The LPN Classes You Need for Program
Many people are attracted to an LPN program because it does not take as long or have as many requirements as other paths. This is correct, but there is still a framework that is followed. We will tell you all of the LPN classes you need for a program. All LPN programs have a mixture of theory and practice. Said another way, there is both bookwork and lab work. Traditional education has this completed all on-site, but there are many hybrid and distance programs that allow for you to complete much of your education on your own schedule.
First, while there are not rigorous guidelines to become an LPN there are still certain steps that you should have completed by the time you start your program.
- Diploma or GED
- 2.0 GPA (sometimes)
- English Proficiency for non-native speakers
- Up to date immunizations
- Background check (some states)
Not having every prerequisite should not keep you from looking for programs. Not every state has the same requirements nor does every program. If you are committed to working in the industry and you have at least a GED, it is worth looking into a program that could work for you.
Both an English and Science background can prove helpful, so if you are currently in school, it is advisable to pay extra attention to these areas.
Every program is structured differently, but they will all have a combination of theory and practice. A sample structure is provided below.
Introduction to Nursing career and ethics
While there can be a temptation and desire to jump into the more practical aspects, many programs start with an overview. A healthcare environment often has many pieces and it is important to place LPNs in the context. This will involve how you would relate to others in the industry. It could also address proper communication and teamwork. There will be a focus on the evolution of the industry and the foundations for the expectations of the career. Furthermore, because healthcare has such scrutiny, this is usually the portion of the curriculum where there is an introduction to legal and ethical requirements. Finally, it will outline the rest of your educational journey.
Science and Physiology courses
Depending on your background in science, this portion can sometimes feel overwhelming. Rest assured that hundreds of thousands have gone before you. What you will struggle to comprehend in Week 2 will feel like child’s play by Week 6. Unsurprisingly, there will be a focus on human anatomy, physiology, and human development. You will learn and understand the structure and systems that the body has. A baseline understanding of healthy biology prepares you to understand when something goes wrong. This leads into pathophysiology, which is the study of how disease can cause biological and physical abnormalities. You will learn about diseases, disorders, and acute and chronic illnesses and how to track their evolution to properly communicate with healthcare experts.
Theory gives way to practice as you learn about the role that an LPN will play. Important components are assessment and documentation. Simply stated, you must be able to use critical thinking and an evidence-based approach to assess a patient’s condition. This combines the theory learned previously with observation, communication, and evaluation skills. Next, documenting — often called charting — is important so you can communicate the information you obtain to all of the relevant parties. The standard format is important to reduce mistakes.
Patients in your charge deserve to receive care in a safe environment. This means that you must learn about infection control, proper hygiene procedures, protective equipment and how to handle tools and equipment in a way to guarantee they are safe and sterile. This can sound simple, but is often more exhaustive than many students realize. This could range anywhere from how to properly wash your hands to the best mobility practices when moving a patient to how to respond if there is a hurricane. As a future expert in this field, you must be fully prepared to ensure the safety of your patients.
Finally, there are specialties that are often taught. This can include things like nutrition and healthy living. It could involve pediatric or geriatric patients. Or, it can include learning to operate in rehabilitative centers, emergency rooms, etc. This can often be a particularly helpful area of instruction as students often learn to identify areas of passion, talent, or interest.
After your LPN classes, obtain an NCLEX-PN certification. One tip is that you should prepare specifically for the test. Your program will have given you sufficient education for your future work, but tests can be stressful and demand instant recall. Some students asked about ways to study. Our favorite resource is Nursing.com which has both free study aids and practice tests as well as paid aids.
Find a Program
There are 6-month, 10-month, and 12-month programs available. If you are interested in learning more about your choices:
Many students find it helpful to have a rough outline of their future. With this guide you should now understand:
- The Prerequisites required for LPN Programs
- The LPN Classes you will study
- Certification Required to be an LPN