Understanding the LPN Requirements and What Is Expected of You

LPN Education Requirements

There are a number of LPN requirements that you will have to keep in mind if you are aiming to become an LPN. If you do not meet these requirements, then you will need to either do what is necessary to change your situation so that you do meet the requirements, or you need to consider an alternative line of work.

The requirements listed below are needed in almost all cases and you simply will not be able to become an LPN if you don’t meet these LPN requirements. Pay close attention to this information if you are serious about becoming an LPN nurse.

LPN Education Requirements

There are a number of LPN education requirements to take into consideration when you are thinking of joining the fast growing field of health care. The most common requirements in terms of your education are listed below:

  • If you want to become an LPN you will first have to have a high school diploma or an equivalent thereof. If you do not then your first step would be to get a high school equivalent qualification as this is needed for many lines of work, not just nursing.
    Note: Some schools do offer an exception to the above rule. They will provide you with vocational training whereby you will be properly prepared to be an LPN. This however is not something that you can rely on if you do not have a high school diploma or equivalent. These schools are few and far between and you may not find one in your area. They are also often difficult to get into due to the eligibility criteria that you will have to meet. However this may still be a viable option for you.
  • The next thing that you will have to do is to enroll in an LPN training program. This program needs to meet a few basic requirements. This program needs to be one that is approved and accredited by the State Board of Nursing for the state in which you are hoping to study and practice. The school needs to offer a comprehensive curriculum including both theoretical and practical aspects. The school also needs to prepare you properly for the examination. Remember that although online options are helpful, no LPN qualification can be completed entirely online. Choose your school carefully and think about it hard.
  • The topics that you will have to be well versed in if you want to be a successful LPN are the following: anatomy, physiology, pediatrics, psychiatric nursing, medical-surgical areas, first aid, administering medication, and basic patient care. These are basic LPN educational requirements and you will need to be able to prove that you are knowledgeable in these areas when you right the appropriate examination to complete your qualification. If you feel that you will not be able to study these types of subjects and do well in them, then you may want to consider an alternative career.
  • The LPN examination that you have to pass has already been mentioned once or twice. This s the final LPN education requirements that you have to worry about before becoming an LPN nurse and practicing as a nurse in the state you qualified in. The examination you will have to pass is called the NCLEX-PN exam and this is administered by a company called Pearson Vue to whom you will have to pay $200 to sit the examination. Without passing this exam you cannot become an LPN, so this is a very important thing for you to focus on.
  • LPN Job Requirements

    Here are the job requirements for an LPN:
    LPN Requirements

    • Taking vital signs: Vital signs include things like heart rate and blood pressure. These are basic indicators of how your patient is doing and it will be your responsibility as the LPN in the situation to make sure that your patient is doing well.
    • Preparing and administering injections and enemas: These are basic tasks, I know, but all of the more advanced and complicated tasks lie in the hands of qualified RN nurses. Until you have qualified further these are the most advanced procedures you will be required to perform on a day to day basis as an LPN.
    • Applying dressings and bandages: Wounds can fester easily so knowing how to apply and change bandages is an essential part of being an LPN. This will fall to you to do as more senior nurse and doctors have too many other demands on their time to change bandages.
    • Watching catheters: A big part of LPN requirements when it comes to the job that you will have to do is observation. You will need to observe things, such as catheters and make notes about what you see. This is not a glamorous part of the job, but it is highly necessary.
    • Treating bedsores: When patients lie in one place for too long they are likely to develop bedsores. One of your jobs as an LPN is to make sure that these bedsores are properly treated so that they do not become infected and cause further problems. Identifying bedsores is a big part of your job description.
    • Providing alcohol massages or rubs: When necessary you will have to provide alcohol massages and rubs to your patients as this helps to sterilize the necessary areas. This is a very basic part of the job, but it is also essential and must be done carefully.
    • Monitoring patients and reporting changes: This is very important and you have to take great care to make sure that you are noting all of the changes that take place in your patients and that you are reporting them adequately. In many cases the health and sometimes even the life of your patient may depend on the observations you make in this regard.
    • Collecting samples for testing: Because registered nurses and doctors don’t have time to do everything, it may fall to you to collect various samples from your patients to be sent off for testing and to see what s wrong with the patient. These procedures are usually very easy to perform, and you will receive appropriate training.
    • Provide patient hygiene: Cleanliness is a very important part when it comes to keeping your patients healthy. In a hospital patients may be unable or not interested in keeping themselves clean. It will be your responsibility to make sure that your patients maintain an appropriate level of hygiene at all times.
    • Feeding patients: Good nourishment is also linked to good health, so patients need to be fed well at all times. Many patients cannot feed themselves, or they may need some encouragement to eat. This task will fall to you as the LPN nurse and it is important that you perform the task well.
    • Monitoring food and liquid input/output: Related to the previous point is the monitoring of input and output. This can be a very good indication of the healthy functioning of your patient and so it is important that you monitor this carefully and that you make sure that your patient is eating and drinking well.

    You will be prepared for the above duties and job requirements due to the coursework that you will have studied. The coursework that you will study includes the subjects of fundamental nursing practices, legal and ethical nursing issues, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, geriatric nursing, microbiology, psychology, and human nutrition. If you worked and studied hard when you learned these topics then you should have no problem at all in performing the various duties mentioned above that are the LPN requirements in terms of job description. This related back to your choice of program. You need a program that will prepare you well.

    LPN Personality Requirements

    Something that people often overlook are the personality LPN requirements that you should have if you are considering this line of work. Here is a list of the possible requirements you should have:

    • A caring nature
    • Have strong communication skills (a facility that runs smoothly depends on good communication between everyone who works there)
    • Be empathetic (this means putting yourself in the shoes of your patient and seeing the situation from their point of view)
    • Be detail-oriented
    • Be emotionally stable (if you are someone who panics at the first sign of an emergency than you seriously need to evaluate your decision to become and LPN, a job which involves emergencies on a daily basis – don’t let your feelings rule you)
    • Be adaptable
    • Be a team player
    • Have physical endurance (this is not a personality trait as such but there is certainly a strong mental component involved in physical endurance)
    • Be a quick thinker
    • Have great judgement
    • Be hard-working (being an LPN is not an easy job, so this is an essential trait for you to have if you want to be successful)

    If you do not have the above personality requirements and traits, then this may not be the right line of work for you to be in.