Those who would like to get a start in a nursing career without attending a four year university and getting a Bachelors' of Science in Nursing should look into LPN programs.
LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) typically need to complete a one to two training program and then pass state or national boards (the NCLEX-PN). In order to get accepted into LPN programs, it is necessary to have at least a high school degree, and in order to work as an LPN you usually have to have a clean criminal record.
Most LPN training programs are offered by vocational schools, technical schools, community colleges and junior colleges. Some schools that offer LPN programs include Everest College, Everest Institute, Concorde Career Institute, Colorado Technical University, Pioneer Pacific College, RETS College, Bohecker College, Eastwick Colleges HoHoKus Schools, Dover Business College, Prism Career Institute, Rasmussen College, New England Technical Institute, Career Networks Institute, Maric College, and Clarita Career College. If none of these schools are located in your area, check out the vocational schools and junior colleges in your area as most likely one or more of them will offer LPN programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are over 1,500 state approved LPN programs in the United States.
LPN programs train people to work under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses. After completing LPN programs, nurses will be able to administer basic patient care, supervise Certified Nursing Assistants, and perform administrative duties. This includes taking vital signs, giving medication, assisting patients with hygiene and mobility needs, collecting samples, giving injections and dressing wounds. They might also teach family members how to care for patients after they have left the hospital. LPN programs usually include both studying basic nursing concepts in a classroom based setting and a clinical practice portion where they are able to practice their newly learned skills in a supervised setting, usually in a hospital. Upon completion of LPN programs, students are usually helped to find LPN positions by the schools where they received their training. There are usually jobs available for those who have completed LPN programs as there is a lot of turnover in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that job prospects in this field are very good, and will grow faster than average. They give the median annual earnings of those who have completed LPN programs as $36,550 as of May 2006. Many people who have completed LPN programs later go on to become Registered Nurses by completing an LPN to RN program of study. Some also go on to get their Bachelor of Science in Nursing, further advancing their career prospects.