By Kim Walter -- email@example.com
For the fifth year in a row, Lord Fairfax Community College's Practical Nursing program had an over 90 percent passing rate for the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nursing.
The test is part of the requirements for a student to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. The program at LFCC consists of 48 credits, and can be completed by a full-time student in one year, or a part time student in three years. To get into the program, a student must meet other requirements, including completion of a computer competency class, passing a test of essential academic skills, and having at least a 2.5 GPA.
Faculty member Samantha Baugher said most students enter directly into the workforce after graduating and passing the national exam. Students are required to work as an LPN for at least one year before being accepted into the transition program, which would allow them to become a Registered Nurse.
"Each student that enters the program is seeking to fill a particular need," she said. "one aspect is that this program is only one year as compared to four, so it allows the student to join the workforce much quicker, allowing them to get experience, then decide if they would like to return to college for an additional degree."
Baugher said another positive aspect of joining the program is the cost, as LFCC is less expensive than four year colleges.
The program continues to be important to the area, Baugher said, since it gives students a chance to earn a college education at an affordable cost, but also brings more nurses back into the community.
"I have heard students say that when one of their family members was ill in the hospital, the nurse was so kind and caring towards their loved one, it was something that they wanted to do to give back," she said.
Participation in the program has grown tremendously over the past few years, she said, which could be linked to the economy. Baugher said a good number of students come to the program after losing their jobs in other fields.
"There are numerous reasons people choose to enter the nursing field ... job stability, finances, the ability to care for others, giving back to the community," she said. "But once they are nurses they forget about the reasons, and realize the rewards are greater than they ever expected.
To learn more about the Practical Nursing program, go to www.lfcc.edu.