Renewing Your LPN License Is Easy

It is compulsory that an LPN license renewal must be done every year. It may have been difficult to renew your license before, due to having to personally physically go in to the Board of Nursing office, which may have entailed taking time off work and possibly even traveling a fair distance, the advent of the Internet has made the license renewal for LPN very easy nowadays.

There is now no longer any need to go to your state’s Board of Nursing office to renew your license; you can now do so via a number of reputable online websites.

The easiest way to check the status of your LPN license is to log onto your state’s Board of Nursing website, where you will be able to find out whether your license is still current, lapsed or under suspension. It is very important that you keep your LPN license updated and current, as employers may ask to check it at any stage and you will have problems if you are not licensed, including the possibility of losing your job. Prospective employers will also definitely insist on seeing your license before employing you, as all nurses, including Licensed Practical Nurses must be licensed before they can practice.

Remember that LPN license renewal does require a fee to be paid – you can either check with your state’s Board of Nursing or online as to what this fee is. The fee will differ according to what the state of your license is, as there are various fees for Active to Active, Inactive to Inactive, Active to Inactive, Inactive to Active, Active to Retired, and Inactive to Retired. Fees may also differ slightly from state to state. You will be able to access all the relevant information by either going to your state’s Board of Nursing offices or by checking on their website.

It is also pertinent that you bear in mind that the processing, printing, and mailing of a license renewal for LPN will take a few weeks, so it is recommended that you apply for your new license within a reasonable period prior to it expiring. Most State Boards will allow you to renew your LPN license online from three months prior to the expiration date to one year after expiration. You may be required to pay a visit to your state’s Board of Nursing office if your license renewal does not fall within those time periods. The best way to ensure that you are able to obtain the license renewal that you need is to check online. If you are lucky you can apply for and pay for your renewal then and there, in a matter of minutes, and without even having to step outside of our home or office, depending where you access the Internet.

License Renewal for LPN

Some Licensed Practical Nurses return to work after taking a few years off to raise a family, or for various other reasons, and this is no problem. If you have been unlicensed and inactive for a period of more than two consecutive biennial licensure cycles, however, you may very well be required to prove your competency before being awarded a license renewal. This will generally require you to either sit for a specially constituted examination or by demonstrating your competency by completing other reactivation requirements. If you are in this position then it is advisable that you rather pay a personal visit to the Board, as you will most probably not be able to achieve much online.

What You Will Need for LPN License Renewal

In order to renew your LPN license you will need to provide certain information, so it would be wise to ensure that you have the following handy before attempting to do so:

  • A valid credit card – Most sites accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card. Some sites will only accept one or two of the above. Some sites will accept debit cards and others will not, so it is incumbent upon you to ensure which cards your Board’s site accepts. Some sites will also accept payment by Electronic Check.
  • Your Social Security Number – In order to renew your license online the relevant Board must be in possession of your SSN. Your SSN is used to distinguish you from others with the same or a similar name, so you need to ensure that they have it on file.
  • Your nursing license number
  • Your date of birth
  • A current billing address in the US or US Armed Forces
  • A valid e-mail address – This is so that proof of payment can be mailed to you should you not be able to print it out once you have concluded the transaction. This proof of payment is important because it allows you to continue practicing even though your license may have expired, as it shows that you have submitted a timely application for your LPN license renewal.
  • Evidence of active practice – You may be required to provide proof of a minimum of 1 000 hours of practice within a five year period. This is required for all licensed nurses, which includes those in administrative, teaching, or supervisory positions. It also includes those in any other positions that may require nursing knowledge, judgment and skill, and any other position which requires licensure for employment.
  • Proof of a Refresher Course – If you have not been practicing of late but have recently completed a refresher course, this will satisfy the active practice requirement for license renewal for LPN.

Unfortunately, if you do not have a debit or credit card, or do not have one that your state’s Board accepts, you will have to renew your license by mail or make a trip to the Board offices in order to affect your LPN license renewal. You will also not be able to renew online if your license is in ‘Military, Active’ status, if you need to pay using a money order or a cashier’s check or if you want to change the status of your license.

Accessing the sites in order to renew your license is very simple and anyone can do it, even if you are a bit technologically challenged. All you have to do is to type in the name of your state and Board of Nursing, for example, Maryland Board of Nursing. Click on the link, which will take you to the relevant site, click on the link for LPN license renewal and follow the user-friendly instructions on how to complete the application for your license renewal. Remember to either print out the proof of payment or provide an e-mail address so that it can be sent to you. This is important for you to have in case your renewal takes longer than anticipated and you need proof that you have applied for a renewal.

Remember to change any information that may be incorrect at the same time, such as your address details. Also ensure that you provide honest and accurate information as requested on the renewal application form. This will ensure that your license renewal is processed quickly and also protect you against automatic loss of licensure if you neglected, for instance, to mention that you have been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, or disciplinary action in another state. Some renewal forms may also include questions which you must answer, and which are utilized as part of research into how many nurses are registered, LPN training requirements and various other workforce analysis required to deal with the current nursing shortage.

It is important to check the status of your license from time to time to make sure that all is in order. If you work for a large firm or other organization, they may have purchased a software program that can be used right then and there to check the status of your license. Alterations, important information, updates and reminders for LPN license renewal are generally sent to the employers in possession of these software programs in plenty of time, so that they can ensure that all the members of their staff are always legally licensed.

Most of the states are going or have already gone paperless in order to reduce the chances of fraudulent licenses and also because they are going green so reducing the amount of paper use is crucial. Nursing licenses are included on Provider Credential Search, and most employers or prospective employers use Provider Credential Search to verify current licensure. All updates and renewals are entered into the Provider Credential Search database regularly so their records are always current. This method of licensing also saves on postage, envelopes, paper and envelopes, and the savings are redirected towards projects and activities that protect the public, so it is a win-win situation all round.

Remember, whilst most states will send out courtesy reminder cards that inform you that it is time to get your license renewed approximately six to eight weeks before they are due, it is your responsibility to ensure that your LPN license renewal is done, and that it is done early enough to allow for at least three weeks for the processing of your application.

What is an LPNs Scope of Practice?

An LPN has a limited amount of freedom in a nursing context. If you are planning to become an LPN you may interested in knowing what you can and cannot do:

  • If you are an IV certified LPN then you can administer IV medication under certain circumstances. The situation in which you can administer IV medication is one where the self contained administration unit has been assembled by a pharmacist or an RN. If you are not IV certified or if these self contained administration unit has not been previously assembled by a professional health care administrator then you will not be allowed or able to administer IV medication as an LPN nurse.
  • Tasks will be delegated to you by an RN. There are a certain set of rules and guidelines that RNs must follow when delegating tasks to you. Make sure that you are aware of these guidelines as you will also be held responsible should you perform a task delegated to you that you are not allowed to perform. An LPN has no powers of delegation. If an LPN is unable or unwilling to perform a task, then they are not obligated to do so and no delegation takes place.
  • As an LPN you can perform an EKG but you are not permitted to interpret the results. You are simply required to administer the procedure and observe and record the results which will then be interpreted by a qualified entity.
  • LPNs are permitted to draw blood directly from the venous system.
  • As an LPN you must be supervised and directed at all times. This supervision can come from a registered nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner, a dentist or a physician. This is because the skill set that you will have as an LPN is limited and you will not have the necessary knowledge required to perform many of the tasks on your own.
  • Although an LPN is not allowed to decide on patient care alone, they are able to contribute to the assessment, planning and implementation of this care. RNs hold the power to determine a plan of care for a patient and LPNs are unable to make decisions on their own in this regard.

Delegation is a big part of the LPN scope of practice. There are however several rules that must be kept in mind when it comes to delegation:

  • The task must be properly delegated by the registered nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner, a dentist or a physician to whom the LPN reports.
  • If additional LPN training or competency is required in order to perform a delegated task, this is provided to them.
  • The task must NOT be one that has been declared to be outside the LPN scope of practice by the Board of Nursing.
  • Policy and procedure must allow for the task to be performed.

Deciding Whether or Not Something is Within Your Scope of Practice

LPN Scope of PracticeIf you perform a task that you are not, as an LPN, allowed to perform, then you could be in big trouble. Therefore it is important that you make sure that a task that is delegated to you is in fact within your LPN scope of practice. Three simple steps will help you ascertain this:

Define the task: The first step is to make sure that you understand the task that has been delegated to you in great detail. Make sure that you clarify everything about the task or problem that you are not sure about. Also assess your own skills. If you feel that you are not in fact able to perform the task then raise this problem with your supervisor.
Review laws: There are guidelines about what an LPN is and is not allowed to do. If you have been given a task that you are unsure about, review these laws and standards to see whether or not the task falls within your LPN scope of practice.
Make the decision: Once you have ascertained all of the above you will then be in a position to either accept or refuse the task.

LPN Scope of Practice vs. RN Scope of Practice

Because you will have the option of one day becoming an RN once you have your LPN qualification it may interest you to know how the scopes of practice differ for each position.

