If you are considering becoming a nurse, one of the first questions is what kind of nurse you would like to be.
Licensed practical nurses or LPNs are entry-level nurses that have a practical education.
In this position, you will perform basic patient care tasks while keeping patients comfortable.
LPNs work under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RNs) and other professionals in the medical field.
All prospective LPNs must complete high school then enroll in a year of full-time nursing education, which is a blend of online and in-person from a board-approved program.
This means the educational criteria have gone through the state licensing agency approval process.
Most nursing boards respect other states’ approval processes, so a nurse can become licensed in a different state where they attended schooling.
If you are looking to quickly enter the medical field without spending a significant amount of time and money on education, then becoming an LPN may be the best career path.
To learn more about this lucrative and rewarding career, keep reading!
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Courses Are in an Online LPN Program?
- 2 Can You Earn an LPN Certification Completely Online?
- 3 How Long Does It Take to Earn an LPN Certification Online?
- 4 How Much Does an Online LPN Certification Cost?
- 5 Types of LPN Certifications
- 6 Benefits of Online LPN Training Programs
- 7 Drawbacks of Online LPN Training Programs
- 8 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online LPN Training Programs – Summary Table
- 9 4 Self-Study Tips for LPN Online Students
- 10 Schools Offering Online LPN Training Programs
- 11 Summary
- 12 Sources
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
What Courses Are in an Online LPN Program?
All LPN programs are intense with students required to absorb a significant amount of information in under one year.
While LPN class names tend to vary, they cover the following requirements:
Anatomy and Physiology
Students learn organ structures and human body systems like endocrine systems, circulatory and respiratory functions, motor skills, and sensory functions.
Students learn more about principles that control infection and how these principles can be applied on the job.
Also, the class learns how to clean equipment and perform hand hygiene to eliminate cross-contamination.
Nutrition and Food Safety
This coursework teaches nutritional and diet care and counseling, including how food safety can impact patients.
Typical topics include the prevention of foodborne illness, food safety practices, and caloric needs.
In pathophysiology, students learn how body systems become diseased by exploring normal functions, injury, and infection, organ function when impacted by injury or illness, and how the body works together to be healthy.
Students also learn about disorders and diseases that impact these body systems.
After completing the patient assessment class, LPN students gain knowledge on how to evaluate medical conditions and provide the appropriate treatment and care.
This coursework includes nutrition, pharmacology, the impact of age on injury, vita sings, and diseases.
Can You Earn an LPN Certification Completely Online?
No, students cannot completely become LPNs with online courses alone.
No LPN programs exist that can be taken 100% online because state licensure boards require various aspects of clinical training to be completed in person.
Online LPN programs are often blended, whereby students must finish several hundreds of hours of clinical experience within a supervised environment like nursing homes and hospitals.
However, you can complete the coursework portion of an LPN program online.
How Long Does It Take to Earn an LPN Certification Online?
While different schools have varying requirements, the typical timing to earn an LPN certificate is 12-18 months.
A blended online and in-person program requires textbook and clinical work to earn your certificate.
For those looking to start at a higher pay rate and learn more about their craft, an associate degree can be earned in around two years.
How Much Does an Online LPN Certification Cost?
The cost of an online LPN certification greatly varieties from $2,700 to $43,000, depending on the depth of knowledge you are looking to acquire and the school’s credentials.
An associate’s degree will run between $8,400 and $62,000.
Types of LPN Certifications
After graduating with an LPN certificate or associate’s degree, 20 specialized certificates can be earned, depending on your interest.
These include IV therapy, long-term care, pharmacology, nephrology, urology, wound care, correctional health, hospice care, breastfeeding specialist, certified clinical research associate, and a certified clinical research coordinator.
Additional certificates include registered cardiovascular invasive specialist, transplant coordinator, basic life support, advanced cardiovascular life support, pediatric advanced life support, neonatal advanced life support, gerontology, healthcare quality, and development disabilities.
Benefits of Online LPN Training Programs
There are many benefits to taking an online LPN training program, including:
Anywhere and Anytime Access
Since online training is web or app-based, you can work from your home, office, or remotely.
Since you are not tied to a fixed location to complete the LPN training coursework, you can even travel while not missing a beat in class.
Also, anytime access allows you to learn at your own pace.
You can study during periods that are congruent to your attention span, which leads to improved development, training, and retention.
Many students entering an online LPN training program have an additional home, family, and work responsibilities.
Working a 9-5 job while going to a local college, university, or trade school before or after work is exhausting.
In some cases, the coursework will rob your weekends and eat up hours of free time while you commute to and front classrooms.
With online LPN training, you can access the coursework at your leisure, if you have access to an internet connection.
This could include listing to audio files while commuting to work, using your coffee breaks to study or participate in a discussion, or completing your coursework while sitting on the couch and watching television.
Online courses utilize attractive images, animated descriptions, movie clips, and legible fonts, which allows LPN students to better remember and retain information.
Creatively displaying information leads to an improved understanding of learning coursework as opposed to taking notes with a traditional pen and paper.
In-person learning can often deviate from specific topics or cause students to stop paying attention due to long and boring lectures that do not illustrate real-world content.
As technology continues to improve, online discussions have become more accessible, quicker, and simpler, thus allowing nursing instructors and peers to share learning experiences and information via social media channels and online forums.
This equates to almost immediate feedback from instructors and peers, thus creating an online sense of community and connection throughout the class.
