A licensed practical nurse in the broadest sense is a nurse who cares for the injured, disabled, or sick under the guided direction of physicians and registered nurses. Sometimes they’re referred to as licensed vocational nurses, but outside of the United States – as with most things – these professionals are referred to by different names. You might hear of the registered practical nurse, the enrolled nurse, or the state enrolled nurse. They’re all names for the same position; it’s often wise to keep up with the smaller things that make them different, however.
In many settings the licensed practical nurse can be a springboard to further advancement in the medical profession. LPNs can take tests to become certified in very specific areas like pharmacology, IV therapy, and even care for the elderly. There’s even opportunity for LPNs to become credentialed to take on leadership roles overseeing various personnel in a medical office who do not have licensed (like nursing assistants, for example). For some people, LPN work is not enough – and those nurses typically desire to go on to become registered nurses. Accredited online LPN programs are an ideal way to both gain industry experience and become a licensed medical professional at the same time.
Types of Accredited LPN Programs Online
In 2008 there were more than 700,000 LPNs working in the United States, and that number is expected to grow considerably over the next six years. Of all the LPNs currently employed in the nation, they breakdown into a pretty even workplace demographic:
- 25% work in hospitals
- 28% work in nursing care facilities
- 12% work in physician’s offices
Other opportunities abound at the federal, state, and local levels of employment as well. LPNs can work in home health care services, outpatient centers, and in various community care facilities. Specifically, accredited online LPN programs will address in their curricula various technical scientific skills that one must know to be a successful medical professional. These include things like medical terminology, anatomy, chemistry, biology, and mathematics. While these requirements might seem daunting, instructors in an accredited online LPN program can easily help you grow and understand the material completely.
In the United States, training programs last about a year. In order to be eligible for licensure, LPNs must complete a state-approved training program – which means that if you’re looking for an online LPN program, you need to be certain that it is preparing you to successfully pass your certification in your given state of preference. As the requirements differ from region to region, this is often a painpoint where students make the mistake of taking a program that isn’t necessarily right for them.
Accredited Online LPN Career Niches
Nursing is such a broad field that a credentialed student can pretty much work in whatever niche they can dream up. Some unique job titles include:
- Child Nurses
These nurses work with children who suffer from a variety of illnesses. They make take care of babies born with complications, teens troubled with broken limbs, or in general any health problem that affects a child’s development in a way that hinders his or her life experience.
- School Nurses
These nurses work in schools from the elementary level to the higher education niche, providing general counseling of both a physical and psychiatric kind.
- Neonatal Nurses
Neonatal nurses work with newborn babies who are born sick or prematurely. Complications with respiratory function are common among newborns, so babies born ill need intensive care – from their breathing environment, to the way their fed, to how they are monitored for improvement.
- Prison Nurses
These nurses work to ensure that prisoners remain healthy and that communicable diseases do not cause widespread illness within incarceration facilities. Typically a background in mental health nursing of some kind is uniquely tantamount to being a prison nurse, given the nature of the work environment and the mentality of the individuals contained within.
- Practical Nurses
These professionally work in large-scale medical facilities and often assist doctors in emergency rooms. They can be involved in liaising with pharmacists, primary care teams, and nutritionists. Practical nurses often work on call and have rigorous schedules, but the daily routine is full of good will and personal improvement. The best practical nurses revel in the positive affirmation and social impact of their work.