5 Ways a Practical Nursing Program Can Change Your Life

Did you know that you can become a Practical Nurse (PN) after just three semesters of nursing school? Take that first important step and find a Practical Nursing program — it can change your life. Here are five of the benefits to becoming a nurse.

Tangible Rewards

Graduates of nursing programs earn a diploma in practical nursing. Graduation from state-approved programs entitles you to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Passing this exam is required in all states to obtain a license to practice. There is also a very real return for such a short academic and licensure investment: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), practical nurses earn a median salary of $41,540.

Job Security

The BLS also reports that through 2022, the number of all U.S. jobs combined will increase by 14 percent, while practical nursing jobs will grow by 25 percent. Yet salary and job growth don't tell the whole story about demand. Since practical nursing is such a fluid profession, many nurses advance to higher levels within their field. Others who wish to keep a fresh perspective simply change jobs. This vertical and lateral movement in the field creates an almost constant demand.

Completing a program might someday be your first step in an upwardly mobile career. You might some day attend an accelerated program and earn your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Working as a PN might also help you afford to work toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which is required for admission to advanced nursing programs.

A Fresh Start Filled with Opportunity

Most states simplify the process for licensed nurses to transfer from one state to another. Guidelines differ, so you should contact the appropriate state nursing board for the most accurate information. Although you are needed nationwide, some areas of the country have especially high concentrations of PN jobs. The BLS lists Texas, California, New York, Florida and Ohio as having the highest levels of PN employment.

You can also work as a "traveler" nurse across the country — or even the world! Government institutions ranging from the U.S. military to county health departments are hiring nurses. Whether at a nursing home or hospital pediatric unit, you can choose among any number of work environments. With all the potential for advancement, a PN program can be a catalyst to an exciting career filled with possibilities.

America's Most Trusted Professionals

For 12 years in a row, nurses rank number one in a poll Gallup takes of the most trusted professionals in America. As a practical nurse, you have the chance to experience and nurture that trust. Patients will turn to you for advice, need you to advocate for them and rely on you to safely care for them.

The Reward of Human Service

Your individual contribution to the betterment of humanity is immeasurable. Rest assured that every patient you comfort, every family you reassure or every worried spouse you listen to helps to make the world a better place. Only you can determine how important this is.

The rewards that come from completing a Practical Nursing program extend well beyond this list; for each student, these rewards are both personal and unique.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Tags: allied-health, Healthcare and Medical, nursing, patient care, Vocational & Practical Nursing

Charles R. Hooper, MSW

About Charles R. Hooper, MSW

With over 20 years experience as a medical social worker and a master's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I have been honored to dedicate most of my professional life to service in health care. I have worked in multiple medical/nursing settings, including cardiology, orthopedics, neurology, trauma care and others. I also founded the medical social work program at a regional trauma center and a very busy emergency department. View all posts by Charles R. Hooper, MSW →