjoy that area of nursing. First-hand accounts such as these are great in helping you make a decision, but they don’t beat actually taking the time to experience the area of specialty for yourself.

Common Specialties

There are a number of common LPN specialty certification routed that you can take. In some cases you may first be required to become an RN before you can go on to pursue specialization. However in the long run there are a number of specialties that LPN’s can pursue. These are common positions for nurses who choose to do LPN additional certification:

  • Critical care nurses: To be a critical care nurse you will have to be able to handle a high level of emotional stress as you will be required to work with patients who are terminal as well as with their families.
  • Cardiac nurses: An interest in the heart and its functioning and diseases is essential for a cardiac nurse as she will deal primarily with patients that have heart problems.
  • Medical/surgical nurses: A medical or surgical nurse is one that needs to be knowledgeable about the cutting edge developments in serious illnesses and one that is able to assist patients in their recovery after an operation.
  • Oncology nurses: An LPN specialty certification in oncology will equip you to deal with patients that either have cancer or that are at risk for cancer in a variety of different ways.
  • Orthopedic nurses: An orthopedic nurse is one that is actively involved in the education, treatment and rehabilitation of patents that suffer from musculoskeletal issues.
  • Primary care nurses: As a primary care nurse you will serve as the patient’s first line of contact with the medical system. In most cases this specialty will equip you to handle routine and minor illness on a daily basis.
  • Psychiatric/mental health nurses: As the name states, this is a nurse that will deal with the mental health issues of a patient. Your responsibility will also extend to diagnosis, and you may be required to work with individuals, families, groups, or even, in some cases, with communities.
  • Rehabilitation nurses: A rehabilitation nurse is one that works with a patient to assist them on the path to full recovery after they have experienced a significant illness or injury. Education as well as hands-on treatment may be required.
  • Addiction nurses: Addiction nurses are nurses whose primary aim is to assist patients that suffer form an addiction of some kind. Your roles may include such things as detoxification and monitoring of the patent.
  • Perioperative nurses: This is quite an advanced specialty as it requires that you assist n the operating room. In addition to this you will also be required to assist patients both before and after they undergo surgery.
  • Correctional nurses: Correctional nurses are nurses that work in prisons. They have all the same skills as primary care nurses but in addition they are trained in the ability to deal with potentially dangerous patents.
  • Emergency nurses: If you want to specialize as an emergency nurse you will need t be able to think on your feet. Emergency nurses are those nurses that function in the emergency room of the hospital. Their job is to make assessments of what is wrong with a patient and what is needed to help the patient in a split second.
  • Geriatric nurses: If you decide to specialize as a geriatric nurse you will seldom struggle to find employment. Because the population is again at the moment there are plenty of elderly people that require hands-on and personalized care form a medical professional. You will need to have a working knowledge of topics surrounding the end of life to specialize in this area.
  • Occupational health nurses: These are nurses that usually work in a business or work based setting. Your job if you specialize in this area will be to treat illnesses and injuries that occur at the work place. In addition you may be required to focus on the prevention of such illness and injuries as well.
  • Hospice nurses: As a hospice nurse you will be under a lot of emotional strain as it will be your responsibility to nurse patients through the last days of their lives in a home based or hospice based setting.
  • Nephrology nurses: If you are particularly interested in the kidneys and how they work you may want o consider a sociality in this area of nursing.
  • Neonatal nurses: This is quite a popular specialty as it involves working with mothers who have just given birth and caring for their children alongside them. However it is important to remember that this drop can be highly stressful and heart-breaking. A death in the neonatal ward is far harder for most nurses to deal with than a death in an adult ward. Make sure that you have the stamina to cope with this.
  • Pediatric nurses: This is also often a very popular choice as it involves working with children. The same warning applies as for neonatal nurses. You also need to have a love for children if you want to work in this area of nursing.
  • Respiratory nurses: if you want to be a respiratory nurse it means that you have a particular interest in breathing and breathing problems, such as asthma. You will become an expert on how the lungs work.
  • School nurses: School nurses work in schools taking care of the day to day injuries and illnesses of children. You will be able to work with kids and you will seldom have to face anything that is too serious.

As you can see there are a wide range of different specialties to choose from. Each requires a different skill set and a subtly different personality. If you are considering LPN specialty certification you will need to look more closely into what is required in each sector before making a final decision on what specialty you would like to pursue. This is not a choice to be made lightly as it will inform the direction of the rest of your career. If your choose a specialty that you are not happy with, you will not be an effective nurse.

