As a LPN, what work will I handle?
The LPN scope of practice is varied and all accredited LPN training reflects this. As a LPN, your work will entail basic care of patients. You will have the capacity to perform nursing procedures like patient injections, massaging patients, wound dressing, maintain patients hygiene, monitoring catheters, recording major health aspects like temperature, pressure and blood sugar.
In some instances, as a LPN, also known as Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) in Texas and California, you will have the mandate to take samples from patients and testing them in the laboratory. It is worth noting that all the activities of LPNs are carried out under the supervision of a registered nurse or a senior clinical officer.
What to look for when choosing an online LPN/LVN program
You may not be willing to waste your time and money after a long period of study. To ensure you will be on the safe side with online programs, you must ascertain that the school you enroll in for the online LPN nursing program is accredited to do so by the respective Department of Education.
You must also ensure that the online degree program offered by the said school is recognized by the national accrediting body of nurses. As an added advantage, you may wish to enquire from practicing nurses who have taken such online LPN programs successfully.
Doing a bit of research on the school online programs and their credibility could shed some light on the worthiness of their distance and online LPN courses.
In addition, the best online LPN programs must have the capacity to:
- Allow you transfers your credits in the case you want to change the school
- Avail teaching and research resources for student nurses
- Ensure efficient course coverage for all nursing units
- Offer an interactive LPN Students- tutor teaching style e.g. video and audio conferencing
- Prove the credibility of the nursing lecturers/tutors
- Offer transparent and up-to standards nursing exams and testing methods
How will I take my Practical nursing lessons with an Online LPN program?
Practical lessons pose the biggest challenges of taking healthcare degrees online. To be a fully qualified medical practitioner, you must at least have access to practical hospital procedures and a real-world patient care environment experience
For this reason, it is advisable that you choose an online based school that is close to where you live. In this case, you will be able to take your theory nursing lessons online and arrange practical medical lessons at the school. The practical nursing lessons can be done fortnightly, on an arranged crush-program on a monthly basis or depending on your availability.
The online nursing school may also liaise with your local hospital or a renowned health facility close to your locality to allow you take your LPN clinical rotations.
Qualifications to enroll for an online LPN Degree program
LPN programs, like all healthcare careers, are very noble professions. It requires that a person be patient, compassionate, and above all, have the willingness to help people recover from illness and disease and out of their pain and suffering.
Another prerequisite for taking a LPN/ LVN online program includes a high school diploma. This is used to enroll for the basic certificate as a LPN.
Do I have chances to advance my LPN?
Nearly all schools that offer online LPN courses allow qualified LPNs to advance to higher levels of the nursing profession. The advantage of taking an advanced program from as a LPN is that, chances are high you will be exempted from doing a bunch of courses.
The most common advancement observed is from LPN to RN. LPNs who wish to become RNs take a shorter time to finish their programs than fresh entrants. This entails training that enables the LPN to bridge the gap between their mandates and that of Registered Nurses. At the end of this course, the LVN earns an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN).
Other online programs that LPNs can easily take are:
- Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing Administration and Management
What is the course duration for an online LPN degree?
Depending on the online nursing LPN degree program you want to enroll for, the duration of study will vary. Usually, most online Licensed Practical Nurse program falls between the periods of 1 to 4 years. It takes one year to complete the curriculum for the basic LPN certificate and up-to 4 years for the Bachelor of Science in nursing programs.
The 4-year LPN programs can also take a shorter duration if the distance learning nursing school offers crush programs to students.
Curriculum details for Licensed Practical Nurse programs
The courses covered in LPN programs are all related to what RNs take but with lighter details of the course content. Basic medical courses taught include:
- Medical code of ethics
In this course, training student nurses learn how to keep the privacy and confidentiality of any patient’s information. It also aims at enlightening the student nurse on how to treat patients according to their human rights. It ensures the graduate does not infringe the rights of the patients they are taking care of.
Anatomy is the backbone of all medical related careers and as such, LPNs must have hands-on –knowledge about the body anatomy. This includes the learning of various organs and tissues of the body, their anatomical features and location in the body. An online LPN program cannot comprehensively cover the anatomy course and as such, online LPN students must have access to a few practical anatomy lessons by means of a human cadaver.
Physiology courses help a student understand the disease process. Courses on this bracket cover the important aspect of living systems like cells, tissues and organ functions. Enzymes, hormones and other body fluids and their functions in the body are also taught at this point
- Laboratory and testing procedures
This does not entail taking a full course on Medical laboratory practice; rather the basic use of laboratory equipment like x-ray equipment, microscopes, testing kits and incubators. Safe laboratory techniques are also taught. This part is what makes the online LPN programs to be questioned as you may not be quite conversant with vital laboratory practices.
However, many online schools are trying to overcome this hurdle by offering the theoretical protocols to the students online but summoning them onsite to take the laboratory lessons. This again translates back to the need of enrolling in online LPN programs with schools that have you have close proximity to.
- Medical terminology
As LPNs work under doctors or registered nurses supervision, you must understand the use medical terms. This helps you take doctors notes and do as per the treatment plan outlined by the doctor. Medical terms include drugs names, action plans, therapy protocols and medical disease terms. You may also be required to learn a bit of pharmacology.
After taking an online LPN degree program, what next?
Qualified graduates who have taken online LPN programs have great career opportunities. There are emerging needs for basic patient and the elderly care. With a LPN program under your belt, you can easily get career openings with hospitals, home care facilities and Not-for profit organizations.
