If you're studying to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and are enrolled in an LPN training program, you'll need to prepare to take the LPN entrance exam. All LPN certificate and degree programs prepare students for the NCLEX exam, a national licensing exam that covers a broad range of topics and is administered in a computerized testing format. This LPN test is fairly comprehensive and you can take LPN exam prep courses to help you pass the test the first time. The courses you complete in your LPN training program will provide you with the knowledge you need to sit for the LPN exam, but you will still need to spend a significant amount of time studying on your own.
LPN Test Requirements
In order to be eligible to take the LPN entrance exam, all candidates must meet certain LPN test requirements. Candidates must have at least a high school diploma or GD, and have completed at least an LPN certificate program from an accredited school. LPN certification programs typically take 7 to 12 months to complete, and include courses that have been approved by the state Board of Nurses. Training programs also include a clinical component, so the individual must complete a set of classroom and clinical education requirements before they can sit for the LPN exam.
The clinical training component of an LPN degree or certificate program prepares students for the physical and mental aspect of their trade. LPNs must learn how to work in high-stress environments, make sound decisions when they are under stress, and also learn how to communicate with different types of patients. While proficiency in performing these activities won't be tested on the LPN exam, exam-takers may still need to answer questions on how to handle certain situations based on their experience.
Preparing for the LPN Entrance Exam
Most LPN training programs prepare students for the LPN entrance exam with a series of quizzes, tests and mock exams. Students can also take LPN exam preparation courses on their own, or work with study guides at their own pace as they get closer to completing their certificate or degree program. The sections of the LPN pre-entrance exam include a verbal, mathematics and science component with a total of 140 questions. If you are studying for the LPN exam on your own, you can take practice tests online, consult study guides and books, or attend exam preparation courses from companies like Kaplan, Hurst Review or Pearson VUE that have test preparation facilities in your area.
Taking the LPN exam can be a nerve-wracking experience and you may not feel completely ready come exam day. Remember that this is normal, and you are probably more prepared for this test than you realize. Take the time to review your course materials for the few weeks leading up to your LPN entrance exam date, look through all of your class and study notes for the week leading up to your exam and take at least one practice test a few days before your exam date so that you are mentally prepared. Taking the time to adequately prepare for the LPN entrance exam will boost your confidence and may increase your chances of passing the exam the first time.