LPN Scope of Practice RN Scope of Practice
Assessment The scope of practice for LPN nurses includes observing patient data according to a list of set rules that they must follow unconditionally. Any abnormal findings that they observe must be reported to an RN. An LPN cannot perform a complete and exhaustive physical assessment. LPNs can suggest interventions but cannot implement them unless instructed and supervised. An RN can deal with abnormal observations in a patient and can perform a complete and exhaustive physical assessment. RNs are better skilled at understanding a patient’s condition due to their more advanced training. RNs have the freedom to implement necessary interventions.
Planning An LPN cannot create a plan of care for a patient. There are no situations in which an LPN will be allowed to create a plan of care for a patient. However, they can make recommendations and suggestions to the RN and thereby contribute to the process. An RN can create a plan of care for a patient.
Implementation Part of the LPN scope of practice involves performing routine and non-invasive procedures and tasks related to patient care. The basic responsibilities of an LPN include assisting with bathing, grooming, eating, dressing, walking, and giving oral medication and taking vital signs. LPNs can administer tablets to patients. LPNS are permitted to care for patients who are in a stable condition. An RN can do everything that an LPN does. However, they are also responsible for more complex and advanced tasks such as administering tube feedings (something that an LPN cannot do because of its complexity even though it technically forms part of a daily feeding routine). RNs can administer tablets to patients, but on top of that they can also administer injectable drugs, something that an LPN is not allowed to do. RNs are permitted to care for patients that are in both stable and unstable conditions.
Delegation When it comes to implementation LPNs may perform certain tasks under the supervision of an RN. LPNs and RNs are both accountable for their own actions when assigning and when being assigned a task. RNs are able to assign tasks to LPNs. These tasks have to meet criteria and follow rules (in other words, LPNs are not expected to respond to an RNs every beck and call or to serve as a servant). Certain tasks cannot be delegated as LPNs are not allowed to do them. However when it comes to implementation LPNs may perform certain tasks under the supervision of an RN. LPNs and RNs are both accountable for their own actions when assigning and when being assigned a task.
Evaluation and Documentation Both LPNs and RNs are responsible for evaluating and documenting patient care. LPNs focus more on specific results which they report and record. Both LPNs and RNs are responsible for evaluating and documenting patient care. RNs focus more on the overall picture presented by the observed data.
Patient Teaching LPNs may not become involved in teaching patients, although in some cases they can engage in basic teaching procedures under very specific guidelines. An LPN can for example teach a patient to do motion exercises. RNs have the sole responsibility when it comes to teaching patients. An RN can for example teach a patient how to change their dressing.

The basic job description of an LPN

The basic job description of an LPN is as follows:

  • Monitoring patients and reporting changes to the RN and Physician
  • Providing patient hygiene
  • Assisting the RN in procedures
  • Collect urine and stool samples
  • Procedures for stable patients such as tracheotomy care, nasogastric suctioning, colostomy care, pressure ulcer dressings (depending on the degree of damage)
  • Experienced LPNs may supervise Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
  • Providing the patient or family with general and basic health teaching about modifications in lifestyles (RNs are the ones that are entitled to provide the more in-depth health teaching about risk factors and about certain diseases, Physicians give the diagnosis, information for surgery and options a patient may choose from)
  • LPNs can work in a doctor’s office and help make appointments and keep patient’s records and do other clerical work
  • Giving medications via oral route, intramuscular (IM) route, subcutaneous (SQ) route (IV administration for LPNs depend on each state, some states allow IV certification for LPNs and some hospitals provide training for their LPNs)
  • Monitoring the patient after the administration of medications (depending on the medication given)
  • Sterile dressing changes and bandage changes for patients that are stable
  • Preparation and administration of enemas
  • Monitoring catheters and food intake and output
  • Taking vital signs for patients with predictable outcomes (blood pressure reading, pulse rate, respiratory rate and temperature)
  • Monitoring the height and weight
  • Providing massages and rubs for patients that are stable

LPN vs RN: Responsibilities and Duties

LPNs vs RNs differ significantly in the job roles and responsibilities that they have to fulfil this is in fact one of the key differences as it highlights and controls who may do what and when.

If you are thinking of becoming either an LPN or an RN, then knowing what you will be expected to do in each position is very important. Have a close look at the information presented below and make sure that you have what it takes to complete the tasks required of each type of nurse. If you are not able to do these things, choose a different career.

In shortened form LPNs are able to do a lot less than RNs, but their opinions are valuable and RNs are willing to take their advice and listen to their suggestions on a variety of topics.

LPN Responsibilities and Duties

Here are some of the basic duties than an LPN is allowed to perform:

  • Collecting information from a patient
  • Maintaining patient records
  • Providing patient with basic care
  • Giving injections
  • Monitoring catheters
  • Dressing wounds
  • Assisting with a patient’s basic comfort and hygiene

Note that an LPN is in charge of CNAs and nursing aides. They are responsible for everything these aides do. However, on the other hand, everything that an LPN does must be supervised by an RN. An LPN cannot perform any of the tasks mentioned below which belong to an RN. They are also unable to work unsupervised at any time.

RN Responsibilities and Duties

The basic responsibilities of an RN are far more advanced than those of an LPN. An RN can do everything that an LPN can do, but in addition they have a number of other responsibilities as well. Many people say that this makes being an RN a more stressful job. The things an RN can do are:

  • Treat patients
  • Educate patients and the public about various medical conditions
  • Provide advice and emotional support to patients’ family members
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results
  • Operate medical machinery
  • Administer treatment and medications
  • Help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation

Being an RN comes with a lot more power, but also with a lot more responsibility. In fact many nurses working today believe that being an RN is far more stressful than being an LPN. Hence often nurses make the choice to keep their LPN qualification and not become an RN. However there are many places that you can go if you have an RN qualification, and you do not want to run the risk of closing those doors. The tasks that you perform as an RN are, yes, a little more stressful, but as you become more skilled at your job these tasks will no longer be a serious issue in your way. You will soon become professional and skilled and you will have very little trouble indeed with the job description in the long run, I can guarantee that.

RN vs. LPN: Education

There are a number of differences between LPN vs RN nurses. One of the key differences lies in the education that they have to undergo in order to be qualified for the position. There are a number of things to consider in this regard, and should not come as a surprise to you that RNs, with their advanced levels of responsibility, require more educational training than LPNs.

LPN Schooling requirements

There are a few schooling requirements that LPNs have to undergo in order to be properly qualified to work in the field. These are the following:

The number of years of training that an LPN nurse will have to complete to get their certificate or diploma will usually take something like one year, but can last as many as two years. Because it does not take a lot of time to qualify as an LPN, many nurses decide to become and LPN first instead of immediately qualifying as an RN. This is because they will be able to work as an LPN and earn money while they study towards their RN qualification. You need to be sure that you can devote the time necessary for the successful completion of your qualification before you sign up for an LPN program.

The places where you can get LPN training vary immensely. You could for example get your qualification through state-approved program at a community college, nursing school or through a hospital. The important thing though is that the program you choose to qualify through is state approved. If it is not state approved then you will be effectively wasting your time. There are numerous schools in all of the different states that you should consider if you are hoping to become an LPN make sure that you make the decision carefully and that you do not rush into things.

For an LPN qualification you will have to do main types of training, namely hands-on clinical training and theory work. The theory work comes first and often, depending on the program, you will not be able to move on to clinical training until you have completed the theory training. You may even be able to do the theory section of your qualification online so that you do not interrupt your normal schedule o study. However remember that clinical training is essential and any program claiming to qualify for as an LPN without clinical training is fraudulent and should be avoided.

In order to fully qualify as an LPN nurse in the United States of America you will have to pass the appropriate examination. This is the NCLEX-PN examination and consists of multiple choice questions based on the coursework you have completed. To write the exam you will have to pay $200 to the company that administers the exam. This company is called Pearson Vue. You may also have to pay the state board of nursing in your state to apply for the examination as well as for licensure. Once you have done this you will be licensed to practice as an LPN nurse in that state.

An LPN is required to renew his or her license every two years. In many states you will have to provide proof of continuing training in order to renew your license. It must be noted that fees, practice requirements and/or continuing education hours required vary by state, so make sure that you know exactly what you have to do in order to renew your license. You may, for example, have to pay a renewal fee. You may have to complete 30 or 20 hours of continuing training in order to renew the license.

RN Schooling requirements

There are quite a few differences in schooling when it comes to RN nurses as compared to LPN nursing requirements.

The very lowest qualification that an RN can hold is an Associate’s degree. An Associate’s degree can take about 2 or 3 years to complete. For nurses with higher career goals there are the options of getting your BSN or MSN in nursing. These are both advanced degrees which take approximately 4 years. If you do an LPN to RN bridging course it may take less time. The higher the degree you earn the more job opportunities will be open to you once you have completed your RN qualification. This is far more time intensive than an LPN qualification.

