The healthcare industry is constantly expanding, and the demand for personnel is increasing. So, if you’re passionate about helping others, seize this opportunity. A career in nursing can be a life-changing journey for you and those around you.
Through this guide, we’ll try to answer questions such as:
- What does a practical nurse do?
- How can you become a licensed practical nurse (LPN)?
- Is licensed practical nursing a good career?
What Does a Practical Nurse Do?
Being in the front line of nursing, practical nurses (PNs) are the patient’s first contact. The job description is quite broad, but to put it simply, practical nurses care for sick or injured patients. They’re responsible for a range of duties, including:
- Monitoring patients;
- Checking their vital signs and medical history;
- Inserting IVs;
- Reporting to RNs and doctors;
- Performing routine assessments;
- Changing bandages;
- Ensuring patient comfort, etc.
The details of the job responsibilities can depend on the work setting and “scope of practice” state regulations. However, you can expect to provide similar hands-on patient care regardless of your employer or location.
What Skills Does a Practical Nurse Need?
To secure a job as a practicing nurse and stand out from the rest of the applicants, you must possess some essential skills.
Taking care of many patients at the same time requires excellent organizational skills. As a practical nurse, you should be able to keep clear and accurate records relevant to practice as well as manage your time effectively. One thing that can help keep you organized is technology. This is where computer knowledge skills come in handy. Practical nurses usually use computers to record patients’ medical history, medications, blood pressure, and other vital signs.
Even though a practical nurse’s duties differ depending on various factors, a few foundational skills will help you perform your tasks efficiently. First and foremost, displaying strong communication skills is very important, considering that you’ll be in contact with patients for most of your workday.
Additionally, emergencies and routine care demand rational yet quick decision-making while caring for patients. This requires you to have strong decision-making skills that come from clinical knowledge.
Moreover, as a PN, you’ll work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs), doctors, and other healthcare professionals, so having good teamwork skills will positively affect the workflow and care of patients.
Where Can a Practical Nurse Work?
Now that we understand what a practical nurse does and the skills they need to have, it’s important to touch upon the work possibilities such a career offers.
Luckily, practical nurses can work in a variety of settings, allowing for great flexibility. While most work in nursing homes, PNs can work in other capacities, including:
- Rehab facilities
- Outpatient surgery centers
- Immunization clinics
- Medical call centers
- Insurance companies
- Home health care
With this many options, you’ll be able to choose the kind of care you’re interested in and the type of patients you’d like to work with.
What Is the Average LPN’s Salary?
The average salary that a licensed practical nurse (LPN) makes is determined by factors such as:
- The state of employment
- The scope of practice
- Years of experience
LPNs are expected to earn an average of $48,070 per year or $23.11 per hour. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the demand for licensed practical nurses to increase by 6% between 2021 and 2031.
How To Become an LPN
If you’re looking to start a rewarding career in healthcare without spending a fortune, becoming an LPN could be the perfect path for you. Ready to take the first steps toward becoming a licensed practical nurse? Here are some LPN requirements you need to check out first.
Meet the education requirements
To become a licensed practical nurse, you need to earn a diploma in practical nursing. Our program at the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM) lasts only nine months. Graduates of the program are awarded a diploma and will be well-prepared to sit for the National Council Licensure PN (NCLEX-PN) exam to obtain their license and begin practicing as an LPN.
Earn licenses and certifications
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) states that every nurse must obtain a license from the state where they intend to work in order to officially become a practical nurse.
To apply for your state LPN license, you must complete a PN program and pass the NCLEX-PN exam, among other things. However, if you plan to move states, you can apply for a multistate license. The NCSBN recommends a multistate license for those who want to avoid going through the trouble of getting a license from every state in which they may practice.
Advance in the field
Once you’ve followed the abovementioned steps, you can start your LPN career, but your journey doesn’t have to stop there. Most practical nurses receive ongoing training throughout their careers, and some decide to enroll in a registered nursing program to further advance in the field and become RNs.
Is Licensed Practical Nursing a Good Career?
While every job comes with its challenges and inconveniences, at its core, practical nursing is a rewarding career. Jobs in this field are continuously in high demand, as BLS projects an average of 58,800 openings for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses each year. Therefore, becoming a licensed practical nurse is a great way to get your foot in the door of this growing industry.
Besides the personal benefits, you’ll have the chance to help people on a daily basis and make a difference in their lives. You can positively impact your patients, their families, and friends. Additionally, you’ll be deeply appreciated by those you help in their time of need—which makes it all worth it.
How AIAM Can Help You Become an LPN
AIAM takes a holistic approach to teaching students nursing skills. So while you learn the skills you need to become an LPN, you will also learn about ethics and patient emotional care importance.
What makes our program better than others?
We at AIAM offer a Practical Nursing program that combines both classroom learning and real-world experience. Through this program, you’ll work alongside medical professionals and be able to earn your PN diploma within nine months.
Our thorough PN program offers small class sizes, one-on-one time with professors, and an acute focus on patient psychomotor skills. It’s a program that produces skilled, well-rounded, and compassionate nursing professionals. So, join AIAM and kick-start your LPN career right now!