Licensed practical nursing is the common title for a registered nurse. A licensed practical nurse, in most of the United States and Canada, is someone who takes care of people that are injured, sick, convalescent, or even disabled. The registered nurse is not able to take on these patients, but has many opportunities available to work in various settings. Some of these nurses specialize in a certain field such as pediatrics, adult day care, critical care, and more. RNs can work in hospitals, home health care agencies, hospice, and any number of other places where people are seeking care.
Requirements to become a licensed practical nursing are quite strict. Many aspiring LPNs must first take and pass the NCLEX-PN test, which is an exam given by the National Council Licensure Examination Board. If you pass this exam, then you will be eligible to take the licensing exam for your state. Once you have completed the NCLEX-PN, then you will need to take a national licensing examination to get your certificate.
This exam requires you to study and practice for at least 30 hours before taking it. This exam is very important because it is what gives you the ability to evaluate yourself against what is required of you by your state’s laws. There are some medical topics that are covered in this exam, which include how to recognize and administer a variety of vital signs. You will also need to know how to do various physical tests, and how to administer psych assessments. While these are the typical responsibilities of a RN, there are other duties that may be listed on the exam. These other duties are more the responsibility of an LPN, and only an LPN can legally perform these duties.
While passing this exam does not guarantee a license to practice, it does help you to have a strong foundation to start your career as a nurse. It is very important to be familiar with the laws, policies, and procedures in your state before starting your training for a nursing career. The passing rate for the NCLEX is 75%. In order to get your license, you must successfully complete all of the requirements for you to be an LPN.
In order to start your training as an LPN, you can complete either an associate degree or a four year bachelor’s degree. An associate degree typically takes four years to complete, but can take longer if you have less experience in nursing. With an associate degree, you will be able to enter the workforce right out of high school and immediately start as an LPN. A bachelor’s degree takes longer to complete, but it is the bachelor’s that allows you to go on and get a four year degree and become an RN.
Many states require continuing education for nurses in order to renew your license each year. There are many ways to get continuing education credits. If you go to a college or university, you may be required to take credit hours for the specific course that you want to take. Many times, these courses can be paid for by the credit hours, so if you don’t want to take those credits you can use them towards your nursing program without any financial penalty.