Also, with improved software, those who may be too timid in a physical classroom setting to ask questions, are more outgoing in virtual discussions.
Drawbacks of Online LPN Training Programs
While several advantages to an online LPN training program exist, there are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of, including:
Accessibility to Technology
If any online LPN training program hopes to succeed, students must be able to access the online portal and learning materials.
However, those who cannot access the coursework, due to logistic or economic reasons will fail.
This is still a considerable problem for those living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods and rural areas where connection speeds may be slow.
Even today, some users pay for the time they spend online, while others pay a monthly rate for their connection, which puts them at an advantage.
Another issue in the United States that most do not realize exist is computer literacy.
To be successful in an online LPN training program, you must hold basic computer skills.
For instance, using search engines, being comfortable surfing the Web, and familiarity with Office software, online blackboards, and messaging are requirements.
Those who cannot function using the technology are setting themselves up for failure.
Instructors Must be Experienced with Online Training
Many online instructors find the lack of a physical environment to limit the effectiveness or delivery of their LPN coursework.
Since being an LPN is a hands-on job, instructors must be able to effectively teach the basics since no physical classroom or lab exists.
This lack of instructor experience in an online training environment can result in students not understanding or retaining the material.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online LPN Training Programs – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online LPN Training Programs||Drawbacks of Online LPN Training Programs|
|Anywhere and Anytime Access||Accessibility to Technology|
|Information Retention||Instructors Must be Experienced with Online Training|
4 Self-Study Tips for LPN Online Students
Taking online classes can be convenient for many students.
However, completing an online LPN program requires many of your skills to shine while remaining motivated.
Luckily, there are several self-study tips for LPN online students that will help you get through the coursework and beyond, including:
Create a Study Plan
Planning your time right and setting a time for online learning is the key to being consistent and finishing your online training successfully.
Engage in Online Discussions
Taking an online LPN program does not mean you are learning in isolation.
Instead, connect with classmates via social media or through the online course’s message board.
This will enhance your online experience while teaching you new information about the class or how to succeed in an online environment.
By participating in daily discussions, you will feel empowered by introducing new ideas, which will keep you motivated.
While this can be the most challenging of all if you do not possess the skills for online coursework, remaining engaged and motivated during the online LPN program will help you stay on track and be successful.
To stay motivated, you must create a routine at your own pace, remember why you took the online portion of this program, reward yourself when completing a challenging task, always remain positive, and eat healthy snacks to boost energy.
Also, you want to take regular breaks and be available for yourself away from school and work.
While you may always default to look for answers to questions in the content or online, never hesitate to contact your instructor if you are stuck or have a question.
Although they are not physically present, instructors are there to help students better understand the difficult aspects of a course.
Take advantage of virtual office hours or post questions on message boards.
There may be another student with a similar question who is too shy to ask.
If you do not ask your instructor for assistance when needed, you could miss critical related material in the future.
Schools Offering Online LPN Training Programs
|Lake Area Technical College||1201 Arrow Ave. Watertown, SD 57201|
|Ashland Community and Technical College||1400 College Dr Ashland, KY 41101|
|Pinellas Technical College - Clearwater Campus||6100 154th Avenue N Clearwater, FL 33760|
|Northland Community and Technical College||2022 Central Avenue NE East Grand Forks, MN 56721|
|Midlands Technical College||423 College Street, Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29070|
|Unitek College||333 Palmer Dr. Suite 200 Bakersfield, CA 93309|
|Allegany College of Maryland||12401 Willowbrook Road, SE Cumberland, Maryland 21502-2596|
|Indiana State University'||200 North Seventh Street Terre Haute, Indiana, USA 47809-1902|
|Southeast Community College||4771 W. Scott Rd. Beatrice, NE 68310|
|Western Wyoming Community College||2500 College Drive, Rock Springs, WY 82901|
|Saint Paul College||235 Marshall Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55102|
Entering the medical field as an LPN is an excellent entry-level career for those who wish to progress in the system.
The process begins with the completion of a high school diploma, followed by a required LPN training program, which can be fully in-person or hybrid, passing an exam, and finding a job.
With such an excellent job outlook and so many specializations available in the field, you have many options once you earn your certification.
If you enjoy helping people in a challenging environment, then this could be the best career path for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all states require LPNs to be licensed?
Every state, territory, and district in the United States has a Board of Nursing, which creates standards for safe nursing issues and care, along with nursing licenses.
These local nursing boards require LPNs to be licensed in every state.
Which states need LPNs the most?
The top five most populous U.S. states that need nurses the most are California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
How do I get my LPN license?
The first step is to get educated via the in-person or hybrid program.
It is critical to ensure the program is accredited by the state nursing board.
To become an LPN, you must earn a diploma in practical nursing via an approved educational program.
The next step is to take and complete the NCLEX exam, which proves to the nursing board that you are competent for the industry.
Finally, start your career by finding a job at a hospital, doctor’s office, specialized, clinic, or hospice location.
What functions can an LPN not do?
An LPN is not permitted to administer any drug type through an IV line.
The LPN can flush an IV line in preparation for the RN to administer the medication, but the LPN cannot do it.
LPNs can, however, administer oral medications, topicals, and other treatments to patients.
RNs often ask LPNs to give all medications, including IVs, if they are busy.
However, it is important to understand the rules of your facility and the consequences of your actions if you choose to break those rules.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse