There are a wise variety of educational programs available for people interested in nursing, including options for study to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). After completing a course of study and any licensing exams required by the area in which the student wishes to work, he or she may may work in any number of different medical settings. A practical nurse course will often be developed based on a particular practical nursing area or a collective of potential work environments, so it is important for an individual to have an idea of where he or she would like to work before choosing a program. Programs are available in both classroom settings and online, but both require a clinical experience component at some point in the curriculum before a certificate or associates degree is issued. A LPN program may take as little as seven months or as long as two years to complete, and should usually be taken through an accredited institution or a program administered by a hospital.
Practical nursing programs are mainly vocational education courses available to those with at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Accreditation helps to ensure consistent essential knowledge across all nursing programs in a region or country, but clinical experience may vary. The clinical or laboratory part of the program is intended to give a person real-life experiences dealing with situations that cannot be replicated in a classroom. Investigating what type of clinical environments he or she will be training in for a particular licensed practical nurse program is important because a course may often only incorporate training that is readily available in the local geographic area. If an individual is interested in a specific position after obtaining a nursing license, choosing a practical nurse course with the right clinical experience will give him or her better training in the intended field of employment.
A person desiring to become a LPN or LVN should find a practical nursing program that focuses on all of the information vital to nursing and also includes preparation to pass the licensing exam. Practical nursing courses may also give an individual clinical experience in preparation for working in hospitals, extended care facilities, home health services, office nursing, occupational health, schools, and clinics. There are a number of nursing and practical nursing organizations that can give one more information about what to expect from a practical nursing program. Students interested in a nursing career should contact a local or national nursing organization to find out the necessary education and licensing requirements.