Home
 

LVN / LPN Schools
Practical & Vocational Nursing Training

Practical & Vocational Nursing SchoolsAttend to your own ambitions with the same care you show to other people. At LVN/LPN schools, your gift for compassion can be turned into highly respected skills that make it possible to create a more comfortable future for you and your family.

It's what so many health care professionals already know: Expanded opportunity is one of the best things about going into the field of practical nursing. Schools that provide LPN training give dedicated students the chance to begin developing a career full of meaningful rewards.

LPN—or licensed practical nurse—is the job title used almost everywhere other than California and Texas. In those states, people with this career are known as LVNs, or licensed vocational nurses.

And the only difference is in the title. Whether you choose an LVN or LPN program, you'll be taught to perform the same kind of admirable work—providing bedside care to patients who need your watchful eye and practical expertise to help them get better or find relief.

Remember: Increasing your opportunities starts with the right education. Through a practical or vocational nursing program, you can acquire abilities that big employers like hospitals and nursing homes look for.

These short programs also frequently help you achieve the understanding needed to pass the national exam (NCLEX) that leads to officially becoming an LPN or LVN.

So discover how you can become an essential member of the nursing profession. The practical and vocational nursing schools on this page can help you find out what it's like to be such an important contributor in the health of others.

Send one or more of these LVN/LPN schools a simple request for extra information, and let them know that you'd like to begin your training immediately!

LPN/LVN Education and Career Information



Featured Schools


Kaplan Career Institute


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kaplan College

California
  • Modesto (Salida)
  • North County (Vista)
  • North Hollywood
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
Indiana
  • Southeast Indianapolis
Nevada
  • Las Vegas
Texas
  • Corpus Christi
  • San Antonio

Brown Mackie College


Arizona
Indiana
Ohio
And More!
Arizona
  • Tucson
Indiana
  • Indianapolis
  • South Bend
Kansas
  • Salina
Kentucky
  • Louisville
  • Northern Kentucky
Ohio
  • Akron
  • Cincinnati
  • Findlay
  • North Canton

Vista College

New Mexico
  • Las Cruces
Texas
  • Amarillo
  • Beaumont
  • El Paso
  • Lubbock

Concorde Career Colleges


Garden Grove, California
North Hollywood, California
San Bernardino, California
San Diego, California
Aurora, Colorado
Jacksonville, Florida
Kansas City, Missouri
Portland, Oregon
Dallas, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas

Beckfield College


Florence, Kentucky
Tri-County (Cincinnati), Ohio

Carrington College California


Sacramento, California
San Jose, California

Blake Austin College


Vacaville, California

Lincoln Technical Institute


New Britain, Connecticut
Shelton, Connecticut
Orlando, Florida
Edison, New Jersey
Moorestown, New Jersey
Paramus, New Jersey
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Berkeley College


Clifton, New Jersey
Dover, New Jersey

Carrington College


Boise, Idaho

Virginia College


Pensacola, Florida

American Career College


Los Angeles, California
Ontario, California
Orange County, California

InterCoast


Fairfield, California
Kittery, Maine
Portland, Maine

Medtech


Fort Wayne, Indiana
Greenwood, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana

Southeastern College

6 Florida Campuses
  • Greenacres
  • Jacksonville
  • Miami Lakes
  • New Port Richey
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tampa

Institute of Technology


Redding, California
Salem, Oregon

ECPI's Medical Careers Institute

North Carolina
  • Charlotte
  • Greensboro
  • Raleigh
South Carolina
  • Charleston
  • Greenville
Virginia
  • Manassas (Northern VA)
  • Newport News
  • Richmond
  • Roanoke
  • Virginia Beach

Kaplan University


Lewiston, Maine
Omaha, Nebraska

Eastwick College


Hackensack, New Jersey
Ramsey, New Jersey



LPN and LVN Career Information

lpn informationIt can be easy to think of nursing as simply one generic position. In reality, the world of nursing involves multiple designations. Licensed practical nursing (LPN)—referred to as licensed vocational nursing (LVN) in CA and TX—is one of the designations.

LPNs hold a special responsibility when it comes to providing healthcare to those in need, and are often the professionals who can leave the most lasting impressions on their patients. The scope of responsibilities held by an LPN can be broad.

An LPN/LVN is:

  • A health professional who is qualified to handle bedside care of patients dealing with injuries, illnesses, terminal illnesses, disabilities, etc.
  • Able to work under the direction of physicians, registered nurses, and other health care professionals

LPNs (or LVNs) are trained to perform a very broad range of tasks related to patient care. They tend to be the main point of contact for patients since they take care of the day-to-day tasks involved in basic bedside care. Therefore, patients often trust and relate to nurses more than any other health professionals, such as surgeons or specialists. This is important because it can mean that patients are more likely to become comfortable enough with an LPN to talk about new or recurring symptoms or to disclose important background information (which the LPN, in turn, can pass on to physicians and other health professionals involved in a patient's case).

