Pitfalls and Advantages of Accredited Online LPN Programs

Guest Blog from Jennifer Smith

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) play some of the most vital roles in our healthcare system today.  They are responsible for a wide range of patient care, including dressing wounds, giving injections, monitoring temperature and heart rate, and gathering patient information. Some LPNs are even responsible for performing laboratory test and assisting in an infant’s delivery. While most LPNs work in hospitals and other major healthcare centers, many are also employed in nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and home care capacities.

According to estimates compiled by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 728,670 people employed in the country as licensed practical nurses. While this number may sound high, the Bureau of Labor predicts a significant demand for LPNs in the medium-term future. This prediction fits well with other estimates that highlight the country’s shortfall of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners. The United States has a growing yet aging population and an educational system that makes a healthcare career difficult for many people to pursue. The end result is that nursing jobs stand to remain in high demand for some time.

In light of this, many people are going back to school and taking accredited online lpn programs in order to become a licensed practical nurse. While LPN programs are certainly offered at traditional colleges and vocational schools, the online route is particularly appealing for those who have family obligations, financial constraints, and jobs that they don’t want to quit. Their decision is further strengthened by the quality of online nursing degrees; over the past several years, the top providers of an online nursing education have invested in strengthening and diversifying their options. Top school such as Kaplan University, Jacksonville University, South University, and the University of Phoenix now offer degrees that are fully online, that can equip students with a wide range of specialized opportunities and resources, and that are taught by skilled practitioners in the field. LPN courses at these schools routinely fill up quickly as a result.

If you’re considering becoming an LPN, how can you determine whether an online program is right for you? How can you decide whether a traditional or an online course makes more sense for your current needs as well as your career goals?

To answer these questions, let’s take a look at some of the pitfalls and advantages of taking an accredited online LPN program:

Pitfalls of Online LPN Programs:

  • There will be little to no hands-on clinical training
  • Students and instructors don’t have the benefit of face-to-face interactions
  • A lack of classroom collaboration may leave students less prepared for the team environment in which most LPNs work
  • While setting your own study schedule has its advantages, being able to go through the program at your own pace may be problematic for students who are lacking in self-discipline

Advantages of Online LPN Programs:

-The curriculum in an online LPN program is almost identical to that of a traditional program

-Students can set their own pace for assignments and exams, making the course a less stressful experience

-The ability to work from home and on their own time affords students the ability to maintain jobs and family obligations

-Students save money by paying less in tuition and by forgoing the cost of expensive textbooks

-Presentation and lecture materials are usually well-organized, virtually available, and easily accessible

-Online learning can lead to faster rates of comprehension, according to a study from Carnegie Mellon University

-Online universities often have better reputations and excellence standards than the average community college

These are the main pitfalls and advantages to keep in mind when considering an online LPN degree. Ultimately, the decision should be based upon your unique circumstances and goals. If you feel as though you can handle the lack of a physical learning experience, the flexibility, availability, and affordability of an online course are certainly hard to match.

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Online Community Organizer

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Reading Seth Godin’s blog this morning I came across what was a very relevant item for me, about jobs for the future – the Online Community Organizer. The proximity of Seth’s description of this role with the position I’ve identified and am currntly recruiting for the Information Authority couldn’t be closer. I trust Seth will not mind me replicating the post here:

"If you want to
hire a union organizer, you probably know what to look for. Someone
with resilience, passion, persistence and excellent interpersonal

What if you want to hire someone to build an online community?
Somebody to create and maintain a virtual world in which all the
players in an industry feel like they need to be part of it? Like being
the head of a big trade association, but without the bureaucracy and

It would help if that person understood technology, at least well
enough to know what it could do. They would need to be able to write.
But they also have to be able to seduce stragglers into joining the
group in the first place, so they have to be able to understand a
marketplace, do outbound selling and non-electronic communications.
They have to be able to balance huge amounts of inbound correspondence
without making people feel left out, and they have to be able to walk
the fine line between rejecting trolls and alienating the good guys.

Since there’s no rule book, it would help to be willing to try new
things, to be self-starting and obsessed with measurement as well.

If you were great at this, I’d imagine you’d never ever have trouble finding good work."

The problem for me (and anyone else seeking this skill set) is that we’re fishing from a very small pond, which I can verify from the very few applications I’ve received to date.  However, if you’re out there and see something of yourself in this role description, please apply via the Information Authority web site. A more detailed description of the role is included in the attached PDF document.
Download lsc_ia_ia_community_and_stakeholder_management_sd_final.pdf


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Job vacancies at The Information Authority

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I thought I should make the most of this blog to publicise a number of job vacancies that will be advertised in the Guardian this coming week. The positions have been created as part of the strategy I’m developing for the Information Authority Secretariat. The Information Authority has been established as an independent body
to set and regulate data collection and reporting standards for all organisations
involved in further education and training in England and Wales. A key component of the strategy will be the creation and development of communities of interest and practice across the further education sector to enable a more open, collaborative and transparent environment for information and knowledge sharing.  A community platform is planned, utilising Web2.0 technolgy and social media applications. The community platform will be available to all data providers and users across the further education sector, including schools, colleges, training providers, agencies and non-government department public bodies.

Quite an ambitious plan, and hence why I’m recruiting the key individuals make it all happen. A copy of the job adverts that will appear in the press and in various web site this week, including Jobserve, Gurteen and TFPL is attached

to this posting.  Anyone interested should apply through the information authority web site where an application form will be available from Tuesday 17th July.

Download info_sec_lsc_x126.pdf

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