Lehigh Valley LPN program takes graduate's nursing career to the next level

Taylor Argeson stands in exam room

Taylor Argeson is the clinical coordinator at a Lehigh Valley Physician Group internal medicine practice, thanks to the certificate she earned through Penn State Lehigh Valley's Practical Nursing program. 

Credit: Taylor Argeson

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Long interested in a career in health care, Taylor Argeson achieved that goal when she earned a medical assistant/medical coding and billing degree in 2015.

That led to a position as a medical assistant at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). A few years into the job, though, the Allentown resident realized she wanted to do more with the skills she’d acquired and went looking for a nursing program.

But she had to go after that dream while continuing to work full time.

“I was looking for a night and weekend program, and Penn State Lehigh Valley’s (PSU-LV) Practical Nursing program offered that, at a great price and close location,” said Argeson, 28. “It was the perfect fit.”

Eighteen months later, in 2020, Argeson earned her certificate from the program and was ready to take her licensure exam. Today, she’s the clinical coordinator at a Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) internal medicine practice, a position she was able to secure thanks to her work at PSU-LV.

Argeson’s now managing a clinical team and overseeing patient needs during their office visits. Meanwhile, current nursing shortages have allowed her to work regular evening and weekend hospital shifts through LVHN’s patient partner program.

“This is a great opportunity which would not have been possible without being a nurse,” Argeson said. “The work itself is especially gratifying. When you can make a sick person smile or feel that much better, it makes a world of difference.”

According to Argeson, PSU-LV’s Practical Nursing program was ideal for her needs. During the week, she could come directly to class from work, while the program’s weekend hours gave her plenty of family time and opportunities to study.

The coursework was challenging but the faculty members were extremely supportive, said Argeson, singling out program director Heather Clark for making “a great impact on my life.”

“The teachers and faculty pushed us as we would be challenged during the licensure exam and into our nursing journeys,” she said. “Due to COVID, we had to go virtual for most of the second half of the program, and I truly feel it went as smooth as it possibly could. The faculty gave us all of the resources we needed and offered help whenever we needed it. Someone was always just an email or Zoom away.”

“And the facility at the campus was fantastic, with the mannequins and hands-on options making the coursework that much easier to understand,” she continued. “It was always nice to be able to practice the skills we were taught — it brought all the pieces together.”

As she moves forward in her nursing career, Argeson plans to continue advancing her education. Right now, she’s actively searching for an RN program as a next step.

“PSU-LV’s LPN program greatly impacted my career, opening doors for me that would not have been there otherwise. It truly solidified why I wanted to be a nurse and helped me to achieve this goal,” she said. “Whenever anyone is searching for an LPN program, I always tell them to check out Penn State Lehigh Valley.”