Many graduates of LPN also get to work in charity organisations that take care of the health-wise marginalized groups. These include the disabled, the elderly, convalescents and other groups of ailing persons who are in constant need of special care and attention.
Other career choices for LPNs depend on what you choose as your area of specialization. This may range from laboratory assistants to physiotherapists to junior nursing administrators.
What is my earning potential with an online LPN program?
According to the US Department of labor and Statistics, the salary of LPNs range from as low as $19000 to as high as $56000/year. However, these statistical projections vary from state to state with New Jersey, California, Connecticut and Rhode Island keeping an all time high salary margin.
Examples of accredited schools that offer recognized Online LPN programs.
The list does not follow any order of preference
University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix College of Nursing has been offering nursing education for more than a quarter of a decade. University of Phoenix offers a large variety of online nursing programs that offer students the flexibility they need in a nursing program. Programs include LPN / LVN to BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN degrees. The curriculum is often updated so it is always current and meets state requirements. Nursing programs are accredited through the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are taught by licensed and experienced health care professionals.
Kaplan University College of Nursing offers a large selection of online nursing programs. Kaplan is accredited and licensed. The instructors are experienced professionals with a strong background in nursing. Online instruction allows students to learn on their own time, giving them the opportunity to maintain a full-time job while attending classes online. Online nursing programs include MSN, RN to MSN, BSN, ASN, and certificate programs in nurse practitioner, nurse administrator, nurse educator and informatics.
Indiana State University
Indiana State University College of Nursing offers several online programs for nursing students. BSN programs include LPN to BSN¸RN to BSN. Advanced practice nursing programs include FNP, Nursing administration, Nursing education, and doctor of nursing practice. These programs allow you to complete the coursework online with no trips to campus necessary. Online teaching allows students to take classes to complete a degree while still being able to work full time. Online courses are flexible yet offer high quality education necessary to learn the skills needed to achieve success.
Chamberlain College of Nursing
Chamberlain College of Nursing offers on-campus and online programs for nursing degrees. The college is known for providing high quality nursing education. The online programs include RN to BSN completion, MSN, RN to BSN to MSN, and MSN and MBA track options. Online programs are designed to provide students with complete coursework that can be completed by students who are employed full time. The programs are taught by faculty who are experienced in the nursing field. Students do not need to complete on-campus work.
Grand Canyon University
The Grand Canyon University School of Nursing offers a variety of programs that can be taken online. Grand Canyon University is a private Christian university located in Arizona. They offer both on-campus and online programs. The online courses include a bridge to MSN Leadership, bridge to MSN Health Care Informatics, bridge to MSN Nursing Education, bridge to MSN Nursing Leadership, bridge to MSN Public Health, and bridge to MSN Acute Care Nursing Practitioner.
Sanford Brown College
Sanford Brown College offers a variety of online learning options including a practical nursing program. The program offers students the ability to attend school online in their own time. The LPN program is designed to provide students with the necessary skills to work in the medical field in a variety of healthcare environments.
Walden University is an online school that offers programs in a variety of areas. The nursing programs are quite diverse. They include the BSN completion program, MSN RN track, MSN BSN track, Nursing Informatics MSN tracks, Nursing Leadership and Management MSN tracks, and DNP program. Walden offers a student-centered approach to learning. Students are provided with plenty of resources to enrich the online learning experience. Faculty is involved in every class and assist in your personal learning.
Jacksonville University is part of the University Alliance. They offer online nursing programs including the online RN to BSN degree program. The program curriculum includes a wide range of nursing subjects to give you a broad scope. Some of the course offerings are community health, critical care, nutrition, statistics, anatomy, physiology, and research and assessment. All courses are available online to allow students the flexibility to work and go to school.
American Sentinel offers a wide selection of nursing programs that can be completed online. The RN to MSN program is an accredited, fast-track program that is designed to provide experienced nurses with the education needed to achieve a Master of Science degree in nursing. Licensed nurses with experience can apply their associate degree toward the MSN without the need to earn a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Students must complete 18 baccalaureate level nursing credits and then complete 36 graduate hours in the MSN program.
Western Governors University
WGU offers a complete selection of online programs including bachelor degrees and master’s degrees. The College of Health Professions degree programs are accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students can achieve their degrees with online studies. Choose from RN to BSN, BSN, BS in Health Informatics, MSN in Education or MSN in Leadership and Management. Students can take courses on a full time or part time basis. The flexibility of online programs allows students to better reach their educational aspirations. Assessments are used to determine specific student needs.
Capella University offers online education in nursing ranging from certificate programs through bachelor and master degree programs. The accredited programs offer students a good option for earning a degree without the need to attend campus-based courses. Faculty is experienced in the health care professions. Students can collaborate with their peers across the country. Programs offer the latest information to provide you with up-to-date knowledge. Upon graduation, students are prepared to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed.
Keiser University Campus Online
Keiser offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (RN to BSN). The program is designed for nurses who already have their license and some practical experience in the nursing profession. The RN to BSN program offers nurses credit for their previous experience and education in nursing. Keiser programs are accredited. Online programs allow nurses the flexibility to work at their nursing positions while they take courses to achieve their BSN degree. Courses may be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. Students must be able to take proficiency exams and prove that they are currently licensed.
If you plan to enroll for an online LPN program, you must ensure that the program is scheduled to meet your expectations in terms of time, achievements and cost efficiency. Choosing right and doing a lot of research on available options for the online LPN programs will help you get a satisfying CV showcase.