Friday, August 26, 2011

Online Degrees in Nursing: Train to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse

Are you currently stuck in an unfulfilling, low-paying, go-nowhere job? Have you ever considered a rewarding career as a licensed practical nurse, or LPN? The ongoing nursing shortage in this country continues to grow and has prompted many schools and universities to expand their base curriculum to include even more online degrees in nursing, one of which, the Associate Degree in Nursing, can quickly train you to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). To give you some more background on this program, in this article we will discuss some of the educational and licensing qualifications for a licensed practical nurse, outline some of the primary duties and responsibilities of this position, and show you how this particular online degree in nursing can be the gateway to further career advancement.

Online Degrees in Nursing: Training and Qualifications for an LPN

There are many different types of online degrees in nursing, but the shortest, and certainly one of the most popular, is the Associates Degree in Nursing, a program that will help you meet the requirements of a Licensed Practical Nurse.

After you complete the core general education subjects, which are required for all types of associate degrees, training to become an LPN will typically span one year and will include both classroom study (courses that can be taken online) and supervised clinical practice. While pursuing this online degree in nursing you will learn the basic concepts and subjects that are involved in patient care, including anatomy, physiology, surgical nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, nutrition and first aid, all of which will prepare you for the nurse’s licensing exam.

Licensure is required for all LPNs, which is really nothing more than a four-part computer-based exam called the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN. This exam will cover topics ranging from maintaining a safe and effective care environment to health promotion and maintenance. Those students who have satisfactorily completed their LPN coursework have a very high rate of passage on this exam.

Online Degrees in Nursing: What Can You Do With an LPN License?

Those who complete the online LPN nursing degree and pass the NCLEX-PN are immediately eligible to begin working with patients, assisting physicians and registered nurses in a variety of care settings, including hospitals and elder care facilities. Duties of an LPN usually include tasks such as recording patients’ vital signs, preparing and administering injections and enemas, dressing wounds and helping patients with their daily hygienic needs, such as dressing and bathing.

With an online degree in nursing you will instantly become very marketable, as the career outlook for LPNs continues to be exceptional, despite the recent economic downturn. There are currently nursing shortages in every state, and qualified nurses are always needed to fill those roles. The salary range for an LPN, while somewhat lower than that of Registered Nurses, is still very competitive, with plenty of room for advancement. In fact, the experience gained working with in these types of care facilities is very valuable, and many LPNs will later go on to complete their Bachelors or Masters Degree in Nursing and become registered nurses with higher salaries and increased responsibility.

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