If you’re genuinely passionate about healthcare and desire to pick up it as your career choice; then you’ve reached the right blog. With this comprehensive article on Licensed Practical Nursing (LPNs), we’re going to explore all the fields and topics each LPN aspirant must be aware of.
Let’s begin by defining a Licensed Practical Nurse:
A Licensed Practical Nurse is an assistant to registered nurses (RNs) or physicians. An LPN has to take care of some basic nursing duties and can be posted at hospitals, long term care facilities, nursing homes, and so on.
You cannot become a licensed practical nurse overnight. Becoming an LPN requires education too. You need to take up a Licensed Practical Nursing Program on a full-time or part-time basis to be in the field. Let’s discuss the process to become an LPN in detail.
What Licensed Practical Nurses Does
The function of an LPN will change based on where you operate, and your state may even place regulations on the types of duties you are permitted to perform. That said, a licensed practical nurse job description often includes:
- Assisting physicians and nurses with evaluations and procedures
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping patients eat, dress, and bath
- Measuring vital signs
- Updating doctors and nurses on patient status
- Administering and monitoring medicine
LPNs employed in the maternity ward of a hospital may possess few additional duties that may include feeding infants and coaching women through childbirth.
How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse
There are several other nursing jobs which demand a college degree, but LPN isn’t one. To become an LPN the interested candidate must complete his/her education for Practical Nursing Courses through any accredited college or institution. There are many vocational schools and community colleges that offer LPN Programs. All candidate must ensure that the college they choose to join for the LPN program must be accredited for the same.
Education and certification requirements
The typical education length for a LPN program is around 12 months. Although there are few programs that might last between 7 to 24 months. The Practical Nursing Courses include the study of following:
- Nursing fundamentals
- Nursing math
- Pediatric nursing
- Medical surgical nursing
- Geriatric nursing
- General anatomy and physiology
Once the candidate completes the LPN program, they must apply for their nursing license and pass the NCLEX exam. Passing this test will present the candidates with a certification of being a Licensed Practical Nurse. The NCLEX exam will cover following four main categories:
- Safe, Effective Care Environment: management of infection control, and Maintenance, safety
- Health Promotion and Maintenance: Growth and development throughout the lifespan, prevention, and early detection of illness
- Physiological Integrity: basic care and comfort, pharmacological and anti-inflammatory therapies, reduction of risk potential
- Psycho-social Integrity: Assessing and adapting, psycho-social adaptation
Getting admission to complete the Licensed Practical Nursing Program is the best way to secure your future in the nursing field. However, if you desire to advance in the field then you can move forward from being a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse (RN). Several colleges are offering RN programs as well.
Does LPNs Specialize In Any Field?
An LPN is educated about multiple medical fields and hence their Practical Nursing Courses curriculum consists of a wide variety of topics. Once an LPN completes his/her education, they’re skilled in varied areas. Although specialization isn’t required in this field, the candidate might choose to get certified through the National Association of Practical Nurse Education and Services (NAPNES) or any state organization. The interested candidates may specialize in areas such as pharmacology, long-term care, IV therapy, developmental disabilities, and correctional health.
Where are LPNs Employed?
As per the market survey, Nursing Homes are one of the most frequent employers of LPNs. However, many other places hire nurses for caring work now and then. According to a report by BLS, the following are some of the employers of nurses:
- Residential care facilities & Nursing home: 38%
- Hospitals: 16%
- Physicians clinics: 13%
- Healthcare services: 12%
- Military and Government services: 7%
There are other unconventional jobs available for LPNs, which may include places such as churches, research centers, charities, schools, and many more. There are high possibilities that an LPN might find a vacancy at amusement parks, summer camps, or even on a cruise ship. Although these job profiles are rare if luck favors you, you might come across one of such openings.
Job Security for LPNs
If you’ve been updated with the latest career news on Nursing Assistant Programs, you must be aware of the report that BLS recently presented. According to BLS, the job opportunities for LPNs will be growing by 12% by 2026. The statistics from the survey is almost twice as much as the average for all occupations across the country.
Moreover, nurses of all kind will be in demand as the number of people over the age of 65 in the country is expected to double by 2060. So, a colossal of nurses will be required to handle the age-related issues that will increase amongst the population.