The fastest route to a nursing career is to become an LPN because an individual will only have to train for nine to 12 months in duration and LPN education program may be given in high school, adult education and vocational technical schools or hospitals. Vocational nurse graduates who become licensed are called Licensed Vocational Nurses. Each state board of nursing in the United States establishes responsibilities and scopes of practice.
The LPN is usually required to work under the direction and supervision of an RN or other licensed medical personnel. The scope of nursing practice concentrates on technical nursing procedures and treatments. LPNs provide definite advantages to those who desire to work or earn money sooner or those who are planning to take nursing as a second career. The demand for LPNs is high not only in the hospital sector but also in outpatient facilities, home health care services, long term care facilities, and nursing care facilities.
Once an individual becomes licensed practical nurse, he or she can get employment and afterwards he or she may continue education in preparation for registration as a professional nurse or registered nurse. Even though LPNs are presently employed in various health care facilities, LPN preparation is lacking for the complexities of contemporary nursing care except in integrated, stable environments (Lenburg, 2005). The main requirement of LPNs is to pass a state licensing examination after graduation from Licensed Practical Nursing Program.
Another requirement is a high school diploma as well as an entrance test for nursing in order to be admitted into the LPN program. The curriculum for LPN requires that the nursing student review, learn and apply critical thinking during an actual health care environments. Courses offered in LPN curriculum include medication calculation, maternity and pediatric nursing, physiology and anatomy, psychiatric nursing, medical surgical nursing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and nutrition.
Graduates of LPN are encouraged by hospitals, nursing homes and medical clinics to take further education to become an RN. In most cases, it is much easier for an LPN to get his or her degree in Registered Nursing because of his or her previous experience in patient care and the requirement of Registered Nursing Programs that an LPN should attend a one-year program to complete his or her RN degree.
Scope of Licensed Practical Nursing Practice The LPN has a dependent role in assessing patients by gathering information and then reporting to the professional nurse or RN for his or her evaluation and identification of a patient care plan. He or she must not discriminate based on race, age, gender, religion, national origin, patient diagnosis or disability, or sexual orientation. He or she must learn to respect the rights and dignity of patients in terms of privacy, protection of confidential information unless required by law to disclose. He or she must deliver nursing care based on established plan of care or as directed by the professional nurse or RN.
Moreover, his or her degree of supervision or direction relies on his or her knowledge and skill competency through educational preparation as well as the complicated nursing tasks and the clinical conditions of the patient. LPN can accept lawful orders for treatments and medications from a doctor or dentist, certified registered nurses and other licensed or registered health care professionals. In addition, he or she is also responsible for accepting individual accountability and responsibility for immediate reporting of illegal, unethical, substandard, unsafe nursing practice directly to the Board of Nursing (Morgan).