There are numerous places that offer RN training, but usually this type of training is offered in more formal settings. For example you could do a four year nursing degree at a university. There is the option of completing your RN training online. This is because the amount of clinical work that you will have to complete is far less than what you would have to do as an LPN as the assumption often is that you are already working as an LPN and are therefore receiving the education you need. However if this is not the case intensive face-to-face programs are recommended.

Like with LPN training you will have to do both clinical and theoretical coursework. If you are doing an LPN to RN bridging program than you will have the opportunity to do your qualification online as there will not be as much clinical practices for you to do. However if you are studying directly for your RN qualification and bypassing the LPN route, then you will need to engage in even more clinical work then LPNs have to do. Make sure that you are enrolled in a school that offers adequate clinical training so that you can pass.

To complete your qualification and become an RN nurse you will have to write the NCLEX-RN examination which works in a very similar way to the NCLEX-PN examination. It consists of multiple choice questions based on the coursework you have completed. To write the exam you will have to pay $200 to the company that administers the exam. This company is called Pearson Vue. You may also have to pay the state board of nursing in your state to apply for the examination as well as for licensure. Once you have done this you will be licensed to practice as an LPN nurse in that state.

RNs have to also renew their licenses regularly in order to continue practicing, but there is no real set time period for them to do this in and it may vary drastically form state to state. Like with LPN licenses fees, practice requirements and/or continuing education hours required vary by state. You also do not have to engage in as much continuing training if you are an RN nurse as you would if you were an LPN< although it is generally considered wise to keep abreast of advanced in the medical field in order to be a good nurse.

LPN vs. RN: Salary

The average salary for an LPN is about $41,289 a year, while the average salary for an RN is around $65,687 a year. Now these are averages for the nation as a whole. There are some very big differences between specific states so it is important that you find out what the options are in your state before making a final decision in this regard. As you can see an RN can earn a lot more than an LPN> this is why so many nurses treat their LPN qualification as a stepping stone to a better qualification at a later date.

RN vs. LPN: Work Settings

LPNs and RNs tend to be more prevalent in different settings. The figures mentioned below are only approximate.

When it comes to LPN nurses, on average one-quarter work in a hospital setting, one-quarter work in nursing homes, 12 percent work in physician’s offices, and the remainder work in a variety of settings (such as health care services, residential care facilities, outpatient care centers and government agencies). There are literally settings out there to suit every kind of desire. If you feel that you will do better in one setting than another then you have the freedom to choose.
RN nurses, on the other hand, are distributed a little differently. Approximately 59 percent of RNs work in hospitals, 8 percent work in physicians’ offices and the remainder mostly work. mostly in home health care, nursing homes and outpatient care facilities. Again there are a number of options for you to choose form and you should be able to find a setting that suits you.

So there you have it: all of the information that you could possibly need for comparing LPN and RN careers. Hopefully you are now able to decide whether you want to become an LPN first or head straight for the RN qualification. Both have their advantages, and both their disadvantages, but you should have a minimum of trouble making your final decision now that you have taken the time to become well-informed.

Gaining the Inside Lane to Accelerated Nursing Programs

The projected growth in the nursing field is set to place a huge strain on the medical fraternity already under immense pressure from all sectors.

The amount of patients needing care and the government’s increased attention on the health care sector has translated into a very noteworthy statistic; according to the Bureau of Labor, over the next three to four years we could see the need for up to one million nurses.

This is not only because of the developments in the medical fraternity and increased health care funding, but the primary reasons are due to retiring nurses and a society which keeps growing. Suffice is to say that if the health care system improves in the next few years, and by association the condition of the physical health of society, then ironically the population will only continue to grow, placing further demands on the medical industry.

In a time when so many things can be done instantaneously you’d expect that an accelerated nursing program would be a modern day advent, but the truth is that these courses have been around for the better part of three decades. Since their inception there prime purpose has been to meet the demand for nurses. That demand hasn’t slowed in the years since, and has in fact only multiplied. Today, in a down economy, the Nursing field as a career opportunity poses one of the few arenas where substantial growth is expected. So, apart from the few reasons already mentioned here, nursing also happens to offer a relatively secure future in terms of finances at least – a fact the public are growing even more aware of. The point is amplified by the fact that nursing colleges invariably fill their allotted slots for incumbents in study programs, and in some universities, applicants have to jostle to acquire placement. It’s further indication of a growing industry which also happens to stamp great emphasis on the accelerated nursing programs availability to cope with burgeoning demand.

How does accelerated nursing program differ from conventional programs?

As one can expect, a qualified nurse who’s gone through an accelerated program will have all the same skills and training that conventional courses provide. The major difference is of course in the time it takes. The accelerated nursing program may take merely one year to complete. Of course all the subjects in the curriculum are the same; it’s just that the course itself will place a greater strain on the student to cram more work into a smaller time frame. Interesting though, graduates of the accelerated program often achieve higher pass marks. Needless to say, the accelerated program requires a special kind of student willing to brave the intensity of a very demanding course.

The general consensus though, from the medical fraternity (and perhaps society as well), is that the industry has benefited from the introduction of accelerated courses and holds graduates in high regard. Of course the main purpose behind the accelerated nursing program was to satisfy a growing need; and although that need still very much exists – and will not abate any time soon – it has served the medical industry well in fast tracking good and hardworking graduates.

What potential does the accelerated program present?

The accelerated Nursing program student is ultimately on a very set course. They’ve no doubt come to a very pivotal moment in their lives and have chosen to pursue this rigorous program. Due to that very nature, the program serves also to sift through the applicants and characteristically lure’s very dedicated people.

Time constraints mean that you will not dwell on old nursing basics you learned years earlier and are already well versed in, but the course looks to push you and continually add to your training and previous experience. All the regular skills will be taught and are included in the curriculum, like the following:

  • Mental health care
  • Anatomy
  • Psychology
  • the essential nursing care plans
  • Physiology

In some courses, predominantly accelerated LPN to RN programs, they are known to pay particular attention to leadership and decision making skills that will set you apart from your previous roles. It can be widely accepted that an accelerated program graduate does carry a certain amount of respect as they are not new to the nursing profession and have accumulated a fair amount of experience in addition to their intense nursing training.

The benefits of an accelerated nursing degree

Accelerated Nursing ProgramsThe main advantage of the accelerated nursing programs available is that it cuts out several years of study. For instance, the standard associate’s degree program takes two years (cut to one in the fast track form), whilst the BSN degree which usually takes four years will only take up half that time. In considering the momentum built up after enduring a couple of intensive years of study, employers will expect the graduates to no doubt continue on that trend in their work place. Employers are very keen to take on accelerated program graduates due to their high work ethic. Those who choose this avenue of study are invariably very driven people who’ve resolved to take up nursing as either their initial chosen vocation or as a career change. Usually they already have a few years’ experience behind them which aids in expediting their careers as they’re able to apply their working knowledge to the intensive course. It’s mainly due to these reasons that accelerated nursing program students achieve higher grade averages than the standard course students.

Carrying that same work ethic through to their place of employment is commonplace – easing the chances for career advancements in the form of greater responsibilities, promotions and higher salaries.

Interesting to note is that the average salary for those completing the accelerated nursing program is on the rise. The range of pay fluctuates between $43 000 (for the lowest salary one can expect upon graduation) and $94 000 (for the highest qualified and most experienced registered nurses) annually. These figures were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and apply to hospitals where over sixty percent of all nurse are employed.

Needless to say that the higher your level of education, the greater the potential for future employment opportunities, with the doctorate and masters at the top of the list, followed by the degree and diploma.

The challenges that can be expected

Due to the nature of the accelerated Nursing program, every applicant is very aware, or made aware of the challenges involved. Applicants will have to research the course before hand to gain a reasonable understanding of what it entails. With the growing demands of the industry and the evolving role of nurses in not only hospitals but outside faculties as well, not to mention the current (and for a long while to come) nursing shortage, the duties involved and the skills to perform them has placed a new dimension on all nursing programs. The challenges before you may also depend on the type of course you take as well as your previous experience and education; for instance if this were to be your second degree program then you will not study the courses you’ve already completed, thus a full background check will be carried out to determine your enrollment classes.

In addition to the already high demands of the course, there may also be a few entrance exams and interviews to be completed to ensure that the applicant is capable for the course. These may also include, depending on the applicant and their qualifications, a number of under graduate exams.

Accelerated LPNThere will be little rest, if any, between classes as every student will go through a diverse set of training to cover all aspects of nursing so that every graduate is fully equipped to tackle a variety of scenarios they’re faced with in their working environment. Often students will take what they’ve learned in the classroom and move directly to the hospital or clinic to put it into practice; this includes communication and administrative skills.

Above all though, the overwhelming challenge that the accelerated Nursing program presents for the student comes well before they even start the course. The decision to undertake this program and the processes accompanying that choice is a major task in itself, requiring the prospective student to make a huge life decision, which includes, in some instances, changing career paths entirely.

