What Are the Core Classes of an LVN Program?

Training programs for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) cover a number of subjects that introduce you to the different aspects of vocational nursing. Keep reading to find out about core courses in an LVN program, along with career information. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education Requirements

Training programs for aspiring LVNs offer core classes in basic and intermediate nursing designed to prepare you to take the NCLEX-PN exam, which is required to work as an LVN. Many vocational/technical and community colleges offer LVN programs, also called licensed practical nursing (LPN). Some are certificate programs that take about a year to complete, while others are associate's degree programs that require two years of study. In addition to coursework, you will be required to complete a clinical experience.

You must have a high school diploma or GED certificate, and some programs have a minimum age requirement. Most schools also require that applicants pass health screenings and undergo criminal background checks. If you didn't take a lab course in chemistry in high school, you may need to complete one in college before enrolling in the LVN program. Other prerequisite college courses may include anatomy/physiology and psychology.

LVN Program Core Classes

LVN programs include courses that cover a variety of topics, such as anatomy and physiology, pediatrics, medical-surgical nursing and gerontology, among others. Some of the core courses you'll take include introduction to vocational nursing, communication for nurses, mental health nursing and administering medication.

LVN Introduction

In your introduction to vocational nursing, you'll learn the basics of providing care to patients in order to assist them with their daily needs. This course also introduces you to medical terminology. Like all of the core courses of an LVN program, introduction to vocational nursing includes classroom and clinical instruction.

Communication for Nurses

In this class, you will begin to apply the nursing skills to all types of patients. Coursework emphasizes the communication skills necessary for LVNs to work with patients of all ages and backgrounds. You will also learn how to communicate effectively with other health care professionals. This course typically features an introduction to nursing in medical and surgical settings.

Mental Health Nursing

This class introduces you to common mental health issues and how they affect client care. You will learn specialized techniques for providing care for patients of different age groups with social, mental or emotional issues. The class also teaches students how to alleviate stress and anxiety in patients through communication.

Administering Medication

In this pharmacology course, you'll learn to calculate medication dosages. You'll also learn about classifications of drugs and the legal issues related to drug classes. Documenting medication administration is a critical part of this core course.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that jobs for LPNs are expected to increase by 25% between 2012-22, much higher than average for all professions. It attributed this growth to large numbers of retiring LPNs and also to a greater demand for LPN services. Many jobs, according to the BLS, will be in long-term care facilities and outpatient clinics. In May 2013, the BLS reported, the median wage was $41,920 for LPNs.

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