A high school diploma or general education development test are the minimum requirements for enrollment in licensed practical nurse training. A 2.0 high school grade point average, the Test of English as a Foreign Language, a criminal background check or entrance exam may also be required.
Upon completing training, the next step is applying to the state's Board of Nursing for approval to take the National Council Licensure Exam-Practical Nurse, required of all licensed practical nurses. Each state has established eligibility requirements that must be met in order to be approved to take this certification exam. The exam covers four key areas: safety and infection control, coping and psychosocial skills, health promotion and maintenance and patient care. Some states have licensing requirements in addition to the exam.
A person selecting a licensed practical nurse course should confirm that the school or program complies with the state's Board of Nursing requirements. Graduation from an accredited or approved program is usually required for state licensing and is sometimes an issue for those who decide to pursue further study to qualify as a registered nurse. Most licensed practical nurse courses are one year in length and cover anatomy and physiology, nutrition, basic nursing, and specialty nursing, such as maternity and emergency care.