Licensed Practical Nurse training programs typically include classroom study and hands-on practice covering an overview of the profession, direct patient care, documentation, medications and disease prevention/infection control. The nursing profession overview covers the profession's history, different types of nursing and ethical issues facing the nurse, while direct patient care includes assessment, clinical care interventions, patient safety and patient needs, such as mobility. LPN programs also cover anatomy and physiology, general psychology, the stages of human development and nursing specialties.
Since licensed practical nurses can work in a variety of medical settings, programs may include an overview of emergency care, perioperative nursing, end of life care, maternal and pediatric nursing, and rehabilitative care. It may also cover medical surgical nursing principals and practices pertinent to the licensed practical nurse. Depending on state regulations, an LPN program my also include coursework and practice in the administration of intravenous medications.
Depending on the institution offering the program, course work may vary. Vocational school programs are typically nine to 18 months in length and result in a diploma that allows the nursing student to pursue licensing upon course completion. LPN programs available through community colleges, which lead to a certificate or associate degree, usually require an 18- to 24-month commitment, and students completing these programs can transfer their earned credits to a bachelor's degree program. The LPN student, upon completion of an accredited training program, must pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing licensing exam for practical nurses. Eligibility for licensure varies by state.