Accelerated LPN program prerequisites

When the accelerated programs were first introduced they were targeted at those individuals who were already in possession of a Bachelor’s or Associates degrees and were looking to further their careers with a second degree. That model applies today as well. There are a few accelerated LPN programs out there, but the more common program involves the LPN to RN accelerated transition course as well as the CNA to LPN fast track course. The latter is aimed at gaining enough credits to earn a degree.

So before looking to enroll in any accelerated program, make sure you have what it takes to not only qualify academically, but also mentally. It is advisable to carry out an authentication test to ensure that the course you’re leaning towards has all that you’re looking for in its curriculum (in particular the subjects which were covered earlier in this article), especially if most of your research is being done online.

Although there are a number of programs available, one should do a fair bit of research to make sure that its right for you. A good place to start is with the schools that offer the courses you seek. For instance, the accelerated LPN program is a rather rare course (most schools offer RN to BSN, RN to MS or a variety of associate degree courses), yet there are a few schools who do provide it and you may yet achieve your degree in under two years.

Who should apply?

As we’ve learned, the type of person who’d be willing to take on the challenge of an accelerated nursing program is a very dedicated and driven person. That student will already have gone through a variety of different courses and programs and spent a fair amount of time studying and working to gain experience. Applicants of the accelerated courses will already be in possession of an Associates certificate, Nursing License, diploma, Associates degree or Bachelor’s degree.
Additionally, those who choose the accelerated program will have a very clear and definite idea of where they’d like to be in their careers and need the time that a shortened study period affords.

It is a very beneficial course to undertake, though getting to the level of experience and skill needed to enroll is a sufficient challenge in itself, one that should not be underestimated, and any applicant who does not research the program well enough, may find a few challenging surprises down the line.

Filling the nursing void

This title may scare people because what would a hospital, or in fact the medical world be without nurses. They are the care givers of the medical fraternity and it is a major concern for everyone that there’s a nursing shortage – which says a sad tale about the state of the health of society. With a shortage of such a vital component of the health care sector, accelerated Nursing programs has sought to provide at least some respite. The good news is that there is plenty of growth in the Nursing field as more people seek to make it their career, and with this increase comes a many new opportunities, even more so for accelerated Nursing program graduates. Nursing has evolved substantially from the basic care giving duties to care plans, administering medication, patient diagnosis, a host of administrative duties and much more.

Subsequently more and more employers are seeking BSN degree holders, thus the accelerated Nursing programs are becoming even more popular as nursing schools make them more widely available, to aid one the fastest growing arenas of study.

All about LPN Continuing Education Programs

There are a number of LPN continuing education programs out there for LPNs who wish to train further and improve their skills.

The topics that you may have the opportunity may include:

  • Abuse & Violence
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (ADRD)
  • Clinical Skills
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Documentation/Medicare
  • Ethics
  • HIPAA / Patient Rights
  • Infection Control & Prevention
  • Leadership & Management Skills
  • Medical Errors Prevention
  • Mental Health & Neurology
  • Nutrition
  • Restorative Nursing
  • Safety
  • Wound Care
  • And much more!

But why is this necessary?

What is Continuing Education for LPN Nurses?

LPN continuing education is basically what you do after you have qualified as an LPN once you have your LPN qualification you have the option to do further training in a variety of different fields. There are several reasons you may do this. For one thing you may want to improve your skills and make sure that you are up to date with the latest technologies. Or you may be doing it because it s required for your license renewal. Continuing education for LPN nurses can also mean career advancement.

The Importance and Benefits of Engaging in LPN Continuing Education

LPN Continuing EducationThere are many reasons why you should engage in continuing education. It is essential that you are prepared to do this if you want to become an LPN. Continuing education is unavoidable as many states require that you present proof of your continuing education when you renew your license. However you don’t need to look on the necessity for continuing education as a bad thing. There are many reasons why this can benefit you and why it is required. Have a look at the list below to see of you understand the benefit of LPN continuing education.

  • Changing Technology: In all aspects of life we are experiencing technological advances which we would not have guessed at a few years ago. As a highly scientific field the health care industry is also being influenced by this trend. Hence the fact that there are always new technologies for LPN nurses to learn about in order to provide good and safe care to their patients.
  • New Medications on the Market: There are always new medications being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If you want to be a good nurse you will need to know how to administer each of these drugs as they come onto the market. You will also need to know what other drugs they can be taken with safely and how much or how little to give patients of different ages. In cases of new drugs it is essential for the safety of your patients that you are aware of how to use the drug without putting anyone in danger.
  • Career Advancement: If you study further after achieving your LPN qualification you will obviously be in a position to advance your career. Now the type of continuing study you do could simply be brushing up on your current skills. However, you will also be able to study to improve your qualification. You could for example get an RN qualification or even study towards your BSN. This means that there will be far more job opportunities out there for you and you will stand a great chance of improving your situation. This is one of the huge benefits of LPN continuing education.
  • Infectious Illnesses: In the last years the world has seen the arrival and eradication (in some parts of the world in any case) of numerous infectious illnesses. We cannot predict when the next illness that threatens our society rears its head, but it could well happen during your career as an LPN. In cases like this you will require LPN continuing education in order to know how to deal with the infectious illness that has arisen. This is a very important aspect of being an LPN and you will need to be prepared to face this if necessary.
  • Special Situations: The previous point is one kind of special situation to which we are referring. There could be a sudden outbreak of an old illness in your hospital in which case you will have to be trained to deal with it. There should be a sudden and field-changing advance in medicine that you will have to be able to deal with. There may be a dozen special situations that will arise that will require you to get LPN continuing education. Often your continuing education will be mandatory, but if it isn’t you should take the initiative and responsibility to be trained anyway.
  • Changes in Licensing Laws: Our understanding of everything changes regularly. For example, our understanding and conception of what requirements a good nurse has to have are change in accordance with other changes that take place in medicine and in society at large. This is why it is important that you are constantly aware of what new licensing laws may be brought into practice. Because of these changing conceptions it may become necessary for LPN nurses to learn new skills and take part in continuing education if they hope to receive their license and continue practicing as an LPN nurse. Make sure that you know what is going on in terms of licensing.
  • State Requirements: Linked to the previous point is the issue of general state requirements. You will notice that in some states you are required to prove that you have done a certain number of hours of continuing education if you want to have your licensed renewed. The number of hours can differ drastically from state to state. There are a few states that do not have this requirement, but it is still important that you undergo LPN continuing education in any case so that you can continue doing your job well and safely.
  • Safety Issues: I think that you can see how all of the previous points tie up with safety issues. If you are to be a good LPN then you need to make sure that the patients under your care are safe. This requires that you are well versed in all of the procedures necessary for keeping them safe and that you know what to do and when to do it so that your patients recover well. It is in fact an ethical obligation to engage in LPN continuing education as you will be unable to ensure the safety of your patients with 100 percent certainty otherwise.
  • Medical Advancements: Just one more reminder of how incredibly important it is that you stay up to date with medical advances. It is essential for professionals from all fields to do this, so if you consider yourself to be a professional and responsible LPN nurse then it is your duty to know what is going on in your field. A practical consideration is that you may struggle to find work or keep your job if you are not aware of the latest medical advancements and if you are not trained appropriately in accordance with those medical advancements.

Consequences of Not Continuing Education

There are a number of consequences to not engaging in LPN continuing education as I am sure you can infer from the above information. Because the nursing field is developing constantly we cannot ignore the fact that continuing education is necessary. Here are some of the things you will have to worry about if you do not do LPN continuing education:

  • You will not be able to renew your license in many states. As it has been mentioned previously continuing education is often a requirement for the renewal of your LPN license to practice.
  • The quality of care provided by nursing professionals in general would diminish. If nurses are not mandated to keep their level of education up then they may find themselves in a position where they are unable to provide the care required. If this happens on a large scale it could seriously damage the entire nursing profession.
  • Care would be inconsistent and dangerous between nurses who have different levels of education making the chances of mistakes happening very likely. This is because an untrained nurse may want to do something that has since been discovered as dangerous. There are simply too much room for misunderstandings between nurses with different educational levels.

Resources for continuing education

Check out these resources for continuing education to see what your options are and where you can study:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Continuing Education
  • Barkley and Associates
  • Nurse Practitioner Certification Review Courses
  • Continuing Education for Nurse Practitioners
  • Health Leadership Associates
  • Nurse practitioners certificate review and generalist nurse certificate review
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurse Practitioners Association for Continuing Education of Advanced Practice Clinicians
  • Nurse Practitioners of Oregon
  • Practicing Clinicians Exchange (PCE)
  • National Free CME/CE Symposia Series and Home Study
  • Learn Well
  • Licensed Practical Nurse Association of Ohio, Inc.

