Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) care for sick and injured patients in a range of healthcare settings including hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, and private homes.
On an ordinary day, a licensed practical nurse might spend time:
- Dispensing patient medication prescribed by physicians
- Monitoring patient vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, and weight
- Collecting patient medical histories and entering this information into computer systems.
One of the benefits of becoming a licensed practical nurse is the ability to choose a career from a broad spectrum of options. This benefit pertains to a nurse's initial entry into the workforce as well as a nurse's decision to change work environments throughout his or her career as desired. Below are the top five career choices for an LPN.
1. Nursing Care Facilities (non-exclusive to the elderly)
Most people think nursing care facilities are for the elderly. That is not the case. There are facilities that care for a variety of patients including those suffering chronic illness, mental illness or those who are rehabilitating from and illness, injury or surgery.
These nursing care facilities need LPNs for duties such as conducting health assessments, developing treatment plans, cleaning patient rooms, and supervising nursing aides.
Projected job growth: 11.7% by 2020
2. General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (private)
Some LPNs will choose to work in a hospital setting. While they can work in nearly any area of the hospital, they are especially needed in the surgery, maternity, and emergency departments.
Common LPN duties in a hospital setting include assisting with advanced medical practices and supervising new nursing aides
Projected job growth: 8.1% by 2020
3. Physician Offices
Physician offices are always looking for a good LPN to join their team. This can also include medical clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, and emergency medical centers.
Common duties at for LPNs working in physician offices and clinics include preparing patients for examinations, giving injections, administering medications, assisting with minor surgeries, and dressing incisions.
Projected job growth: 30.8% by 2020
4. Home Health Care Services
LPNs who enjoying working even more closely with patients may choose a career in home health care services. This would include working in clinics, for private home health agencies, or subsets of larger care facilities.
Common duties for LPNs working in home health care services include assisting patients with personal and environmental hygiene, entertaining and conversing with patients to promote mental health, evaluating patient living conditions, accompanying patients on outings, and teaching loved ones basic patient care,
Projected job growth: 72.1% by 2020
5. Community Care Facilities for the Elderly
An LPN career field that is currently in extremely high demand is working at a community care facility for the elderly. This would include public or private nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and retirement homes.
Common duties for LPNs working at care facilities for the elderly include keeping patients and their environments clean, providing companionship, and assisting with physical therapy regimens.
Projected job growth: 49.4% by 2020
As you can see, there is no shortage of career options for those considering becoming a practical nurse. Training for a career as a practical nurse is also a great choice for those who would like to work in nursing but have no desire to become an RN, or who would like to work before pursuing their RN.
To learn more about becoming a practical nurse through Athena Career Academy, visit www.athenacareers.edu, or call 419-329-4075 for more information.