LPN Home Health Care Provides Independence to Housebound Patients

There are a number of academic programs which train nurses in home care, and the respective agencies with which they are affiliated will place their LPN home health care providers depending on their experience and qualifications. Home health care workers usually work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ rooms, health agencies, or public health departments that are licensed by the state.

Many people are inclined to think that home health care is directed entirely towards the elderly, but in fact it can be for anyone with special needs; whether it is someone recovering from surgery and needing short-term care, or long-term care for someone getting on in years.

Sometimes patients are home-bound because of an injury or an illness which makes it impossible for them to leave the home without aides such as crutches, a wheelchair, a walker or simply the assistance of someone with them. Sometimes more extensive forms of home health care are needed, for example, when the patient requires some form of rehabilitation program, which may include visits from specialized medical professionals. The bottom line is that home care is extended to anyone who is dependent on others for everything, and one of the greatest long-term needs of elderly people and those with chronic illnesses is to enjoy the benefits of being nursed by an LPN like you in their own home where they can feel safe and happy in their familiar environment.

Patient Rights

As an LPN home health care provider, it will be wise for you to know the rights of patients. These include:

  • the right to be treated with dignity
  • the right to accept and refuse medication or treatment
  • the right to be kept informed regarding the care and treatment to be received as well as being updated on changes that may take place; like when a new home care giver suddenly replaces the previous one
  • the right of confidentiality with regards to clinical records

The patient, on the other hand, has the responsibility of providing an accurate medical history of themselves, to participate in the plan of care and also to notify the agency if they want certain treatments cancelled. Patients should also assist in promoting a safe environment for the nurse working there.

What to Look out for with Home Health Care Agencies

With LPN Home health care, those who want to be treated at home as opposed to in a hospital or institution can benefit, but as the health care provider, you will want to be sure that the agency has a good reputation and positive track record. Once you decide upon home health care as a career, there are a number of important factors you will want to consider before joining a particular agency.

  • how long has the agency been in existence and is it an accredited provider of services?
  • how are agency nurses hired and trained?
  • does the agency provide the particular services you are needing for your loved one?
  • is there employee screening in place?
  • does the agency have a current license to operate?
  • does the agency provide continuity of care? You as an LPN will know that it could be traumatic for an elderly patient or a younger sick child to get used to someone nursing them, and then face a sudden change when a new carer comes in, so be mindful of the patient’s feelings in such a situation.
  • do they provide the public with information on who they are – brochures, a website?
  • does the agency have a supervisor available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take inquiries?
  • do they provide a ‘bill of rights’ laying out the rights and responsibilities of the person being cared for as well as the agency?
  • do supervisors oversee care to ensure things are constantly being done the right way?
  • does the agency interview its nurses to ensure the right one is assigned a job suited to their personality and skills?

Earning Opportunities

Many LPN nurses like yourself may find that working in home health care means earning more than in a hospital, even though working in a home setting requires that you take care of your own health insurance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly wage for LPN home health care nurses is currently $19.91. Salaries vary widely between states, so you will simply need to weigh up everything to see where you are more likely to score more; in a hospital or home setting. The cost of home health care differs across the states and the services can be paid for directly by the patient or their family, or through public and private sources like Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans’ Administration for instance.

To find out more about how home health care costs work; you can look at some useful websites:

What Duties To Expect

LPN Home Health CareYour duties as an LPN can include anything from the basic personal care and feeding, to administering medicines, recording vital signs and assisting with rehabilitation. You will report your findings to a registered nurse or physician. You will need to keep up to date with medical knowledge especially when considering going into the home health care industry. This is because home health care can include nursing the elderly, children, the disabled or those with mental problems. The care you will provide will include helping the patient get in and out of bed, dressing, eating, ablutions, providing pertinent data about the patient, as well as assisting with other day-to-day activities. Another of your duties will be to administer and monitor medications and dosages. Sometimes you will also be required to provide first aid and this will involve things like the cleaning of wounds and injuries. You may have to apply and change bandages as well as assist with sutures; all this will be dependent on the type of care that your patient requires.