LPN Scholarships: Facts, Figures and Where to Find Them

There are a lot of nursing scholarships available for students who are interested in becoming LPN nurses. Below are some facts about LPN scholarships as well as some of the more relevant LPN scholarships available including information about them to make applying for them easier for you.

Application Process

The application process for LPN scholarships is fairly simple, but you must remember that there is a substantial amount of competition for these scholarships, so you may not automatically receive one even if you complete the application process accurately. There are a few things to remember regarding the application process for an LPN scholarship.

LPN ScholarshipYou will need to write an essay saying why you want to study nursing and why you, and no one else, are the right person for the scholarship. There are usually limited amounts of scholarships that are offered by each institution, so you need to be sure that your essay stands out from the crowd. Make sure that they can see that you have the drive necessary to be a successful LPN nurse once you have completed your LPN training. Here are some things to remember when submitting your essay:

  • Make sure it is grammatically correct
  • Check for errors or misspellings
  • Have another person read your paperwork
  • Pay attention to deadlines

You should also be certain to apply for a number of different scholarships at the same time as you will be up against a lot of competition.

Sources of Scholarships

There are many places where you can get scholarships out there, and many reasons why you may qualify. Let’s have a look at some of your options:

  • Women and single mothers are often eligible for scholarships of varying kinds due to their political position. If you fall into this category look into your options carefully.
  • There are many federal and state funded options available. Be sure to look into the options available in your state.
  • There are a number of scholarships for minority and ethnic groups that may well help students who want to qualify as LPN nurses.
  • Many LPN scholarships are merit based, so if you were an outstanding achiever in a previous institute, such as high school, you may have access to a wide variety of scholarships.
  • Likewise there are a number of scholarships that are offered to people who can demonstrate that they have a genuine financial need for the money.
  • Employers are often willing to help their employees study further, especially in cases where you are already working in a medical institute in some capacity.
  • Specific schools and colleges may also offer scholarship programs, so if there is a specific school you are interested in studying at your first stop should be to inquire about your options at their financial department.
  • Some businesses and corporations offer a variety of scholarships to eligible and deserving candidates.
  • There are also a number of private individuals and institutions that are willing to put forward a limited amount of scholarships. This is also something for you to look into if you are serious about studying.

There is wide range of options open to you, as you can see. Let’s focus more specifically on the options that you have. Below are some scholarships you may be able to benefit from.

Annual NBNA Scholarships

One of the scholarships from which LPN students may be able to benefit is the Annual NBNA Scholarship. Here are the details about this scholarship:

Who offers this scholarship?

The Annual NBNA Scholarships are offered by the National Black Nurses Association. To find out more and to gain access to the application, interested students can visit The National Black Nurses Association.

What are the eligibility requirements for this scholarship?

The eligibility requirements for an Annual NBNA scholarship are as follows:

  • Applicants must be African Americans
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a nursing program
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing
  • Applicants must be members of the NBNA
  • Applicants must be members of a local chapter
  • Applicants must submit an essay, references, an official transcript and evidence of participation in student nurse activities and involvement in the African American community

Basic information

Here are some of the basic things you need to know about this scholarship:

  • Successful applicants will receive aid of $500-$2,000
  • Applicants must apply by the 15th of April
  • The scholarship is not renewable

Filipino Nurses’ Organization of Hawaii Scholarship

Another LPN scholarship that you may be able to benefit form is the Filipino Nurses’ Organization of Hawaii Scholarship. Here are the details:

Who offers this scholarship?

The Filipino Nurses’ Organization of Hawaii Scholarship is offered by the Hawaii Community Foundation – Scholarships.

What are the eligibility requirements for this scholarship?

The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must be Hawaii residents
  • Applicants must be of Filipino descent
  • Applicants must be full time students

Basic information

Here are some of the basic things you need to know about this scholarship:

  • Successful applicants will receive a varying amount of financial aid
  • Applicants must apply by the 17th of February
  • The scholarship is not renewable

Hobble (LPN) Nursing Scholarship

This next option is a very good one of LPN students who want to study for their qualification in Kansas.

Who offers this scholarship?

The Hobble (LPN) Nursing Scholarship is offered by the American Legion, Department of Kansas. To find out more and to gain access to the application, interested students can visit The American Legion Department.

What are the eligibility requirements for this scholarship?

The eligibility requirements for are as follows:

  • Applicants must be Kansas residents
  • Applicants must be attending an LPN school accredited by the Kansas Board of Nursing
  • Applicants must be planning to practice as an LPN in Kansas
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial need for LPN scholarships
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old by the time they write the LPN examination

Basic information

Here are some of the basic things you need to know about this scholarship:

  • Successful applicants will receive aid $300
  • Applicants must apply by the 15th of February
  • The scholarship is not renewable

MARILN Professional Scholarship Award

There are a number of LPN scholarships out there. One that is good for students living in Massachusetts or Rhode Island is the MARILN Professional Scholarship Award.

Who offers this scholarship?

The MARILN Professional Scholarship Award is offered by the Massachusetts/Rhode Island League for Nursing. To find out more and to gain access to the application, interested students can visit the National League for Nursing.

What are the eligibility requirements for this scholarship?

The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must be Massachusetts or Rhode Island residents
  • Applicants must have lived in Massachusetts or Rhode island for four years prior to having enrolled in their LPN program
  • Applicants must be full-time students
  • Applicants must have already completed four months of their studies
  • Applicants must have the relevant career goals and potential

Basic information

Here are some of the basic things you need to know about this scholarship:

  • Successful applicants will receive varying amounts of monetary aid
  • Applicants must apply by the 28th of February
  • The scholarship is not renewable

Nurse Education Scholarship Loan Program

For students who want to study for their LPN qualification in North Carolina, the Nurse Education Scholarship Loan Program may be the answer for you.

Who offers this scholarship?

The Nurse Education Scholarship Loan Program is offered by the College Foundation of North Carolina. To find out more and to gain access to the application, interested students can visit http://www.cfnc.org/

What are the eligibility requirements for this scholarship?

The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in an LPN licensure program at a North Carolina college or university
  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need
  • Applicants must display adequate academic performance
  • Applicants must be citizens of the US
  • Applicants must be residents of North Carolina
  • Applicants will have to pay back the funds after graduation

Basic information

Here are some of the basic things you need to know about this scholarship:

  • Successful applicants will receive aid of $3,000-$5,000
  • Deadline of application tends to vary
  • The scholarship is not renewable

Other possible options

Here are a few other options that you may benefit from, although this account is far from being exhaustive:

Crossing the Bridge between Certification and Licensure with A CNA to LPN Program

It’s only natural that those qualified in the field seek to make the change from CNA to LPN as they look to further their career. The nursing industry is experiencing something of a rebirth in terms of its relevance, need and the general interest as a career path.

Due to changes in the health care system (or perhaps just proposed changes and improvements), many people are regarding the medical fraternity in a whole new light with the increased potential of a growing industry offering renewed appeal. Another reason nursing has experienced renewed focus by the public is because of the greater need for quality caregivers, as statistics point to a growing number of people beyond the age of 65 years in need of special care. Of course where there’s a demand there’s inevitably a supply.

Certified Nurse Assistants were, and still are, a convenient and relatively quick way of getting into the medical fraternity (albeit through the proverbial side entrance); if you’re suddenly in need of someone with a level of nursing expertise and are also willing to take on that responsibility. Since there are many people who have loved ones in need of special care, the CNA course offers a legitimate and quicker way for them to acquire the necessary skills to do the job adequately. Bridging then, from CNA to LPN may come once the skill set ceiling of the CNA has been reached and further skills are required to perform the job and provide the care needed. There are many reasons to make the transition, perhaps most prominent of all is the increase in salary, but for those with more applied or hands-on inclinations, the Licensed Practical Nursing course offers a wider range of expertise in the curriculum.

What’s the Difference, Really?

To find the prime differences between a CNA and an LPN you’d have to consider the difference between a certificate and a license. The difference stretches further than just two pieces of paper though; the length of the courses and programs involved also differ. Effectively the LPN is the more qualified of the two; whereas the CNA acts purely as an assistant and does not administer care medication or treatment of any kind on their own accord. So, when most of the skills are comparatively possessed by the LPNs, what skills do the CNAs have?

The CNA is qualified and trained to clean patients’ wounds as well as fluids caused by the patients’ illness. They’re also charged with assisting patients’ who are unable to perform normal tasks like dressing and washroom visits. No doubt both the Licensed Practical Nurse and the Certified Nurse Assistant are crucial jobs, invaluable to the medical fraternity and those who require special care.

How Do You Become a CNA or an LPN?

The number of people in need of special care has grown in recent years, and thus, so has the demand for nurses and caregivers. With this greater demand has come an increased number of people looking into nursing courses to provide adequate care for their loved one; this in a time with an already overworked medical fraternity. Institutions have thus looked to satisfy this need by offering a number of courses, many of them online. Those courses and programs would of course need to be accompanied by a sufficient number of hours of clinical work experience. The typical Nursing Assistant certification course takes between six and twenty four weeks of study while the LPN program will last up to one year. The transition program from a CNA to LPN will also take be a year-long course.

