How to Become an LPN
Licensed Practical Nurse

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How to Become an LPN in 3 Steps

Career Development
How to Become an LPN Licensed Practical Nurse
Herzing Staff
March 6, 2018

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is increasingly becoming the new educational standard for today’s nurses. But while many individuals aspire to earn a BSN, you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to begin your nursing career.

In fact, many people first become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to gain experience in the field. LPNs are integral members of the healthcare team that work closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians to provide patients with basic nursing care. Becoming an LPN is a great way to start your nursing career and can often serve as a stepping stone on the pathway to an associate, bachelor or master’s degree later on.

Interested in taking the first step towards a career in nursing? Here’s how you can become an LPN in a little as 12 months:

  1. Enroll in an LPN program
  2. Pass the NCLEX-PN exam
  3. Start your career and keep learning

1. Enroll in a practical nursing program

How to Become an LPN Nurse

In order to become an LPN, you must complete a diploma in practical nursing through an approved educational program. These programs typically only take one year to complete and help prospective nurses learn basic nursing skills through a combination of coursework and clinical experiences.

At Herzing University, practical nursing students practice applying their nursing skills in simulation labs and learn from nursing instructors with real healthcare experience. They also gain real-world experience by completing their required clinical work with a variety of local healthcare partners.

“Clinical experience is important to your nursing career because you can explore different areas in the clinical setting. Many times, you find what you like and don't like in clinical and that helps you decide what types of positions you will apply for when you graduate,” said Herzing graduate Shenese Stewart. “It also helps connect the dots between theory and practice. Reading about something and actually doing it can help solidify it in your mind.”

2. Take the NCLEX-PN exam

NCLEX Exam for Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse

After graduating with your diploma in practical nursing, you will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses exam (NCLEX-PN). You must pass this exam to practice as an LPN.

Your nursing courses will help prepare you for the NCLEX, but studying early and often is recommended. Michelle Metzger, Department Chair of Nursing at the Herzing University Kenosha campus, suggests reviewing past exams from class to become more familiar with the types of questions you might encounter on the NCLEX, as well as taking advantage of any test prep resources offered your school.

3. Start your career and keep learning

LPN Class Requirements to be a Licensed Practical Nurse

Once you’ve passed your NCLEX-PN, you’re ready to start your career as an LPN. It's common for nurses to gain nursing experience working as an LPN while they advance their education in an ASN or BSN program.

Herzing’s practical nursing curriculum is designed so that students who wish to advance their nursing education can enroll directly in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Graduates of the LPN program may be able to choose between several flexible learning options, including an LPN to BSN pathway.

Frequently asked questions about becoming an LPN

Become Possible with Herzing University.

The biggest step to take towards becoming a new you is enrolling in a diploma program so you can become licensed to practice in your state. Herzing University offers an LPN diploma program at 5 of our ground campuses:

Learn More About Our LPN Program

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