Home health care provides a wide range of health care services which include:

  • patient education
  • speech therapy
  • physical and occupational therapy
  • intravenous or nutrition therapy
  • monitoring the patient
  • injections
  • wound care

You May Encounter Tax Issues When Working through Private Enterprises

As a private employer, the family of the patient will be required to pay Social Security, unemployment and payroll taxes. Some LPNs who choose this field of work may choose to represent themselves as independent contractors, and therefore pay their own taxes, but if they don’t meet the criteria of an independent contractor and also don’t meet their tax responsibilities, the family, as the employer will be held responsible. It is important for private employers to consult with a labor lawyer to check out hiring and tax laws.

When There Is Injury On Duty

An important employment benefit of an LPN with an agency is good liability insurance. As an LPN you are encouraged to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage when working in a home set up, or any other facility for that matter. Don’t just accept your employer’s insurance and assume that this will be adequate protection in case of a lawsuit; you should insist on your own personal policy, for safety’s sake.

Abuse And Exploitation

Unfortunately, with home health care there is the potential for abuse, and this is because while most LPNs become nurses because of their desire to help others, there are always those who see this type of work as an opportunity to take advantage of a patient being treated at home. With no supervision, an LPN nurse from a private enterprise and not from an agency often has no one to answer to, and has free rein to do as they please. Most families who hire private nurses don’t have the resources or the knowledge on how to do background checks; they are just too grateful to have found a nurse who is available and has reasonable rates. It is absolutely worthwhile doing some research on the Internet to find reputable home health care agencies. If you have done this, you will have been put through a battery of tests as well as a screening process, meeting every requirement regarding employment. Criminal and drug testing is also included, and all these tests will ensure that whichever position you fill, the family will be able to have peace of mind that you have come from a reputable agency and will be able to deliver care which will be of a compassionate and capable nature.

You will also be briefed by your agency, and so should understand the part you will play in delivering quality services. It is not only about training, but your characteristics and personality will be fitted carefully to each and every situation.

If you decide to do this independently, it will be your responsibility to prove your reliability, honesty and trustworthiness.

Home Care Agencies Provide Supervision

A licensed home care agency will always offer supervision for their employees, and this will be to your benefit as well, not just your patient’s. LPN home health care services often require that the nurses work with very challenging patients and circumstances, and then an agency supervisor can support the aid in the care that is provided.

You will need to decide if working in a client’s home is what you are looking for because it can be entirely different from working in the intensive care ward or emergency room of a busy hospital or nursing home that you may be used to. The basic care extended to a patient may be the same, but the setting and circumstances will be different; certainly it will be a lot quieter. You may be working independently or you may work collaboratively with a couple of other nurses.

The Companionship Aspect Of Home Health Care

In this setting, you will get to know your patient quite well, since you will be spending a lot of time with them on long shifts. You may need to aid in what is known as instrumental activities of daily living, such as preparing meals, making medical appointments and transportation. It is for this reason that the scope of practice for an LPN includes companionship, simply because you become personally involved with the patient.

It is important that your patient is able to trust you, since you will be in their home every day. And it could be a fantastic experience if the two of you are able to get along well. You should certainly try to connect with your patient and build up a good relationship, but never forget to display professionalism at all times. Although you are there to offer your paid services, never forget that you are in someone else’s home.

Conclusion

Home health care allows seniors, those with disabilities, and those who are ill to enjoy a certain measure of independence, but on top of that, the person receiving the care will value having care which includes privacy as well as assistance in all areas where they cannot cope.

There is no doubt that a nursing agency has a great deal of responsibility in managing their home health care nurses in terms of financial and legal regulations, and you will have to do some research to find which one is the best for you. Ensure that you are well-informed of what benefits you will receive, such as medical insurance, paid time off, and salary expectations. Whether you are going to be providing short or long-term or live-in home health services, you will be working in a branch of nursing that has earned a reputation for being able to provide compassionate, personalized attention to those who want to be nursed at home.

Everything You Need To Know About LPN IV Certification

Prior to 2008, Licensed Practical Nurse training courses did not include specialized LPN IV Certification as part of the curriculum, because LPNs were not required to perform intravenous therapy.

LPN IV Certification courses specifically prepare those students who did not receive IV therapy training, and consist of a pre-study curriculum together with classroom training. Certification course are generally developed according to the nursing standards required by each specific state. These standards usually dictate which type of IV therapy the LPN may perform, and the courses are usually one or two-day courses.