Once qualified in their respective CNA and LPN training courses, both CNA and LPN will work under supervision by either a Registered nurse or a physician.

Why change from a CNA to an LPN?

There are a number of benefits to furthering your education from being a CNA to an LPN; chief among those is the increased salary. An LPN salary is typically fifty percent more than a CNA salary. This of course comes from a greater responsibility due to the higher qualification. If becoming a CNA is the first rung on the nursing, or even the medical ladder, then the LPN is naturally the next step up with future studies to being an RN (Registered Nurse) and more in the offing. Their skills as an LPN will include a variety of tasks including the following:

  • Monitoring of patients’ vital signs
  • Patient prepping which includes informing them about their pending procedure as well as physically aiding them, perhaps in dressing them and administering medication, pre or post operations. The responsibility of guiding patients toward the correct department may also fall to the LPN.
  • With doctors dealing with all sorts of problems, wounds and patients with a variety of illnesses, the LPN is trained to deal with smaller wounds – needless to say they are also well versed in first aid.
  • Feeding patients who are unable to do so for themselves is another duty of an LPN, as well as administering their constant supply of water.
  • Providing emotional support to patients and family; the general task of care giving.
  • Therapeutic massages, if requested, is also a responsibility of the LPN, as bed ridden patients lack the necessary exercises to maintain or improve their health.
  • LPNs are also tasked with cleaning patients and maintaining good hygiene for those who are unable to clean themselves.

Requirements for Taking the CNA to LPN Bridging Course

CNA to LPNA GED or high school diploma is of course a prerequisite, although gaining admittance to an institution (technical school or community college) for the LPN program may well present its own challenges. There are a few conditions that need to be considered before applying. The applicant (who of course is a qualified Certified Nurse Assistant) must in many cases be in possession of a cardiopulmonary resuscitation certificate. Due to the increase in applicants in LPN programs, current CNAs may find places in the study program hard to come by. Some institutions may require a CNA applicant to have a full year’s experience behind them to be accepted. Of course there are also special care-giving qualities that a person should possess to be able to be a nurse.

The applying CNA can typically expect the following courses in the LPN program (these may naturally be instructed via class or lecture room training and in-clinic/hospital work experience):

  • Nursing fundamentals
  • Nutrition (includes feeding)
  • Physiology
  • Nursing ethics
  • Anatomy – This includes terminology and basic study of the human body
  • Nursing to cater for patients with special needs
  • Treatment and wound care as well as sanitation
  • Communication – in dealing with patients and their families in communicating the nature of illnesses and diseases as well as medical procedures
  • Computer training also falls into the curriculum as nurses need to be computer literate in an industry and society growing ever more dependent on technology

Part – time LPN programs are available, thus one can study to be a Licensed Practical Nurse while working as a CNA.

Note: being a CNA is not a prerequisite of taking the LPN program – there are non-CNA courses on offer.

Why Are There So Many Nursing Types?

There are so many different types of nurses – all specialists in their own right. They include Clinical Nurse Specialists (who work with Nursing staff to maintain certain standards), Nurse Practitioner (they may specialize in a variety of areas including Pediatrics and Gerontology), Neonatal Nurse (they care for premature or ill babies), Orthopedic Nurse (typically for those with joint ailments such as arthritis, and diabetes sufferers), Psychiatric Nurse (found in mental health facilities) to name a few. These professions are also among the highest paying nursing specialties around. To put it one way, the simplest form of nurses, non-specialty nurses include the Registered Nurse, LPN and CNA.

As the medical fraternity expands and improves, and as the amount of people needing care increases with more people looking for employment in the nursing industry; Nursing as a whole has had to adapt. Every type of nurse, in whatever capacity, is there to satisfy a need. The Certified Nursing Assistant program can then be regarded as the base level or entry level rung on the nursing ladder with very good job prospects on offer.

With this increased “popularity” of the nursing program, comes a drawback. Nursing requires a certain type of person to perform the roles adequately, needless to say the qualification process to become one is very stringent. There are a number of exams which every applicant needs to pass in order to progress.

CNA to LPN online

As mentioned earlier, there are a few online courses available for those looking to take the bridging course between a CNA and an LPN. It’s not a guarantee that current CNAs will find courses with the title of ‘CNA to LPN program’, but there are a number of courses on offer for those wanting to be an LPN with a prerequisite being that the entrant be a Certified Nurse Assistant. It must be stressed though that despite the availability of these courses online, those studying and making use of them will inevitably need hands-on working experience and notch a number of hours of hospital or clinic training. Thus, suffice is to say that the online courses can never be more than mere theoretical courses, to be used more for those who have little alternative.

For those looking for schools which offer online nursing programs as well as CNA to LPN programs, here is a list of ten.

  1. Walden University
  2. Grand Canyon University
  3. Herzing University online
  4. The Arizona State University
  5. Saint Josephs University
  6. Kaplan University
  7. Liberty University online
  8. Colorado Technical University
  9. University of Phoenix
  10. The University of Liverpool

This list is no specific order and all carry a very high standard of both courses they offer, as well as the requirements for entry. Some of the courses are bound by state law (where some of the regulations may differ) and others have particular requirements for applicants; notably in the case of age – some institutions require applicants to be at least 23 years old. All those in this list offer online CNA to LPN programs. Needless to say there are more universities and colleges with similar offerings, and this list is only a few examples.

The Earnings

Since the LPN carries a higher qualification to the CNA, they naturally earn a higher salary. Although both are subject to supervision, the LPN has many more responsibilities as the Nurse Assistant will always be regulated to supplementary roles. With that, the typical annual earnings for an LPN is around the $41 000 mark (equating to about $20 an hour), whilst the mean annual salary for a CNA is at a little over $25 000. Naturally the opportunities for growth is heavily in the LPN’s favor, prompting many CNAs to take the transition course.

The very top LPN’s (highest qualified with plenty of experience) are known to earn in the region of $56 000 a year (about $27 an hour). As can be expected though, there will always be a limit to the salary of both the CNA and the LPN, further motivating nurses to study and become RNs or explore other fields in the medical fraternity.

The One – Way Bridge

It’s certainly clear then why so many Certified Nurse Assistants look to make the transition to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, and one of the more convenient ways of doing so is via the CNA to LPN online programs available. It makes even more sense for a practicing Nurse assistant to take the online route as they can then study part time and utilize their in-hospital or clinic experience in tandem with the online theoretical courses. Many will say that the CNA is a great introductory avenue into nursing and that there will always be a role for them, but inevitably, most will look to take the next step up.

Everything You Need To Know About LPN Travel Jobs

There are a number of advantages to LPN travel jobs. Some of these advantages are listed below for your consideration. When looking for travel LPN jobs you will have to go through an agency. There are a number of agencies that offer LPN travel nurse jobs, but you need to make sure that you select the best agencies possible.

Criteria for Choosing the Best LPN Travel Jobs Agency

Here is a list of important things to keep in mind when looking for an agency through which to have your LPN travel jobs career.

  • The dedication displayed by the recruiters
  • The experience of the recruiters
  • The quality of the customer service offered
  • The quality of the facilities available
  • The percentage of successful placements
  • The salary you will paid
  • The signing bonus amount (if there is one)
  • The personalized nature of the assistance you will be giving
  • The amount of assistance you will receive to help you relocate when necessary
  • The reimbursement you will receive when you relocate to cover costs
  • The state of the housing you will receive (e.g. is it furnished or not?)
  • The timing an frequency of the pay check you will receive
  • The Medical, Dental & Vision coverage offered by the agency
  • The quality of the life insurance offered by the agency
  • The quality of the malpractice insurance you will be eligible for
  • The policies regarding time off and whether or not you will be paid
  • The type and comprehensiveness of the benefits you will receive
  • The likelihood of being given opportunities for receiving Continuing Education Credits through the agency
  • The power you have over deciding what kind of shifts you would like to work
  • The number of hours that you will be required to work every week
  • The existence and amount of overtime pay you will be eligible for
  • The likelihood of receiving discounts on products and services offered by the agency
  • The protection you receive against client cancellations

LPN Travel Nurse Agencies

With the above points in mind, here are some of the travel nursing agencies that are well worth considering:

  • American Traveler (to find out more call 800-884-8788)
  • The Quest Group (to find out more call 866-818-8843)
  • Travel Nurse Solutions (to find out more call 888-300-5132)
  • InteliStaf Travel (to find out more call 800-676-8326)
  • American Mobile Healthcare (to find out more call 800-282-0300)
  • Premier Healthcare Professionals (to find out more call 866-296-3247)
  • Nurses in Partnership
  • Freedom Healthcare Staffing
  • Pro-Med Staffing
  • Valley Healthcare Systems
  • The Access Nurses (to find out more call 866-687-7390)
  • Millennia Medical (to find out more call 888-686-6877)
  • Core Medical Group (to find out more call 800-995-2673)
  • American Mobile Healthcare (to find out more call 800-282-0300)

How To Be a Travel Nurse

LPN Travel JobsHere are some of the factors involved in being a happy and successful travel LPN. Consider them carefully before continuing with the application process at the school of your choice.

