Many people who want to go into the nursing field choose the LPN path in order to get in the field working quicker than going through three or four years of school in order to become and RN with a BS degree.
If you are considering becoming a licensed practical nurse you can save yourself time and check out the online LPN nursing degrees that are available through many virtual colleges and even traditional colleges that have an online presence.
Why Choose an LPN Degree
It may seem odd that some people choose an LPN degree instead of going ahead with an RN degree, especially since there are RN programs that can be completed in less than four years. There are actually many reasons that a person might choose to become a licensed practical nurse instead of or before becoming a registered nurse. Some of these reasons include:
- Degree of difficulty: While the courses are similar in an RN program and an LPN program, the RN program delves much deeper into theory. Many people know that they don’t want have the aptitude for the level of difficulty of the RN program.
- Waiting List: The demand for nurse is high and so is the demand to get into nursing school. Some RN programs have long waiting lists and difficult pre-requisites. LPN programs are usually easier to gain access to and quick to give acceptance.
- Money: Money is one of the reasons cited for choosing the LPN program and it is two-fold reason: one, the cost of the LPN program is typically less expensive than the RN program; and, two, you are out in the nursing field quicker and thus earning a paycheck.
- Time: If an accelerated LPN program is chosen, it is possible to be working in as little as a year. This is a huge time saver and can allow a nurse to have a paycheck coming in much quicker than if you choose an RN program.
- Career Option Uncertainty: Choosing to be an LPN allows students to see what they will be doing and get into the field without committing time and money to an RN program. If they decide that they aren’t cut out for nursing, they can easily find another career path. However, if they find they like nursing, the can easily bridge to an RN degree quickly.
These are some of the reason that many nurses give for choosing to go into the nursing field as an LPN instead of an RN.
There are many different online LPN programs available, some of these programs are direct LPN programs and some are designed to go from certified nursing assistant to licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse. Some of the top online schools for obtaining an LPN nursing degree include:
- University of Phoenix: Offers both online and campus based programs. Programs include M.S. in Nursing, PhD in Nursing, RN to Bachelor of Science and others.
- Walden University: Offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD’s in nursing.
- Kaplan University: Featuring MS, RN to MS, RN to BS and other nursing programs.
These are three of the most recognized names in online universities that offer LPN nursing degrees. There are also many traditional college campuses that have a web presence for online education, such as Duke University.
Courses and Education
If you have chosen to use the Internet to get your education and become a licensed practical nurse you don’t have to worry about receiving less training and knowledge than traditional schools. You will learn how to do many different things and also learn why and how they are done. Classes you will take include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Terminology
- Vocational Rehab
- Health and Nutrition
- Human Growth and Development
These are just a few of the classes that you may be required to take. The good news is that you won’t have nearly as many classes as someone on the RN path. These course and others will help you as you understand the whys and hows behind the various tasks you will perform, such as taking vitals and observing patients.
In most states, you will be able to perform practically all of the duties of a registered nurse with the exception of pushing IV drugs, performing assessments or administering blood products. LPNS work under the supervision of RNs and may also supervise CNAs.
Online LPN nursing degrees allow students to get their education and become working professionals from the convenience of their own home and in less time than if they were going to a traditional school for the same degree or a more advanced degree in nursing.
Online LPN schools offer aspiring nurses the opportunity to work towards a degree in nursing while maintaining a full-time job. Because some students must continue to work full-time to support themselves or their families, online schools may be the only option. Online LPN schools allow students to work towards a stable and growing career in the healthcare field. Online LPN programs are fairly short-term and require just over one year of full time study. Once a student secures a LPN qualification, they can work as a LPN or pursue a nursing degree. LPNs make $40,000 or more each year.
How to Become an LPN
Aspiring LPN students should normally be 18 years of age. For most programs, the minimum requirements include a 2.0 GPA and taking an entrance exam, such as the Test for Adult Basic Education, which includes assessments in reading, writing and math. Some LPN programs are extremely competitive, which means that students may need to meet more than the minimum requirements to be accepted into the course.
Once the LPN program commences, it usually takes 3 to 4 quarters or semesters to complete. Nearly all students can start and complete an LPN program within one and one-half years. The program requires training in behavior patient care techniques. Students will also complete a portion of the program in a clinical setting under the supervision of a Registered Nurse, or in some cases another LPN.
Once the program is complete, students must take the National Council for Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses, to earn a practical nursing license.
Format of Online LPN Schools
For most programs, there is not one true online LPN program. Because LPNs require clinical training, at some point students will be required to attend a session in-person to learn clinical duties and undergo an assessment. For working professionals seeking a program to become an LPN, the best bet is a community college program geared towards those pursuing a second career.
Some community programs offer a flexible format and schedule including evening and online LPN courses. Here are a few online LPN schools below:
Hondros College offers a format ideal for the working professional, as it offers LPN courses in a hybrid format. Students can take classes in the evenings and online, which gives them the freedom to pursue a full-time career and earn money during the day. Furthermore, LPN students can complete their clinical training on the weekends. This allows the opportunity to continue to work, if necessary, while completing an academic program.
Allegany College of Maryland
Once the LPN qualification is earned, students can pursue education online to become a nurse. Allegany College of Maryland offers an online program for LPNs to earn their RN qualification. The program can be accessed at any time of day. All curricular coursework is completed online and students can complete the clinical component of the program in their hometown. Students should verify that they live in an approved state before attempting to attend the program, if they live out of state.