How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is somebody who has graduated from a formal practical nursing education program and is licensed by the state to provide routine care for the sick. LPNs must practice under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN). LPNs are referred to as generalists because they have a wide range of responsibilities. For example, they must monitor and record the patient's vital signs, prepare and give injections, dress wounds and change catheters. In some states LPNs are permitted to administer prescribed medicines and start off intravenous fluids. Becoming a licensed practical nurse means passing the following courses.

  1. Practical Nursing I This course covers basic disease prevention, illness and wellness patterns, administration of medicines and intravenous therapy. You'll have the opportunity to work in healthcare facilities and laboratories while taking this course. This course provides an introduction to an LPN's basic nursing responsibilities.
  2. Practical Nursing II This course addresses mental health interventions and other specialized subjects. While taking this course you'll gain practical experience in surgical and medical units, birthing units and extended care facilities.
  3. Practical Nursing III This course will introduce you to nursing processes and new technologies in the ever-evolving field of medicine. You'll gain clinical experience in medical, surgical and pediatric facilities.
  4. Pharmacology This course will introduce you to all different types of drugs, their uses and possible side effects. You will also learn how to administer various drugs and intravenous substances.
  5. Licensing After completing the coursework you'll be ready to take the LPN licensing exam in order to receive certification.

[sources: BLS, Education]

You're now a licensed practical nurse.