Richmond, Virginia is a great location to study to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). With a population of over 200,000 people, Richmond is centrally located in Virginia and is the state's capital. Several schools within the city offer accredited licensed practical nursing degree programs.
Licensed Practical Nursing
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are over 750,000 LPN positions in the United States with nearly 170,000 new positions projected to be created between 2010 and 2020. This represents a 22 percent job growth rate, well above the national average of 14 percent. The current national average salary for the LPN profession is $40,380. The BLS reports that 29 percent of LPNs work in nursing facilities, while others work in hospitals, physicians offices, home health agencies and in private homes.
LPNs work every conceivable schedule, including nights and shifts that frequently last longer than eight hours. This position requires individuals to be good communicators with especially strong listening skills and have the ability to cope with what can sometimes be stressful and demanding work. The primary area of advancement for individuals completing a licensed practical nursing degree program is to become a registered nurse (RN), although they also have the opportunity to move into other medical fields. These fields include emergency medical services, physical therapy assistants and pharmacy and lab technicians.
In addition to a wide variety of professional settings, LPNs work with various population groups, often under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians. The work often requires lifting and staying on your feet for hours. State laws regulating LPNs' responsibilities can vary, but in general, you will:
- Provide basic nursing care including: checking blood pressure, changing dressings, inserting catheters, giving and monitoring medication, collecting lab specimens and starting IVs
- Help patients with personal care needs such as bathing, dressing and eating
- Document inpatient records
- Educate patients and families about treatment modalities, medication management and personal hygiene
Virginia LPN Licensure and Education
The state of Virginia is a participant in the Nurse Licensure Compact, meaning that a LPN license from Virginia allows you to practice in fellow compact states without having to obtain an additional license. In addition to passing a state licensure exam, the state requires that you have at least two years of high school education as well as a diploma from an accredited program. The final step towards LPN licensure, in any state, is passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).
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