A Primer On LPN Schools And Training

LPNs -- that's Licensed Practical Nurses -- who have completed an LPN program at some form of accredited institution are becoming more and more desirable these days. Medical institutions don't have enough professionals on hand to care for all of the people that are coming in, and this at a time when the 'big three' diseases of the USA are all on the rise. 

The purpose of an LPN is to act as the primary actor in a hospital, nursing home, doctor's office, or other medical institution. Because LPNs are generalists able to operate in a variety of circumstances, they must obviously receive a fairly comprehensive training regimen. And they do: becoming an LPN requires you to learn anatomy, emergency medicine, CPR, physiology, obstetrics, gynecology, mental health, geriatrics, cardiac support, pharmacology, and even some surgery!

These courses are often handed out over the course of four or five years of LPN training at a hospital, or three or four years of LPN courses at an educational institution. Recently, online LPN schools have opened that offer an at-your-own-pace set of LPN programs that an ambitious and driven student can complete in as little as nine months! The drawback is that completing them that quickly will basically require sacrificing your social life -- but the benefit is that you get into the industry years earlier than your peers and end up with less in school loans to pay back at the same time.

There are a few requirements, however, to the process. First of all, you have to be at least 18 years of age. No matter how many years early you finished high school and no matter high your SAT scores are, online LPN training absolutely requires you to be 18. Second, you have to have a high school diploma: no dropouts allowed in the medical profession, end of story. (GEDs do count, though.)

If you are interested in online LPN training, your first responsibility is to caveat your emptor. In other words, make sure that the online LPN courses you're looking at are

A) accredited, and

B) relevant.

It's totally possible to get an LPN certification from someone who has no right at all to give it to you, and if you do, you'll find that you wasted your money. Furthermore, there are some places that offer LPN school specifically intended to set you up for a nursing specialization like anesthesiology -- and if you take one of those without intending to get into that specialty, you're wasting your own time and money. So before you begin, make sure you get a solid summary of exactly what you'll be learning and what it's intended to be used for, and get proof off accreditation from your institute of choice.

Once you find the right place to get your LPN program from, you'll find that it's relatively straightforward. In general, lectures will be recorded on video, books will be in PDF form, and tests will take place over an online secure connection. Tests will generally be open-book (because really, how could they stop you?), but cheating won't help you -- the State-administered LPN exam at the end is always pen-and-paper, in-person, and closed-book. So study up, because a fabulous career helping people get back to their lives is just around the corner!

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