Here are some of the most common duties assigned to an LPN or LVN:

  • Cleaning and dressing wounds
  • Administering IVs and drips (as prescribed by physicians)
  • Basic care, including assistance with personal hygiene
  • Gathering patient information and history
  • Collecting lab samples
  • Giving injections (e.g. flu shots)
  • Performing enemas and monitoring catheters
  • Monitoring patients' conditions and responses
  • Clerical work (e.g. managing patient files, scheduling appointments, etc.)
  • Monitoring vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiratory rate) and blood glucose levels

Prerequisites

In order to become an LPN, a post-secondary education is required. However, there are a few different options when it comes to programs.

Many vocational schools and career colleges offer short-term, career-focused certificate or diploma programs. Generally, the only prerequisite for these types of programs is a high school diploma or GED. Another option is to take an degree program from a nursing college or university.


Program Curricula

Regardless of what type of program you choose to take, and where you choose to take it, most will include:

  • Various nursing areas, such as medical-surgical, pediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics, and pharmacology
  • Classroom studies
  • Hands-on lab experience
  • Clinical rotation or externship opportunities

Some of the common areas covered include:

  • Restorative, therapeutic, and preventive care
  • Basic bedside nursing
  • Infection control
  • Tracheotomy care
  • Medication administration and documentation
  • Common diseases
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Gerontology
  • Patient education
  • Legal and ethical responsibilities

Program Duration

The average training duration for a certificate or diploma program is one year. However, degree programs can take up to two years to complete.

The first portion of a practical or vocational nursing program is generally made up of theoretical training within a classroom, followed by onsite laboratory training with industry-related equipment. Most programs end with some form of real-life training, such as an externship or clinical within a real medical setting. Some of the most common settings for practical experience include hospitals, health clinics, and physicians' offices.


Tuition

The cost of schooling depends entirely on the type and location of school you decide to attend and the program level you choose. That being said, the average on-campus diploma program will generally cost a few thousand dollars per semester. Degree programs tend to be around $5,000 or more per semester.

Regardless of which school or program type you choose, most schools are able to provide some form of financial assistance to students who meet the eligibility requirements. It's a good idea to speak to a school's financial aid department upon enrollment, as they can provide insight and information about funding options and may even help you complete the application process.


Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse

Aside from the educational prerequisites, there are also legal requirements. After graduating from an LPN program (and before you can legally work as a nurse), you must successfully take the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination — Practical Nursing) certification examination.

Developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to help ensure that nursing standards remain consistent across the country, the exam can be quite challenging and will require that you spend time and effort preparing for it.

Here are additional important facts about the NCLEX-PN:

  • The exam is different within each state, and eligibility for licensure can also vary by state.
  • You are only legally allowed to work in the state in which you took the NCLEX-PN. If you move to a different state, you must re-take the exam in order to become legally certified within that state.

Prior to booking the NCLEX-PN, the NCSBN advises visiting its website for additional information, including where to find the nearest testing site.


Employment Outlook

Job prospects are expected to grow much faster than the average—25 percent in the time period between 2012 and 2022, to be exact.

The reasons for this favorable outlook are thought to stem from a few different factors:

  • A large share of the population is becoming older. As a whole, the elderly population requires more healthcare services since they face a higher number of injuries and illnesses.
  • On the whole, the average lifespan is increasing due to improved medical technology. This, in turn, increases the demand for long-term care.
  • As baby boomers reach retirement age, many LPNs are retiring and, therefore, leaving the profession permanently. Their positions must be replaced, creating job openings.

Workplace

Aside from hospitals, LVNs and LPNs can find positions within a variety of healthcare settings, including:

  • Nursing homes
  • Physicians' offices
  • Public health clinics
  • Home health care services
  • Community care facilities for the elderly
  • Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals

There are also dozens of different specialties to be found in the nursing profession. Some may be open to graduates of an LPN program while others may be more advanced and require additional education or certification.

Some of the specialized areas within the nursing field include:

  • Ambulatory care
  • Critical care
  • Medical-surgical
  • Oncology
  • Neonatology
  • Pediatrics
  • Neuroscience
  • Addiction care
  • Developmental disability
  • Administration
  • School nursing

Pay

Referencing US statistics from 2012, the mean yearly wage for LPNs was $42,910.* However, the same statistics also show that salaries can vary widely by location and industry.

  • The highest-paying industry is home health care, with a yearly mean wage of $44,970.
  • The states that pay the highest annual salary for LPNs are Connecticut ($54,690), Alaska ($54,010), and Nevada ($53,490).

Job Benefits

A poll by Gallup showed that Americans view nursing as the number one profession in terms of honesty and ethics. It's no surprise that people see nurses in such a positive light, especially when you consider that their job entails helping to care for others and even save lives. Other pros of the job include:

  • Having the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of your patients and their families.
  • Working within an in-demand field, which could allow you to choose from a broad range of job opportunities. It can also mean better pay.
  • Having many different potential health care work settings to choose from (e.g. hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, surgical centers, schools, physicians' offices).
  • Enjoying the chance to meet new people and perform different tasks each day.
  • Having dynamic job responsibilities, which can allow you to enjoy continuous learning.

Next Step

Research the available schools and programs and find the training that can put you on the path to an LPN or LVN career. Take advantage of the opportunity to contact the schools that interest you for further information!




Main Sources

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, web site last accessed on April 11, 2014.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), web site last accessed on April 11, 2014.