Scope Of Practice

The scope of practice for an LPN can include various advanced IV therapies which can only be performed by an individual who has LPN IV Certification. These include:

  • Administering board-approved IV medications and fluids via the peripheral route, including IVPB anti-fungals, IVPB antibiotics, electrolyte solutions with vitamins and/or potassium, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) provided such fluids and medications are appropriate for IV administration
  • Using a non-therapeutic dose of a flush solution to maintain patency of a peripheral intermittent vascular access device
  • Assisting a Registered Nurse to administer mid-clavicular, mid-line or central venous infusion of board-approved IV fluids. The LPN does this by checking the IV flow-rate and changing the dressing.

In most states an IV Certified LPN may not initiate, add to, regulate, administer medications or discontinue a central venous, mid – clavicular or mid – line IV line. There are also certain medications which they may not administer or add to a peripheral venous line, such as blood or blood components, plasma or plasma expanders, chemotherapeutic agents, IV push or bolus medications, and others that are not indicated in the regulations regarding LPN IV therapy. There are many regulations governing what the LPN IV Certification does and does not allow an LPN to do, and these must be strictly adhered to.

Initial IV Certification

Graduates of state-approved licensed practical nursing programs that included the IV integrated curriculum, and who desire to be IV Certified need to apply to the Board for licensure and expanded role certification once they have completed the program. Upon successful completion of the LPN NCLEX and once all eligibility requirements for licensure have been met, the graduate will be granted IV certification. The application for the expanded role certification must be received within one year of completion of the LPN program; if this is not done the Board will require the applicant to complete a board-approved certification course.

LPNs who did their training prior to 2008, and/or did not graduate from an IV integrated program must hold a current LPN License in the state in which they wish to be certified, and have a minimum of twelve months clinical experience as a LPN within the past three years. Official written evidence of the completion of a board-approved IV therapy curriculum course is required when applying for certification.

Renewal Of IV Certification

Like the LPN license itself, the LPN IV Certification is subject to renewal. This is best done in conjunction with the renewal of your LPN license, and can most easily be done via the board’s all-inclusive online renewal system. You could also opt to renew via documents, but that requires two separate applications, one for the LPN license and another for the IV certification renewal. The online method is really far easier and that way you are also ensured that the board will receive both applications.

lpn iv certificationIn order to renew your IV certification you must have completed a minimum of ten contact hours of in-service education or continuing education in IV therapy within the previous two years. You will be asked to indicate whether you have completed the required number of hours on the application for renewal but need not supply evidence of compliance. Be aware though, that the board performs random audits to determine compliance.

Irrespective of whether you have completed an LPN IV Certification course or did an IV integrated curriculum program, contact hours are a basic requirement for renewal of your IV certification. There is only one exception to this rule, and that is if you were certified within the previous two-year period of renewal, e.g. If you were certified on January 15, 2011 and the renewal period is between 1 October and 31 December 2011, you are considered to have met contact requirements. Once this period has ended, you will need to ensure that you complete the requisite contact hours for each renewal period.

All courses and in-services which are accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) are acceptable, as long as they apply to the expanded role. There are also other courses that are offered through various LPN Associations which will be accepted, as well as courses and education programs offered by various facilities. Contact hours can also be accessed online, but make sure that the courses meet the ANCC certification requirements.

Education Prerequisites for LPN IV Certification

Those wishing to complete IV Certification LPN must:

  • Be qualified LPNs and provide a current LPN License
  • Provide documentation of your current Professional Liability Insurance-standard policy
  • Provide a current CPR for Health Care Provider card
  • Provide documented proof of a current negative TB skin test or negative chest X-ray
  • There is also an enrollment fee

Some courses may also require applicants to have first completed a veni – puncture course and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training. Others may require you to have a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification.

Many employers offer these courses or sponsor LPNs in their employ. Other options for gaining certification are to attend one of the certification courses offered by many community colleges. Individuals are often required to complete a self-study course culminating in an examination, prior to gaining entrance to the certification course.

IV Certification Programs

The topics covered in IV Certification LPN courses include refresher courses in health care laws, physiology and anatomy. You will also be taught practical approaches to IV therapy preparation and administration. IV therapy certificate programs typically prepare students to meet an individual state’s IV certification requirements and qualify as continuing education for licensure purposes.

Training will take place in a laboratory using the same equipment and supplies that you would normally use to initiate and administer IV therapy and to demonstrate the basic skills of initiating IV therapy together with regular clinical settings at your place of work or another hospital setting.

