All States and the District of Columbia require LPNs to pass a licensing
examination, known as the NCLEX-PN, after completing a State-approved practical
A high school diploma or its equivalent usually is required for
entry, although some programs accept candidates without a diploma, and some are
designed as part of a high school curriculum.
Approximately 1,200 State-approved programs provide training in
practical nursing. Most training programs are available from technical and
vocational schools, or from community and junior colleges. Other programs are
available through high schools, hospitals, and colleges and universities.
Most practical nursing programs last about 1 year and include both classroom
study and supervised clinical practice (patient care). Classroom study covers
basic nursing concepts and patient care-related subjects, including anatomy,
physiology, medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, psychiatric
nursing, the administration of drugs, nutrition, and first aid. Clinical
practice usually is in a hospital, but sometimes includes other settings.
In some employment settings, such as nursing homes, LPNs can advance to
become charge nurses who oversee the work of other LPNs and of nursing aides.
Some LPNs also choose to become registered nurses through numerous LPN-to-RN
LPNs should have a caring, sympathetic nature. They should be emotionally
stable because working with the sick and injured can be stressful. They also
should have keen observational, decision-making, and communication skills. As
part of a health care team, they must be able to follow orders and work under
Information on Registered Nurses in America:
Information on Licensed Vocational and Practical Nurses in America: