- Practical Nursing Program
Interested in Nursing?
If you are interested in a rewarding and fulfilling career, want to support others and make a difference in people’s lives, you should consider becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). With diligence, hard work, discipline and a caring and compassionate heart, you can become an LPN in Pennsylvania.
According to the National League for Nursing, “LPNs play a significant role in meeting the needs of older adults and other vulnerable groups.” They are often front-line caregivers in nursing homes, extended and skilled care facilities, rehabilitation centers and community settings. However, the scope of an LPNs work is not limited to these settings. They also have careers working with ventilator-dependent children at home, in prisons with mentally ill and co-dependent patients and with families in urgent care.
Perspective LPNs must first meet some basic pre-requisites. Candidates need to have a high school diploma or GED, must submit both federal and state criminal and child abuse clearances and achieve the minimum test entrance score. Many enroll in a program such as the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s (CCIU) Practical Nursing Program (PNP).
PNP is ideal for those looking for a shorter timeline for quick entry into the nursing profession or a career change. About 80 percent of the students in PNP are non-traditional students who are returning to school for the first time or to earn a second degree. The program’s strengths center on the easily accessible faculty, individualized attention to students and hands-on and tactile learning with a diverse clinical component. The program also has strong connections within the health care community at locations such as Penn Medicine, Chester County Hospital, Bryn Mawr Rehab and the Pocopson Home. To review admission requirements, visit www.chestercountynursing.org.
During the course of study, LPN candidates study topics such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, nutrition, medical surgical nursing and fundamentals of nursing. They also learn communication skills, professional ethical standards and the importance of working as part of a team. Upon completion of the course, students take the NCLEX-PN exam to earn their licensure and become an LPN.
Once licensed, LPNs can go straight into the nursing profession or go on to earn their RN or BSN. “There is a strong pathway in place for students interested in continuing their education” says PNP director Patty Knecht. “Becoming an LPN is not a closed door, but one that opens up opportunities.” Successful students enrolled in PNP can transfer to Delaware County Community College, enroll in the CCIU Success program partnership with Excelsior College (coming in the winter of 2014) or other options. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that employment of LPNs is expected to grow 22 percent by 2020, nursing is certainly a career to consider for those with strong minds and caring hearts.