Course Topics

You will be given an overview of the IV therapy process and protocols, and will learn the various IV techniques via demonstration, supervised clinical work experience and hands-on lab work as well as some theoretical components. Topics include:

  • Blood compatibility
  • Blood transfusions
  • Central access techniques
  • Central line care in IV therapy
  • Correct documentation protocols for administering IV therapy
  • IV preparation and IV solution concentrations
  • IV therapies for specific disease control
  • IV therapy peripheral access techniques
  • Legalities and regulations of health care
  • Patient complications such as allergic reactions that may arise from IV therapy
  • Principles of infection control
  • The principles of site selection for the appropriate veins to assess for intravenous therapy.
  • The structure and function of the human body
  • The basic physiology of the circulatory system
  • The importance of fluids and electrolytes
  • Venipuncture techniques

Course Duration

There are various courses with some facilities offering a one or two-day course and others that offer a 60 hour course billed as an independent study format course. These courses are usually approved by the State’s Board of Nursing and are specifically designed to allow you to continue working whilst completing your LPN IV Certification course at your own pace. The independent study format courses usually include one day of laboratory instruction and practice, and allow you to complete the balance at your place of work. There are also the two national LPN associations, NFLPN and NAPNES, which offer two different certification options for LPNs. NFLPN offers gerontology and IV therapy exams, and NAPNES offers pharmacology and long-term care certification.

Whichever format you choose in order to gain your certification, it is important that it is accredited and complies with the requirements of the state in which you intend practicing

NFLPN IV Therapy And Gerontology Certification

If you are an LPN who works in an institution that deals with the elderly, you may be interested in completing the NFLPN Education Foundation’s IV Therapy and Gerontology Certification program. If you are already in possession of the knowledge and skills required for this specialty, you can apply for certification by submitting a copy of your current LPN license, and completed proctor and endorsement letters. A specific course in gerontology is not required. An individual at your facility will need to proctor the exam, which means that they must maintain test materials and oversee the completion of the exam.

You will prepare for the exam by reviewing the test preparation materials which will be sent to you upon successful application. This will include videos and suggested readings. There is no limitation on the time you may take to complete your studies.

On passing the exam you will receive a certificate which is valid for two years, after which you will need to re-certify every two years by providing proof of current LPN licensure and the requisite number 20 continuing education credits.

NAPNES Pharmacology And Long-Term Care (LTC) Certification

The LTC program covers care of chronically ill patients who may live in a skilled nursing facility and geriatric issues. The NAPNES pharmacology certificate or NCP(TM) as it is known can be taken by anyone in possession of a current LPN License, and the preparation for it is generally incorporated in the LPN curriculum. If you did not get this preparation as part of your course you can also take a short course to prepare.

You can apply to take this exam either directly after completing your course or based on work-experience, as long as you have documented 2,000 hours of long-term care practice within the preceding 3 years. Re – certification must be done every three years, and requires documentation of employment in the area of certification as well as documentation of continuing education.

Why Do I Need LPN IV Certification?

Not every LPN is IV certified, and some do not bother to get their certification, but there are many reasons that you should. Apart from the fact that your salary can actually double with IV certification, it also opens up the scope of what you can and cannot do as an LPN, which in turn improves your worth to the facility at which you are employed. In other words, getting LPN IV Certification improves your marketability to potential employers, and even to your current employer.

The need for IV Certification also differs from state to state, as not all states are exactly the same when it comes to what an LPN may and may not administer. The following are some guidelines as to what the scope of practice conditions regarding IV therapy in the various states is:

Virtually no states will allow a LPN to perform hemodialysis. Certain states, including Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, and Wyoming will not allow LPNs to administer IV therapy unless they have their LPN IV Certification. Other states such as Georgia, Hawaii, and Oregon have no restrictions or set guidelines about LPNs administering IV medications.

The other states differ in their approach as to whether and what IV therapy can be administered by LPNs. Some states only allow for certain meds to be administered by LPNs whilst others may not be; some states allow LPNs to manage chronic dialysis, obtain blood specimens, administer emergency cardiac meds via IV push, monitor patients’ responses to blood and blood products, perform certain hemodialysis procedures under direct supervision of an RN, administer vitamins and antibiotics, flush peripheral intermittent devices with physiological saline or a heparin solution, administer corticosteroids and H2 antagonists mixed and labeled by a pharmacist, and administer selected meds by IV bolus according to “specific institution policies and after specific institutional in-service.” Other states allow free reign as to what LPNs may administer, as long as they are supervised by an RN or other medical professional.

