Practical Nursing (LPN)

Become a Licensed Practical Nurse  


Program Overview

Practical nursing is designed to prepare people to work in relatively stable and immutable nursing situations. They are also ready to assist registered nurses and physicians in complex and changing nursing situations. People considering enrollment or currently enrolled in the nursing program should be aware that prior crime convictions may prohibit eligibility for accreditation upon completion of the program.

Description and Responsibilities

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) are essentially two different titles that define the same position, that of Licensed Practical Nurse. The acronym LPN is used in all provinces and territories except Ontario, where the preferred acronym for this class of nurses is RPN, although their role in the community is essentially the same.

LPNs carefully observe the behavior and reactions of sick people. They look for all changes in a patient’s condition in order to report it and provide appropriate and effective care. 

LPNs provide patients with care and work with nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals. Among other duties, they monitor the vital signs of patients, prepare and give medicines, provide various types of treatment prescribed by a doctor, and help with hygiene and comfort. They inform patients, their family and friends.

The licensed practical nurse holds a two-year diploma in nursing techniques issued by accredited colleges. After completing his / her studies, the future LPN must pass the licensing examination before embarking on a career in health. Once licensed, LPN can provide patient care in a variety of settings, including emergency care, long-term care, home care, and community care.

Required Interests, Skills and Personality Type

  • Must be a good communicator and listener

  • Must be responsible and organized

  • Must enjoy working in a team with colleagues and other professionals

  • Must have excellent initiative and be able to work autonomously

  • Must love contact with the public

  • Must manage stress well

  • Must enjoy physical work and handling (medical) instruments



  • Reception centers and residences for the elderly

  • Various general and specialized hospital services

  • Rehabilitation centers

  • Home care companies

  • Offices of doctors

  • Long-term care centers

  • Medical clinics

  • Continuous Complex Care Centers

How to become a LPN?

To become an LPN practitioner, you will need a high school diploma or GED, and then you will need to complete an accredited LPN program. LPN programs typically include one year of coursework and practical application in a hospital, vocational school, or community college.

Standard coursework in an LPN program—in addition to supervised clinical practice in patient care—covers the following studies:

  • Biology

  • Anatomy

  • Chemistry

  • Psychology

  • Foods and nutrition

  • Physical education

  • Emergency medical technology

  • First aid

  • Child growth and development

The NCLEX-PN Licensing Exam

Some time after graduation, the candidate will have to pass NCEX-PN; the same test is conducted nationwide.

A nurse student may sometimes begin the application process before graduation. She applies to the council in her state or state where she wants to get a license. There may be several steps to the application process. The candidate may need to be fingerprinted. She may also need a notary signature.

The candidate will pay a fee to register for the licensing exam. If a candidate does not pass the NCLEX-PN on her first attempt, she can try again. Some states allow candidates to work under a temporary permit while they are waiting to test but rescind the privilege for those who don’t pass the first time around.


LPN Salaries

Salaries can vary dramatically based on several variables, including the size and kind of health care facility, geographic location and the educational levels of individual nurses.

Students considering careers as LPNs or LVNs should examine their earning potential prior to enrolling in an educational program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more than 700,000 LVNs and LPNs were employed in the United States in 2013 for example, with the median salary was $43,420, with those employed at junior colleges earning the highest mean salary of $51,050 per year.

Earning a licensed practical nursing degree is an attractive career choice because of the relatively short training period and the possibility of earning a salary of at least of $15,000 higher than the average U.S. income. As is true for RNs, LPNs should understand that this career is not a typical 9-to-5 occupation. Long-term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, and other types of healthcare employers give preference to licensed practical nurses who are willing to work rotating shifts, weekends, holidays, double shifts, and other types of schedules inherent to the industry.

How to find a school or a program?

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