  • The first thing that you will have to do is to become an LPN, you will have to get your license by attending an accredited LPN school in your state and passing the licensure examination for your state. Once you have done this you will be given an LPN license.
  • The next thing that you will have to do is gain experience. Different LPN travel jobs agencies have different specifications regarding how much experience they want you to have before you can work as an LPN. But as things stand there is no point in applying at an LPN travel agency unless you have at least one year of experience in a hospital or some other kind of nursing facility. Many agencies will require you to have even more experience than that, so it may be worth your while to work for a bit before becoming a travel LPN.
  • Before you get to the point where you start deciding on an agency to choose, you first need to decide where you want to travel. This will affect your choice of agencies later on. You have a few options open to you. You could for example choose to continue working within the United States. On the other hand you may be looking for a bit more adventure. You could be considering leaving the country and working as a travel LPN somewhere else. Make sure you are aware of where you are willing to go before you continue.
  • Have fun. There are a lot rewards both physical and mental that you will receive once you are working as a travel LPN. If you want to be good at your job you need to enjoy what you are doing.
  • You will also need to choose an agency. There are a number of criteria mentioned above that you need to take into consideration when engaging in this part of the process. You do not want to select an agency that is not suited to your needs and you want to end up somewhere where you will be happy. Hence you should be very selective when applying for LPN travel jobs agencies. LPN travel jobs are not easy as it is and you do not want to make the process even harder for yourself by selecting an agency where you will be unhappy. Do your research well and thoroughly.
  • You need to be sure that this is the career for you. Think about it long and hard beforehand. You need to analyze your personality and see if you have what it takes to be a nurse in general and a travel nurse in particular. However if you become a travel LPN and then decide that it is not what you want after all, then you will be able to return to a career as a normal LPN quite easily if that is what you what to do.

Job requirements of an LPN

Travel nurses fulfil all of the same basic LPN duties of other nurses. Their duties are as follows:

  • Feeding patients who are unable to feed themselves.
  • Monitoring patient’s weight, blood pressure, temperature and pulse.
  • Educating patients on post-treatment and home care needs
  • Supervising certified nurse assistants.
  • Collecting samples for testing.
  • Recording food and fluid intake.
  • Recording patient’s vital signs.
  • Completing insurance forms.
  • Monitoring / Reading medical equipment.
  • Making appointments.
  • Keeping records.
  • Maintaining a patient’s personal hygiene.
  • Assisting in delivering babies.
  • Assuring that patients are as comfortable as possible.
  • Dressing wounds.

Advantages of Being a Travel Nurse

Here are some of the basic advantages of becoming a travel nurse:

  • You can experience in various venues you’d normally not see
  • Your pay is typically higher than a non-traveling LPN salary
  • You get more freedom choosing where you want to work
  • You get to meet a broader range of new people

Disadvantages of Being a Travel Nurse

Like with all jobs there are also disadvantages to travel LPN jobs. Here are some of the problems you may encounter:

  • Short Assignments: Because you will only be employed for a short time in each of the locations you work in your will have to spend quite a lot of your time thinking about what your next job will be.
  • Lack of Advancement: Travel LPN nurses are not in a position to advance their careers easily. Career advancement usually takes place in contexts where people have worked there for a long time. This cannot happen in travel LPN jobs as you are always moving around and are only spending short periods of time in each place.
  • Lack of Contacts: You will have to travel a lot and spend very short periods of time in each of the locations you are sent to. This means that you may struggle to make firm friends and stable contacts wherever you go. You need to be able to accept this before applying.
  • Insurance Gaps: Because you are only employed for short periods of time you will not have continual health insurance coverage. For those times in between your jobs you may have no coverage at all.
  • Making The Transition From LPN to RN

    There are a great many options available for an RN nurse, more so than exist for an LPN, which is why there are so many LPN to RN programs for you to choose from.

    LPN to RN Online and Face-to-Face Bridge Programs: The Process

    The important thing to consider is the actual process of moving from an LPN qualification to an RN qualification. There are a number of things that you should keep in mind when deciding to make this transition. It is very important that you know exactly the best way to go about it. It is also important that you know what exactly to expect once you have made the decision to move form to the other. This section aims to help prepare you for this change and give you advice on how to make it.

    Choosing your degree: The first thing that you need to know is that there are a number of different degrees that you can qualify for when you decide to engage in an LPN to RN program. The minimum qualification that an RN can have is an Associate’s degree, so this is your first option. This will qualify you to be an RN as much as other degrees, but if you get a more advanced qualification there may be more options open to you. If for example you decide to get a Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing, or a BSN, then you will be a qualified RN that will have even more opportunities. If you are particularly ambitious and if you want to go really far in the nursing profession then you may try to get a Master of Science Degree in nursing. Each of these degrees have slightly different coursework and teach you different skills. You will also find that they may vary in terms of how long each of them will take you to complete.

    Knowing the coursework to expect: If you are hoping move from being an LPN to an RN then you will need to know exactly what kind of coursework you will be expected to get through. The type of coursework can have quite an impact on whether or not you personally will be able to complete the program and qualify at the end of it all. An average LPN to RN program will consist of algebra, microbiology, chemistry and anatomy, physiology, English, history, civics, or U.S. Government, psychology, computers and statistics. If you think that this coursework will be too heavy for you then you should probably choose something else.

    LPN to RNScope of practice limitations: If you are doing an LPN to RN program then you will probably continue working as an LPN in the meantime. This is fine, and it can even be beneficial, but remember that you will not be able to perform any of the duties of an RN at work as they will be outside of our scope of practice until you are qualified. Even if you feel that you are well trained and that you know exactly what you are doing, you simply cannot perform the duties of an RN until you have successfully completed the LPN to RN qualification.

    Advancement rules: It is important to note that you do not have to progress through each degree to get to the next one. This means that you don’t have to limit yourself by only looking at LPN to Associates degree programs. There are plenty of LPN to BSN and even LPN to MSN courses that are available out there. It can take a long time to reach your educational goals this way, but many courses allow you to start working as an RN or LPN halfway through so that you can begin earning while you learn.

    LPN to RN online options: If you are already qualified as an LPN then becoming an RN is much easier as you will be able to complete the qualification online. This is because you will not have to complete the clinical practice that you had to do when you were an LPN and you are generally considered to have had enough experience by that time to simply do all of your theory work online and then become qualified. Studying online has a lot of advantages but you need to make sure that you have the right personality and motivation for that kind of self study.

    Choosing the Best LPN to RN Programs

    Another thing that you have to consider is how exactly you are going to choose a program from the many programs that are in fact available. It is very important that you make this choice carefully. There are plenty of options out there but you need to make sure that you are able to find the program that suits you the best and that you will be able to complete successfully. There are also programs out there that are worse than others which you will want to avoid. Here are some tips for choosing the best program:

    Credits: There are a number of LPN to RN programs out there that will allow you to transfer credit you earned from previous training. This means that you will be able to avoid repeating work that you have already done in the past. If you have done previous LPN training in courses such as biology that may help you, find out if you can transfer those credits to the various LPN to RN programs that you are considering taking part in. Good programs will let you transfer (and save money).

    Location of program: You should find out where the various LPN to RN programs in your area are held. If, for example, there is a program being held at the hospital where you already work as an LPN, that would of course be the most convenient for you. Hospitals often also offer better tuition experiences as you have more ready access to hands-on experience that is harder to get at a university, school, or college. If the distance that you are able to travel to attend a program is an issue for you then you should also pay attention to location.

    NCLEX-RN pass rates: To become an RN through an LPN to RN program you will have to pass the NCLEX-RN examination. This is essential and you will simply be unable to qualify if you are unable to pass. That is why one of the essential things you should research is the pass rate of the universities and schools under your consideration. Find out whether or not they have high or low pass rates for the NCLEX-RN examination. Schools with low pass rates may not be preparing their students sufficiently for the examination and should probably be avoided.

    Hours: If you are doing an LPN to RN bridge program then the chances are that you are already working as an LPN. This may mean that you should like to work and study at the same time (which is something that is usually easy to do with most LPN to RN programs, especially the online ones). If this is what you plant o do then you need to investigate the hours that you will be required to spend on each of the LPN to RN programs that you are interested n attending. There may be courses that you will be unable to attend with your work schedule.

    Coursework: You need to make sure that the coursework that you will complete in the LPN to RN course is adequate to prepare you for the examination when it comes time to write it. In your LPN training you were provided with a wider range of knowledge and nursing terms. A good LPN to RN program will build on the knowledge that you already have and help you work towards being a good RN, not only in the context of the exam, but also in the context of your career once you have qualified successfully.

