Educational Requirements for an LPN in North Carolina

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) can take care of patients in a hospital, nursing home or other setting while reporting to a registered nurse or doctor. North Carolina approves of and accepts diplomas from LPN courses in many of its cities and towns, giving prospective students many options for attending classes. The program generally takes four semesters—one semester of prerequisites and three in the nursing program. Upon completion of the diploma course, a student must pass the NCLEX exam in practical nursing and must undergo a North Carolina state background check before a license will be awarded.

  1. Prerequisites

    • LPN classes tend to be small to give each student enough clinical time and classroom attention. Students must be CPR-certified before applying to any LPN program in North Carolina. They also must have a passing score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills. Each college has its own course prerequisites before beginning the nursing program. In general, a student should have completed one semester of college during which she took Algebra, computer proficiency course and any other courses the individual college requires before entering the LPN program. Most colleges will require that the student’s GPA from the semester before joining the LPN program be at least a 2.5.

    General Education

    • LPN students must take several general education courses over the course of the program. Nursing students must take a writing course to learn clear communication. A psychology class also must be taken, which helps students understand their patients better in the future. These courses are not prerequisites for the program and can be taken concurrently with the LPN classes, or they can be taken before beginning the nursing classes to lighten the workload. In addition to these courses, two semesters of anatomy and physiology are required for the LPN diploma. These semesters are taken concurrently with Practical Nursing I and II at some colleges, while others recommend taking these classes before entering the LPN program, so students should speak with an academic adviser to make sure they take the courses in the proper order.

    Nursing Courses

    • LPN students take three semesters of practical nursing. In most North Carolina colleges, these courses are labeled Practical Nursing I, II and III. In all three courses, students learn about the nursing field and practice nursing skills. This knowledge is put into practice as students take part in hands-on clinical situations in hospitals, nursing homes and community health centers. Students must pass each course before moving on to the next one; North Carolina does not allow students to test out of any of these courses.

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