Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) play a vital role in today’s health care arena. While LPNs are not authorized to perform all of the same functions that registered nurses perform, they are able to perform many of the same tasks while under proper medical supervision of a registered nurse or nurse practitioner. While some people who enter the field of practical nursing choose to become a registered nurse, others choose to stay in the field of practical nursing because their jobs are rewarding and there tends to be a lower degree of stress with practical nursing. For these reasons and others, the job growth for LPNs in 2017 is projected to be strong.
Primary Job Responsibilities of Practical Nurses
Practical nurses perform a variety of key tasks for patients receiving care. Below are the three most common duties performed by licensed practical nurses:
- Measure patients vital signs such as blood pressure and temperature
- Provide medication under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse
- Obtain medical histories from patients
- Clean wounds and apply bandages to patients
- Log patient data into electronic record systems
- Provide meals to patients
Common Work Settings for Practical Nurses
There is a wide variety of work environments within which LPNs can employ their skills. The most common work settings for LPNs include the following:
- Hospitals and medical centers
- Ambulatory surgery centers
- Private practices
- Nursing homes
LPNs are also frequently employed by caregiving agencies to work in private residences. In this capacity, they provide health care support to elderly or injured patients who wish to remain in their homes. Many LPNs enjoy the increased flexibility and autonomy that this type of work setting provides.
Education and Training Requirements to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse
In order to be licensed as a practical nurse, an individual must earn a diploma or obtain the proper certification. Diplomas can be earned following the completion of specified coursework at a community college or through an authorized online provider. While a two-year or four-year degree is not required to become an LPN, a person must pass the National Council Licensure Examination to secure employment as an LPN in the U.S. In addition to educational requirements, some employers also require an LPN to possess employment experience as an LPN prior to considering an LPN for employment. However, most employers will offer accept applications from LPNs who lack experience but who have passed the NCLEX.
Employment Outlook for LPNs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the growth rate of LPN jobs is significantly faster than the rate of other nursing-related jobs and positions in general. With an average annual pay rate of $41,540 ($19.97 per hour), LPNs earn a respectable income. The rate of pay for LPNs varies with a person’s level of experience, education and training.
Forecasting a Rosy 2017 for LPNs
Through their performance of vital nursing duties, LPNs serve vital roles within the health care community. Becoming an LPN is a logical path for a person to take who wishes to work in the nursing field but who does not wish to complete the more advanced educational requirements to become an RN. With a job prospects that are above average and a wide array of employment settings from which to choose, LPNs have a bright job outlook in 2017.
To learn more about a career as a Practical Nurse, and whether it’s the right fit for you, schedule an appointment with Athena Career Academy today. One meeting with our Admissions counselors could help put you on the path to a successful new career that could change your life for the better.
Athena Career Academy is located at:
5203 Airport Highway
Toledo, Ohio 43615
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30AM to 4:30PM
Phone: (419) 329-4075