    Financial Assistance for LPN to RN Programs

    There are numerous avenues that you can explore if you are looking for financial assistance for your LPN to RN programs. Many institutions, schools, and even some private individuals are willing to help you pay your way. There are a number of things you will need to research and a lot of work will need to go in to your applications, but with a little effort you should be able to get started with your LPN to RN online or face-to-face program fairly soon.

    FAFSA

    One of the options you need to consider is FAFSA. Through FAFSA you will be given access to a number of grants and loans that you may be eligible for as an LPN student.

    Grants: A grant is an amount of money that is given to you to help you pay for your studies that you will never have to repay. This means that if you are eligible for a grant, go for it. Grants are usually either merit based or needs based, and there are usually quite a lot of very stringent requirements. There are also different grants for different states. However, because nursing is such an undeserved profession at the moment there are many grants and scholarships aimed specifically at encouraging more people to become LPNs so there should be a lot of options out there for you.

    Loans: A loan is also an amount of money that is given to you to help you pay for your studies, but unlike a grant you will have to pay the loan back. They also accrue interest over time. There are federal loans, which are the best ones to get if you are forced to go that route as they have the best interest rates. Federal loans are difficult to qualify for, however. Private loans on the other hand are easier to qualify for but come with much higher interest rates.

    Needless to say you should consider grant options first.

    Scholarships

    Scholarships are similar to grants except that they are almost always merit based whereas grants are more frequently needs based. A scholarship serves as a kind of reward for students who have achieved well in the pas providing them with the money they need to study further and become LPNs. And like grants there are many scholarships out there in an attempt to try and encourage students to start studying for their LPN to RN qualifications. A good place to start looking for scholarships is from the schools you are interested in as they often offer their own programs.

    Loan Forgiveness Programs

    If you have been forced to go the route of taking out a loan for your LPN to RN qualification then you may be interested in the loan forgiveness programs. These are programs that deal with part or all of your debt in exchange for which you are required to work for a set amount of time in a facility that is chosen by the state. This will usually be an under served facility, often found in the more rural areas. However this will help you gain valuable experience which will help your career in the future.

    Your Employer

    It may come as surprise to you to hear that many employers are willing to fund the studies of their employees in exchange for which their employees will work for them for a set amount of time. This works in everyone’s favor. Your employer gets an RN who is obligated to work for the facility. You get your studies paid for and you are guaranteed of a job and of some valuable experience once you are out of university. The least you can do is ask your employer and the worst they can do is to say that they cannot help.

    As you can see there are a lot of things to consider and keep in mind when it comes to LPN to RN qualifications, but it is an achievable ideal open to all nurses.

    Understanding the LPN Requirements and What Is Expected of You

    There are a number of LPN requirements that you will have to keep in mind if you are aiming to become an LPN. If you do not meet these requirements, then you will need to either do what is necessary to change your situation so that you do meet the requirements, or you need to consider an alternative line of work.

    The requirements listed below are needed in almost all cases and you simply will not be able to become an LPN if you don’t meet these LPN requirements. Pay close attention to this information if you are serious about becoming an LPN nurse.

    LPN Education Requirements

    There are a number of LPN education requirements to take into consideration when you are thinking of joining the fast growing field of health care. The most common requirements in terms of your education are listed below:

    • If you want to become an LPN you will first have to have a high school diploma or an equivalent thereof. If you do not then your first step would be to get a high school equivalent qualification as this is needed for many lines of work, not just nursing.
      Note: Some schools do offer an exception to the above rule. They will provide you with vocational training whereby you will be properly prepared to be an LPN. This however is not something that you can rely on if you do not have a high school diploma or equivalent. These schools are few and far between and you may not find one in your area. They are also often difficult to get into due to the eligibility criteria that you will have to meet. However this may still be a viable option for you.
    • The next thing that you will have to do is to enroll in an LPN training program. This program needs to meet a few basic requirements. This program needs to be one that is approved and accredited by the State Board of Nursing for the state in which you are hoping to study and practice. The school needs to offer a comprehensive curriculum including both theoretical and practical aspects. The school also needs to prepare you properly for the examination. Remember that although online options are helpful, no LPN qualification can be completed entirely online. Choose your school carefully and think about it hard.
    • The topics that you will have to be well versed in if you want to be a successful LPN are the following: anatomy, physiology, pediatrics, psychiatric nursing, medical-surgical areas, first aid, administering medication, and basic patient care. These are basic LPN educational requirements and you will need to be able to prove that you are knowledgeable in these areas when you right the appropriate examination to complete your qualification. If you feel that you will not be able to study these types of subjects and do well in them, then you may want to consider an alternative career.
    • The LPN examination that you have to pass has already been mentioned once or twice. This s the final LPN education requirements that you have to worry about before becoming an LPN nurse and practicing as a nurse in the state you qualified in. The examination you will have to pass is called the NCLEX-PN exam and this is administered by a company called Pearson Vue to whom you will have to pay $200 to sit the examination. Without passing this exam you cannot become an LPN, so this is a very important thing for you to focus on.
    • LPN Job Requirements

      Here are the job requirements for an LPN:
      LPN Requirements

      • Taking vital signs: Vital signs include things like heart rate and blood pressure. These are basic indicators of how your patient is doing and it will be your responsibility as the LPN in the situation to make sure that your patient is doing well.
      • Preparing and administering injections and enemas: These are basic tasks, I know, but all of the more advanced and complicated tasks lie in the hands of qualified RN nurses. Until you have qualified further these are the most advanced procedures you will be required to perform on a day to day basis as an LPN.
      • Applying dressings and bandages: Wounds can fester easily so knowing how to apply and change bandages is an essential part of being an LPN. This will fall to you to do as more senior nurse and doctors have too many other demands on their time to change bandages.
      • Watching catheters: A big part of LPN requirements when it comes to the job that you will have to do is observation. You will need to observe things, such as catheters and make notes about what you see. This is not a glamorous part of the job, but it is highly necessary.
      • Treating bedsores: When patients lie in one place for too long they are likely to develop bedsores. One of your jobs as an LPN is to make sure that these bedsores are properly treated so that they do not become infected and cause further problems. Identifying bedsores is a big part of your job description.
      • Providing alcohol massages or rubs: When necessary you will have to provide alcohol massages and rubs to your patients as this helps to sterilize the necessary areas. This is a very basic part of the job, but it is also essential and must be done carefully.
      • Monitoring patients and reporting changes: This is very important and you have to take great care to make sure that you are noting all of the changes that take place in your patients and that you are reporting them adequately. In many cases the health and sometimes even the life of your patient may depend on the observations you make in this regard.
      • Collecting samples for testing: Because registered nurses and doctors don’t have time to do everything, it may fall to you to collect various samples from your patients to be sent off for testing and to see what s wrong with the patient. These procedures are usually very easy to perform, and you will receive appropriate training.
      • Provide patient hygiene: Cleanliness is a very important part when it comes to keeping your patients healthy. In a hospital patients may be unable or not interested in keeping themselves clean. It will be your responsibility to make sure that your patients maintain an appropriate level of hygiene at all times.
      • Feeding patients: Good nourishment is also linked to good health, so patients need to be fed well at all times. Many patients cannot feed themselves, or they may need some encouragement to eat. This task will fall to you as the LPN nurse and it is important that you perform the task well.
      • Monitoring food and liquid input/output: Related to the previous point is the monitoring of input and output. This can be a very good indication of the healthy functioning of your patient and so it is important that you monitor this carefully and that you make sure that your patient is eating and drinking well.

      You will be prepared for the above duties and job requirements due to the coursework that you will have studied. The coursework that you will study includes the subjects of fundamental nursing practices, legal and ethical nursing issues, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, geriatric nursing, microbiology, psychology, and human nutrition. If you worked and studied hard when you learned these topics then you should have no problem at all in performing the various duties mentioned above that are the LPN requirements in terms of job description. This related back to your choice of program. You need a program that will prepare you well.

      LPN Personality Requirements

      Something that people often overlook are the personality LPN requirements that you should have if you are considering this line of work. Here is a list of the possible requirements you should have:

      • A caring nature
      • Have strong communication skills (a facility that runs smoothly depends on good communication between everyone who works there)
      • Be empathetic (this means putting yourself in the shoes of your patient and seeing the situation from their point of view)
      • Be detail-oriented
      • Be emotionally stable (if you are someone who panics at the first sign of an emergency than you seriously need to evaluate your decision to become and LPN, a job which involves emergencies on a daily basis – don’t let your feelings rule you)
      • Be adaptable
      • Be a team player
      • Have physical endurance (this is not a personality trait as such but there is certainly a strong mental component involved in physical endurance)
      • Be a quick thinker
      • Have great judgement
      • Be hard-working (being an LPN is not an easy job, so this is an essential trait for you to have if you want to be successful)

      If you do not have the above personality requirements and traits, then this may not be the right line of work for you to be in.