Options in Nursing: Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse

by Howard Gerber on February 26, 2015

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iStock_000009107094Small lpn-licensed-practical-nurse-jobsNursing can be a great profession. It is a career where an individual can know the work they do matters. Nurses have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of their patients. For those interested in the nursing profession, there are several options for the type of degree they can earn. One degree that usually can be earned in as little as a year is a practical nursing degree.

One of big advantage of becoming a practical nurse is the relative quick entry into the field. For those who choose to become a registered nurse, it can mean two to four years of schooling. Practical nursing programs can be completed much quicker, which means nurses can enter the workforce and starting gaining experiencing and earnings.

The variety of settings a practical nurse can work in is also a plus, along with the flexibility the profession offers. Many people think of nurses and think they mostly work in hospitals.

Although practical nurses often find employment in hospitals, they also work in additional settings, such as schools, doctor’s offices, correctional facilities, and nursing homes. Practical nurses can also find jobs working as healthcare travelers. Having a variety of settings to work in can help keep the job interesting and fresh.

Flexibility is also important to a lot of people. For those who have family responsibilities or commitments outside of work, there are many part-time and on-call jobs available for graduates with a practical nursing diploma.

The work of a practical nurse can also be interesting. Practical nurses have diverse responsibilities depending on where they work. For example, nurses may check vital signs and administer care, such as inserting catheters and dressing wounds. Some nurses also administer injections and medications. Nurses are often involved in new technology and advances in medicine, which keeps the job challenging.

It’s a good idea to determine the outlook of your chosen profession before going forward with your career choice. When it comes to practical nursing, the outlook is excellent. With advanced technology, people living longer and the senior population growing, practical nurses are in great demand. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of practical nurses is expected to grow by 25% from 2012 to 2020, which is much faster than other occupations.

There are also options for nurses to continue their education and earn their registered nursing degree. Many schools offer LPN to RN bridge programs with part-time options for those who are working. In some cases, employers may pay part or all of the tuition.

For those interested in working in the helping profession, practical nursing can be a very rewarding choice. Whether a practical nurse cares for the elderly, children or those with disabilities, nurses help their patients in big and small ways every day. Practical nurses can leave work each day knowing the work they did helped someone, which is a great way to end the workday.

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