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By: Jason Lom
If you're looking into becoming a professional nurse -- and who wouldn't, given the demand in the market right now -- say "hi!" to the other hundred and fifty thousand people lined up to take this year's NCLEX exam. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing has taken census and said that nearly 175,000 people take the test every year. Every single one of them is a graduate of an LPN program or a full Registered Nurse (RN) program.

LPN schools are not rubber-stamp institutions, either. Every single one of them recognizes their responsibility in turning out health care professionals that will use their LPN training to save lives and help heal people. They exist to answer a fundamental question that hospitals themselves struggle with: what exactly is a nurse?

A nurse is a complex entity, you see. They are generalists -- which many people use as a derogatory term, but any general practitioner will tell you that it takes a lot more effort to be a generalist than it does to specialize. Nurses have to be trained in cognitive, physical, psychological, and social sciences as a matter of daily course. They study anatomy, pharmacology, psychology, and several other sciences just so that they can show up for work in the morning with a clear idea of what they'll do that day.

In a study of third-year nursing students at Virginia College, here were the five attributes the students said an LPN school or general nursing education gave them:

#5: Motor Skills

You don't think of LPN school as a place you go to become physically fit -- after all, nurses aren't athletes. But it takes a lot of strength to help an obese patient in traction adjust his body to avoid bedsores, and a lot of dexterity to find veins to give shots.

#4: Cognitive Skills

LPN courses teach you to assimilate large quantities of information from multiple senses at once. You have to learn to listen, count in your head, talk, feel with your fingertips, and search for symptoms all at the same time. Speedreading with comprehension is a vital skill as well, not just in nursing schools but once you've joined a medical institution as well.

#3: Communication Skills

LPN training teaches it's students the importance of communication -- in clear technical detail with the doctors and other nurses, as well as with empathy and patience to the people who need their attention.

#2: Social Skills

Speaking of empathy and patience, there are few places that develop social skills as well as LPN schools do. Many patients at medical facilities have complex situations that require emotional sensitivity and extraordinary maturity to deal with. Compassion and the ability to deal with awkwardness and social stress are of primary importance in both nursing education and actual nursing.

#1: Professionalism

Every profession, as the words might suggest, thrives on professionalism -- but nursing is particularly dependent on it. LPN school students must prove themselves to be dependable, punctual, honest, tolerant, and professional at all times and, just as importantly, to all people.


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