What you’ll do: You’ll provide basic bedside care for the sick, injured and convalescent, under the direction of physicians and registered nurses. You’ll do such tasks as give injections, take vital signs, perform diagnostic tests, dress woulds and administer medication.
Where you’ll work: Health care facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, mental health institutions, private homes, community health clinics, and public health departments
Degree you’ll need: Graduation from an accredited LPN program and pass the National Council Licensure Exam.
Median annual salary: $44,090*
In order to become a practicing LPN, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, and then you’ll need to graduate from an accredited LPN program. LPN programs generally include one year of coursework and practical application at a hospital, vocational technical school or community college.
Standard coursework in an LPN program—in addition to supervised clinical practice in patient care—covers the following studies:
- Emergency medical technology
- First aid
- Physical education
- Foods and nutrition
- Child growth and development
LPN to RN
Licensed practical nurses often transition into registered nursing. You can go back to the technical school or community college for an additional year to earn an associate’s degree, which will qualify you to become a Registered Nurse after taking the NCLEX exam in your state. Another way to become an RN is to enter an LPN to Baccalaureate program. Some colleges have special LPN programs which will allow you to get credit for some of your prior courses, and then go on to earn a BSN degree and RN. These are called LPN-to-BSN Programs.
To earn an LPN license, you must pass a state administered nursing examination, called the NCLEX-PN. To qualify to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam, you must first complete a LPN/LVN education program that is approved by your state’s Board of Nursing.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses.
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Practical Nursing Education (PNE) is designed for students seeking to be a licensed practical nurse. Prospective practical nursing education candidates are encouraged to meet with the health sciences advisor to review admissions requirements. The PNE program is a competitive admissions program. It is recommended that students take as many related courses as possible prior to acceptance into the actual practical nurse program making the likelihood of success in the program stronger. While it is not a requirement to complete all related course work prior to acceptance, it does provide candidates with additional points as well as provide a good foundation to be better equipped for the academic rigor of the nursing coursework. Applicant records must be updated annually. If a student has applied previously, the student must reinitiate the process including retesting on designated examinations. There is no waiting list. Thirty-five students will be admitted every Fall Semester.
A semester curriculum plan is in effect. Previous quarter courses will be considered for credit; however, courses must be evaluated for appropriate credit hours.
General Admission Process
1. Complete the online application to Isothermal Community College at www.isothermal.edu/admissions indicating a desired major of Pre-Nursing (major code A55280L or A55280B) and receive an acceptance letter from the Admissions Office.
2. Submit an official, sealed high school transcript or GED scores from a regionally accredited high school or a state registered private or home school to the Admissions Office.
3. Submit all official and sealed college transcript(s) from the issuing institution to the Isothermal Admissions Office for evaluation. * Please note that transfer credit can only be awarded for courses that reflect a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
4. Complete college placement test, which includes Reading, Writing, and Math skills. Schedule of times and dates are available in the Advising and Success Center, Student Center Building.
5. Complete all required developmental courses with a grade of “C” or better.
PNE Admission Process
1. Once students complete the general college admissions requirements, including all required developmental coursework, prospective practical nurse education candidates must submit a completed PNE Application to the health sciences advisor by the publicized date.
The application includes:
- Completed and signed application form.
- Copy of all transcripts submitted to the Admissions Office.
- Three (3) references (only teachers or employers). Reference forms that are more than one (1) year old at the time of the general admission requirements deadline will not be accepted.
- Verification of the completion of a North Carolina state approved NAI Training program.
- Signed Practical Nurse Education Technical Standards document.
Students are required to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) entrance exam prior to the enrollment deadline and score at least 58 or higher (effective 3/7/17). After meeting the above requirements, the student will be notified to register for the TEAS. Test dates will be posted.
Upon acceptance into the PNE Program, the following background items must be completed at the students’ expense:
- Criminal Background Check (Statewide Criminal NC; Residency History)
- 12 Panel Drug Test
- Nationwide Database with Sex Offender Index
An acceptable background check is required for clinical experiences. The background checks will be completed during the first semester, NUR 101. Students must be able to attend clinical experiences in all agencies used by the college. Information for obtaining the background checks will be provided to all students by the Director of PNE.
While the above background information is not required by Isothermal Community College for either general college admission or entrance into the nursing program, students should be aware that this information will be required by the personnel department at your future clinical location. Failure to provide this information to a clinical site in a timely fashion could result in a cancellation of your clinical site arrangements. (Isothermal does not have access to or awareness of the background results. Clinical agencies will notify the student directly regarding any issues with the background results.)
Certification for American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for the Healthcare Provider will be submitted to PNE Director.
Student should plan to attend the New Student Orientation scheduled by the PNE Director.
Students are encouraged to enroll in and complete the following required courses prior to being admitted to the PNE program. All courses must be completed with a "C" or better to fulfill the requirements of the PNE program.
ACA 122- College Transfer Success
|BIO 168-Anatomy and Physiology I|
|ENG 111-Expository Writing||BIO 169-Anatomy and Physiology II|
PSY 150 General Psychology
While waiting for admission, students are also encouraged to complete other courses such as NA II, Medical Terminology I, Medical Terminology II, and Nutrition.