If you enjoy caring for others and are interested in the healthcare field, you may have thought about going into the field of nursing. However, with the variety of programs offered, it can be confusing to know which path to choose. Practical Nursing (PN) could be the perfect place to start and prepares you for licensure to practice as an LPN.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) work on the frontline as caregivers in a variety of healthcare facilities, which gives you an opportunity to gain experience in many different settings. Medical doctor’s offices, clinics, nursing homes, skilled care facilities and rehabilitation centers all hire LPNs. You could also work in hospitals; departments including the emergency room, labor and delivery, oncology and pediatrics all need LPNs.
As an LPN you work closely with patients and usually have a schedule that provides variety. Working under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or doctor, LPNs perform an array of patient care tasks. As an LPN you will take and record patients’ vital signs and administer medications. You may assist with lab testing, collecting patient specimen and samples, and you may also assemble and prep equipment such as catheters, feeding tubes and breathing machines.
One of the advantages to becoming an LPN is that you can start your career in healthcare in a relatively short amount of time. While a BSN degree can take up to four years to complete, you can often earn a PN degree in half the time or less depending on state requirements. If you are looking to move into the professional field of healthcare, a PN program puts you on your path much faster.
LPNs may also find additional opportunities for career advancement as they gain on-the-job knowledge and experience. After being in the field for a while, you may decide to specialize in a certain aspect of healthcare, such as orthopedics or hospice nursing, or you may choose to continue your education and become an RN. When you start your nursing career as a practical nurse, you open the door to a range of opportunities.
As baby boomers age, the demand on healthcare is expected to increase. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for LPNs is projected to grow more than 10 percent over the next decade, offering many opportunities for people interested in this field.
If you are interested in a career as an LPN, the Practical Nursing training at Fortis can help you prepare to take the NCLEX-PN examination to obtain licensure. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.