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Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse

Compass Career College Pratical Nursing hallway with students and teachersBecoming a licensed practical nurse is one way to enter the surging health care field without attending years of school. Students frequently complete their education and begin working within two years. It is also a career that can be a starting point for further education and employment opportunities in the nursing field.

Aspiring LPNs must complete a state-approved training program, often in the form of a diploma, certificate or associate degree. Once completed, graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Before enrolling, students should ensure the program meets their state’s LPN licensing and training requirements.

Steps to becoming an LPN

  1. Complete An Approved Education Program - After deciding on the type of program to pursue, students need to find one approved by their state. Each state establishes its own educational requirements for LPNs and approves the schools offering credentials. Our goal at Compass Career College is for graduates to meet licensure requirements for Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and be able to provide nursing care by meeting physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients throughout the life span in all nursing settings in which the LPN practices.
  2. Pass the NCLEX-PN - Upon completion of an approved LPN diploma or certificate program, graduates sign up to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). All states mandate the NCLEX-PN competency exam as a core requirement to be employed as an LPN.
  3. Seek Professional Certification - One way LPNs can distinguish themselves and qualify for specialized clinical roles is by completing additional training or professional development courses. Certifications for LPNs include gerontology, long-term care, wound care, hospice and palliative care, IV therapy, advanced life support, dialysis and neonatal education.
  4. Enter the Workforce - After graduating and obtaining licensure, students are ready to take their first job as an LPN. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in practical nursing are expected to grow much faster than the national average, providing numerous opportunities for recent graduates. Many programs offer career support to help students locate jobs in their area. Students should also create a resume to post on LinkedIn and other career websites and leverage any professional connections. The National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses maintains a career center on its website where LPNs can post their resume and receive job offers.

The mission of Compass Career College’s Practical Nursing program is to prepare our students to provide nursing care that follows the guidelines established by the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners (LSBPNE).

The Practical Nurse (PN) program has limited enrollment. The applicant's testing scores and completion of the application packet will determine conditional acceptance by Compass Career College. Acceptance by Compass Career College is pending approval by the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners (LSBPNE). For more information about our Practical Nurse Program, please visit our Practical Nurse page.

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