In order to know what the regulations in your state are you should contact the State Nursing Board in your state. Irrespective of the regulations though, obtaining your IV certification can never be a bad thing.

LPN IV Certification can be obtained through various credentialing agencies such as the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation, which offers a computer-based test given at various testing sites.

The NCLEX for Aspiring LPNs

The occupation of LPN or Licensed practical nurse has become more popular in the past few decades and it is imperative that the candidates’ training for this field is on a specific level in order to safely administer the care that the sick and injured requires from the United States health care system, whether it is the private or government facilities. This brought on the need for the NCLEX.

The NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination, is the examination that any nurse would have to go through in order for them to start practicing. The LPN NCLEX is an extension of the exam that an LPN would have to pass before being able to find work in the nursing field.

Since nursing has been regulated by legislation laid down by the Department of Health, the examination has been standardized to ensure that all nurses who write and pass this examination is up to the standard that has been set by legislation.

The exam has been developed and is administered by the NCSBN or National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc. and has a set way of testing the candidates across all fifty states as well as the four United States territories.

Goals of the LPN NCLEX

Helping to save the lives of others is a very noble cause but when it is not accompanied by the necessary knowledge and skill it could end up defeating the objective.

LPN NCLEX questionsThe primary goal of the LPN NCLEX questions are to make sure the candidates for the position are well versed in the protocol and procedures that are set in place to save lives, and for the care taking of the patients that will speed up recovery. Patient safety is the main objective of the certification process, and it has been very effective and remains to be effective to the day. The examination reflects the knowledge and skill that the candidate has managed to build up during the entry-level course completed as well as what skills and knowledge they have built up in their working environment. The examination provides the board the information they need to assess the working environment of these nurses as well as the content that needs to be implemented in the courses being provided for nurses or potential nurses.

Once the information from each LPN has been analyzed it can be determined whether the correct standard of competence has been obtained to provide safe and efficient service to clients and patients. The question is always raised of whether the right people are being employed for the job and if they have been given the correct training. An investigation can be launched into training and study methods from the information gained at examination level and will be most helpful when a large group of students are being tested at the same time.

Should a small amount of students not be up to standard, it will be an indication that the training and study material is up to standard, and rewrites can be arranged. If the majority of the class does not pass, the training methods and curriculum can be tested against the standards set out by legislation to test if the material presented to students has been updated.

How to Prepare for the Examination

The best way to prepare for the examination is to study properly and to do so at regular intervals before the exam instead of cramming the night before. The night before the exam should be spent relaxing and getting enough rest for the test.

The candidate will not be allowed to take anything into the examination room except for pencils and a photo ID. Packing these the night before and making sure where the examination location is will save the candidate a lot of time and stress on the day of the examination.

Know what to expect in your test

The following is a guide to what to expect in the exam, but is not limited to these categories:

  • 7-13% of the test consists of the management of care which is based on giving medical care to patients in a cost-effective way. You may want to go over as many sources of information to gain knowledge for this section of the test.
  • 5-11% of the test will consist of questions on safety and infection control. The candidate needs to know about how to contain infection and how to limit their exposure to it as well. Safety in the nursing environment does not only concern the patients, but also the nursing staff. Knowing how to protect oneself from infections from patients should be rated very important as well as keeping your patients clean and eliminating signs of infection.
  • 7-14% of the test has questions on the growth and developmental stages of the human body. Studying for this section should include studying the aging process, developmental and transition stages, family planning, body image changes and everything else that concerns the changes and problems one could go through by developing and growing up.
  • 5-11% of the test will be on early detection and prevention of diseases. Knowing how to diagnose a disease in its early stages and doing so correctly can save a lot of lives. Teaching your patients how to prevent contracting these diseases can save even more lives. An LPN may be in a role of counseling patients and will need to know what advice to give patients as well as family of the patient.
  • 5-11% of questions are based on coping and adapting to an illness. When a patient learns about an illness or a disease that they have to live with for the rest of their lives or that may now have limited their lifespan, it can be very traumatic. It is the duty of the LPN to teach the patient and his or her family on how to cope with this new revelation.
  • 5-11% of the questions could be based on Psychosocial adaptations which deal with how you manage and care for patients with chronic and severe mental disorders. This chapter prepares the LPN for dealing with outbursts from these patients and how to help them as well as how to communicate with these patients to avoid outbursts and so they are treated with the dignity they deserve.
  • 7-13% of the questions are based on basic care and comfort which deals with how you treat your patients and how you can ease their pain and make them as comfortable as possible during a time of illness or injury. The questions will test the candidate’s knowledge on immobilizing a patient to avoid consequential injury and how to help a patient to get mobile again after injury. The knowledge on how to move an injured patient to avoid further injury and discomfort will also be tested.
  • 5-11% of questions are based on Pharmacological therapies to test the candidates’ knowledge on how to administer medication and how to tell which medication is for which application. Inserting Intravenous devices and other devices will be included in the questions as well.
  • 12-18% of the test will include questions on the reduction of risk where the knowledge of how to stop a patient’s infection of disease from spreading to the rest of the body or to other patients will be tested. This chapter also deals with preventing consequential injury.
  • 12-18% of the exam deals with physiological adaptation which deals with managing and caring for patients with life-threatening or chronic health conditions which diminishes their quality of living.

