A licensed practical nurse, or LPN is a trained member of the medical, or healthcare profession that is committed to taking care of patients while still remaining under the supervision of other registered doctors or nurses. Generally, a LPN will be expected to perform essential care, including helping patients to dress, eat, drink, walk, take a bath, and even comb their hair. They may also be required to give patients their medications, keep track of their vital signs and temperature, and carry out other similar duties.
Becoming an LPN generally takes less time than becoming a registered nurse. Whereas a professional nursing degree can take up to four years to complete, a practical nursing license can take as little as twelve months. This means that depending on where you choose to focus your studies, you could have the opportunity to build your expertise and experience within the practical workforce for an extra three years. Through to 2022, the availability of LPN jobs is expected to grow by approximately 25% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning that becoming an LPN could be a wise career choice.
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in West Virginia
Within West Virginia, licensed practical nurses make up around 27% of the total nurses within the state. To earn your LPN degree, you will need to complete one year of courses, including a large amount of hands-on practice. A LPN is required to pass the NCLEX-PN exam upon completion of their course, and must obtain a CPR card. A training program will cover various aspects of nursing, including theory and practical information. Each training course will typically come with a mandatory clinical component wherein the student will be required to take part in hours spent at a clinic.
Licensed practical nurses within West Virginia are now required to renew their licenses once every year, as well as obtain a total of thirty continuous hours of education for every two years spent within the field.
3 LPN Programs Offered in West Virginia
There are various LPN programs offered in West Virginia that students may sign up for. All of these programs typically offer both a theoretical education, alongside clinical experience, and successful graduation should allow students to take the National Council Licensure exam, entitling them to be a LPN.
1. Mercer County Technical Education Center
Mercer County Technical Education Center is a college in Princeton, Western Virginia, which offers a practical nursing program designed to prepare adult students for entry level jobs within healthcare. The program is offered in units of study that move from simple to complex and accepts a maximum of three students per admission period. Students needs a high school diploma or GED equivalency certificate to apply, and they must take the assessment of technologies inc. examination for practical nurses.
2. Fayette County Career & Tehnical Institute
The Fayette County Career and Technical Institute practical nursing program should be completed in a year of full time study, consisting of 1554 hours of instruction which are divided into three levels of training. The schedule demands students to be available for learning seven hours a day, five days a week, with holiday and vacation time scheduled throughout. The program includes both clinical experience and theoretical instruction, and students are expected to attend all classes.
3. Fred W. Eberle Technical Center
The Fred W. Eberle Technical Center School of Practical Nursing offers a program is accredited by the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for licensed nurses. The program extends over twelve months. Candidates who are accepted into the program will be required to submit to criminal background checks conducted by the FBI so as to fulfil the requirements set by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Practical Nurses.
LPN Job Description
Throughout the US, different states generally provide different interpretations of what an LPN is, and what they should be expected to do as part of a valuable healthcare team. In West Virginia, an LPN will be limited largely to general care duties for stable patients. However, a licensed practical nurse may also be asked to assist with or administer emergency treatments under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. An LPN may also work with stable patients on an unsupervised basis if that patient is not in an emergency status.
What LPNs are required mostly to do in West Virginia involves reporting and patient hygiene. Usually, they will perform rounds to check on stable patients, and report on any chances in status, marking the necessary notes on their patients’ charts before they progress to other duties. LPNs are also expected to help patients remain clean and healthy, which can involve helping them with personal hygiene tasks, as well as ensuring that patient rooms remain sanitary.
Salaries for LPNs
On average, a LPN within West Virginia will be able to earn an annual income of approximately $32,250 a year, or $15.51 an hour. Generally, nurses who work within metropolitan areas are expected to earn a higher salary than others, but it is important to remember that there is a higher cost of living associated with those areas as well. Usually, a LPN will be able to work within various areas of the nursing field, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, and nursing care facilities, and typically nurses who work in general medical or surgical hospitals can be expected to earn more than those who work within physicians’ offices.