What Are the Requirements to Take the LPN Boards?

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) perform duties to care for a patient's basic needs, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, lifting and administering medicine. They work under the direct supervision of registered nurses and physicians. LPNs receive board certification through their state's board of nursing. Certification is contingent upon passing the National Council for Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

  1. High School Diploma or GED

    • The first step in qualifying for LPN boards is earning a high school diploma or GED. Students are advised to take courses in English, microbiology, mathematics and anatomy. Future LPNs should also take the Computer Adapted Placement and Support Services (COMPASS) exam, as some licensed practical nursing programs consider scores when determining admission.

    Personal Requirements

    • Before embarking on the educational path required to earn LPN board certification, applicants should consider personal attributes required to be a nurse. Nurses are required to possess physical strength for lifting or restraining patients and transporting heavy equipment. LPNs should have full range of motion in their arms and hands and be able to endure standing on their feet for long stretches of time. Mentally, licensed practical nurses should be at ease taking orders and comfortable working as a member of a team. When dealing with patients, nurses need to be patient, compassionate and kind.

    LPN Training Program

    • Candidates for LPN board certification are first required to attend an accredited training program for licensed practical nursing. The programs usually take 12 months to complete and are available through vocational schools, technical schools, community colleges and hospital programs. Examples of LPN courses are biology, chemistry, pediatrics, human anatomy, obstetrics, parent-child nursing, mental health nursing, psychiatric nursing, legal and ethical issues in nursing, pharmacology, fundamentals in nursing, human nutrition and pathophysiology. LPN training programs also include a clinical experience component during which students practice patient care under the supervision of licensed nurses.

    LPN Board Certification Requirements

    • After graduating from an LPN program, candidates must complete a two-part process to become board certified as a licensed practical nurse. Applicants must send qualifying documents, including application, fee and official transcripts to their state's board of nursing, as well as register to take the National Council of Licensure Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). To register for the exam, applicants must submit a completed registration form (either by mail or online) along with a $200 registration fee, as of March 2010, payable by credit card, certified check or money order. Once the state's board of nursing has verified the applicant's qualifying documents and NCLEX-PN registration, the candidate will be sent an Authorization To Test (ATT), a document informing the applicant of available testing dates, times and locations. On the day of the test, candidates must bring their ATT and government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, state ID, passport or military ID.

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