Choosing the best licensed practical nursing courses involves carefully reviewing the educational options available in your area. Licensed practical nursing courses are available in several different types of educational settings, including hospitals, community colleges, and vocational schools. Make sure that any course of study that you enter is approved by the practical nurse licensing authority in your area. You should also consider your future career goals when deciding where to take your licensed practical nursing courses. If you plan to further your career and perhaps become a registered nurse or eventually earn a college degree, you may wish to obtain your education through a community college so as to make your credits easier to transfer.
A practical nurse, sometimes known as an LPN or licensed vocational nurse, is a health care professional who provides basic nursing care. Licensed practical nurses frequently operate under the supervision of other medical professionals, including registered nurses. Licensed practical nurses are often more restricted by local law in their ability to practice various procedures and may likewise be limited in their ability to make decisions about patient care. In the United States, education for licensed practical nurses usually takes about a year to complete and involves coursework in anatomy, physiology, and patient care along with fieldwork in hospitals and other health care settings. United States–based practical nurses typically need to pass a licensing examination before they can begin to work as practical nurses.
Licensed practical nursing courses are offered in a variety of contexts. Many people complete their practical nursing education at a vocational school or hospital-based program. In some cases, an individual may receive practical nursing education at a vocational high school. Some aspiring practical nurses decide to receive their education through a community college. This option can have several advantages over a hospital-based or vocational school program, as you will have the option of taking college-level courses while you complete each your practical nursing degree. If you choose later on to return to school, you may have an easier time applying those courses to a new degree program.
As a general rule, licensed practical nurses are required to receive licensure through a government agency before practicing. In the United States, licensed practical nurses receive their licensure from state agencies. Each state agency has its own list of approved licensed practical nursing educational programs. Before entering any program that claims to train you as a practical nurse, be sure to find out whether the program is accepted by the agency that will grant you your practical nursing license.