How the Examination is Performed

The LPN NCLEX is performed on a computer based system. There are no papers to shuffle through and the risks involved with paper fixing is eliminated as all the questions are drawn according to the level of the candidates skill from the test bank within the computer system.

The exam itself is five hours long which will be preceded by a tutorial. Breaks will be granted optionally to the candidate at intervals set on the computer. When the allotted time arrives for the candidate to take a break, the computer’s timer will stop and a screen will appear alerting the candidate that there will be a short break. After the amount of minutes allocated for the break, the computer will automatically continue its timing of the exam. Once the five hours allowed for the active writing of the test has expired, the computer will automatically switch off which means that the candidate must use the time allocated wisely.

As you are writing, the computerized system will grade you. To keep the integrity of the system and the process intact, the test scores will then be subjected to a second level of verification. This means that the candidate will not be able to be awarded with their test scores.

Passing the Exam

Because of the nature of this exam, it is very difficult for a student to know outright if they have been found competent or not. The best way to pass would be to answer the minimum amount of questions that is allowed, namely 85. If the candidate manages to answer less than 85 questions in the allowed time then they will automatically fail the exam.

The maximum amount of questions that will be asked is 205 and if the candidate answers less than this amount then it is a good indication that the required level of competency has been reached, although not too much stock should be placed in this method of trying to determine a pass or fail. A competency of at least 95% of the questions answered will allow a candidate to be certified and licensed. The reason for such a high passing requirement is to make sure that the staff that are employed in the health care system are competent to save lives and this increases the safety factor for patients.

It is best for the candidate to not try to work out whether they have passed or failed after the examination. It takes roughly four weeks for the results to be released and the competency levels of the candidate will be known. There should be no disputes on the level of the candidate’s competency because of the standards for the process and system that has been set by the NCSBN and the scores are double checked as well to validate their correctness.

Applying for the Examination

Before a candidate will be able to write the LPN NCLEX an application will have to be sent to the Board of Nursing where the candidate wishes to obtain their license. There are certain requirements that the candidate will have to meet as well before they will be able to write the exam. These requirements include:

  • A High School diploma or GED Equivalent
  • Completion of a 1 year Practical Nursing program

Proof of these qualifications will need to be submitted to the board of nursing accompanied by any other documentation required as per state law.

After the requirements verification has been done and the candidate has paid and registered for the exam, they will receive confirmation from the Board of Nursing that they may attend the exam. Scheduling of the exam can be done online by the candidate themselves at a time and place that will be convenient for them.

Rewriting the Examination

Once the official test results have been released and a candidate has not acquired the set level of competency, the test can be rewritten. An application should be sent to the Board of Nursing stating the candidates wish to rewrite the exam and once the board has approved the rewrite, the candidate will have to pay the relevant fees and go through the process of scheduling another appointment for the test.

The only way for a candidate to pass the rewrite is to study more than they did for the first attempt because of the way the computer based testing is set up, the level of competency will remain the same unless the candidate can show an improvement. The system cannot be cheated and the same questions will not be asked again. There are also constant LPN NCLEX reviews done to make sure that the questions are still up to standard.