Choosing an LPN career is possible one of the best things that you could consider doing. There are a number of advantages to getting your foot in the door of this ever growing industry. For example you can be guaranteed of a job and of stability in your job as well. If you are trying to make a choice of which career to enter into this article you should do your research thoroughly to make sure you make the best decision.
The LPN career overview is a very good one indeed. There are a wide variety of reasons why this is one of the best careers that you could consider having. For one thing there is an ever increasing need for LPN nurses throughout the country, so if you have the skills you will be in demand, no questions asked. This is a career that will also provide you with job stability and there is plenty of room for advancement once you have begun your LPN career.
There are a number of topics that you will have to cover when you are training for your LPN career. These include things like, the Fundamentals of Nursing, Anatomy and Physiology, Contemporary Health Issues Vocational Adjustment, Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Growth and Development, Introduction to Pharmacology, Psychiatric Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, and Maternal Child Health, among many other things. A good knowledge of these concepts is essential for a career as an LPN. Remember as well that a good LPN curriculum consists not only of theoretical training but also of a large quantity of clinical practice. You need to be able to perform a number of duties in an actual healthcare setting as an LPN and the only way to learn how to do this is through practice. In fact you will be unable to become an LPN and have an LPN career if you have not done the required clinical training during your LPN studies.
Requirements And Training
There are a number of requirements that you will have to meet in order to have an this career. The main requirements are listed below. Remember that these requirements can differ significantly from state to state, so be aware of this when checking the requirements you need for becoming an LPN:
- You will need to be at least 18 years of age in order to be a licensed LPN in most states.
- You will have to have graduated from an LPN training program. There are a number of sub-requirements to keep in mind when it comes to the training program that you will need to complete. For one thing the program needs to be at least nine months long. Many programs are as much as a year long. A longer program often means a better education. The program also needs to be accredited by the State Board of Nursing for the state in which you hope to work as an LPN. If it is not, you will be wasting your time and money studying there.
- In order to be eligible for one of these programs and for LPN licensure, you need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent in the form of a GED.
- For most programs you will have to take a basic academic skills test in order to enter. You will only be able to attend that program and gain LPN licensure if you successfully pass the test in question.
- When it comes to actual licensing you will have to pass the NCLEX-PN exam, so make sure that you attend a school that adequately prepares you for this test. You will have to pay a fee of $200 to the company that administers this exam, namely Pearson Vue. There is also usually a licensing fee that you will have to pay to the state board of nursing or another body in order to get your LPN license.
- In most cases you will need to pass a background, drug, and a health test in order to become licensed as an LPN and start your LPN career.
- You will also have to renew your license regularly, usually proving continuing education hours in the process.
Job Description And Duties
There are a number of duties involved in an LPN career. The following is a list of duties that you will encounter in most of the settings where LPNs can work:
- Monitor the patient’s conditions closely
- Report your observation to the physicians and RNs in charge of your patient
- Oversee the nurse aids working under you
- Collect patient’s health history
- Collect samples for laboratory testing
- Perform simple laboratory tests
- Measure and record patients’ vital signs
- Prepare and give injections
- Prepare and give enemas
- Monitor catheters
- Dress wounds
- Give alcohol rubs
- Give massages
- Clean and monitor medical equipment
Here are a number of important things to consider when choosing a specialization for your LPN career. These things are:
- Type of setting or treatment, such as emergency or maternity
- Type of health issue, such as oncology or rehabilitation
- Type of bodily system, such as cardiovascular or orthopedic
- Type of patient, such as pediatric or geriatric
Once you have clarified these aspects for yourself you will then need to consider a range of other issues in order to make the best choice possible (remember that it is not compulsory to choose a specialization right from the outset – you will have time to see which areas suit and which ones don’t). You need to decide right from the beginning what kinds of people you would like to work with throughout your LPN career. It is important that you choose a demographic of people who you like and who you can get on with easily if you want to be a successful nurse. You will also find that there are nursing settings that are higher pressured than others. In this case you need to base your decision of specialization on what kind of environment you would prefer to work in. Likewise there are different areas of medicine that you could look into finding out more about.
During your LPN training you will be exposed to many different kinds of medicines. After training you may then be better equipped to make a decision about what sort of medicines you would like to specialize in during your LPN career. As an LPN nurse you need to have LPN career goals. Know what your goals are right from the beginning. This will also help you decide on a specialization. You will also need to consider what kinds of responsibilities you are up for dealing with while working. Different specializations come with different kinds of responsibilities and duties that you will have to fulfill. An LPN career in one specialty can carry with it a job description that is completely different from other areas, so make your choice carefully in this regard. Different fields of nursing also tend to have slightly different hours and some can be more flexible than others.
If you need a lot of flexibility in your schedule you may want to focus on a specialization in which you will be able to have the time you need to do other things. If you want a specialty that fits in with your lifestyle then you will need to consider this aspect as well when deciding on what path you want to take in your LPN career. Personality plays a big part in an LPN career, but many people don’t seem to realize this. There are also different personality requirements for different areas within the health care field. For example you will need a different personality entirely for dealing with children as you would for dealing with coma patients. As a result you need to base your LPN specialty choice on your personality to a certain degree. Becoming certified in a certain specialty can take a lot of time. There can also be slight differences in the amount of time it takes to reach certification in each particular specialty. Therefore you need to consider how much time you will be able to give to becoming certified. This may help you choose your LPN career path.
The overall average salary figures for LPNs across the country are as follows:
- Hourly Rate: $13.17 – $23.47
- Overtime: $15.52 – $35.28
- Bonus: $0.00 – $1,521
- Total Pay: $27,364 – $51,834
However this is just an average. There can be huge differences in what different LPNs actually earn during their LPN career based on a number of aspects. Let us take a look at the salary of an LPN information in more detail now.
Nurses can have an LPN career in a number of different settings and industries. This is a summary of the average amount you can expect to earn if you work in the following popular industries as an LPN nurse:
- Healthcare: $13.23 – $24.07
- Nursing Home: $13.35 – $23.93
- Long-term Care or Rehabilitation: $13.66 – $24.10
- Family Medicine: $12.96 – $23.35
- Hospital: $13.52 – $24.58
Different employers also pay different rates to LPNs. LPN career information according to what you can earn from the most popular employers will now be discussed in more detail. If you work for Maxim Healthcare Services Inc. you can expect an hourly rate of around $15.56 – $22.39. If you work for DaVita Inc. the hourly rate is about $14.12 – $25.29, if you work for Kindred Healthcare the hourly rate is about $15.32 – $25.27, and if you work for HCR Manor Care Inc the hourly rate is about $17.18 – $25.15. Another popular employer is Life Care Centers of America where you can expect an hourly rate of about $13.97 – $26.73.
Sometimes gender differences can also affect pay, but not by every much. Although women make up 92% of the people employed in an LPN career they still earn slightly less than the 8% of men who are employed. On average women employed as LPNs can earn $15.24 – $20.32 an hour while men employed as LPNs can earn $15.30 – $20.43 an hour. The difference is slight, but still very noticeable.
The actual degree or educational qualification you have can affect how much you earn. Let’s have a look at the degree LPN career information statistics:
- Associate’s Degree: $13.20 – $22.93
- Bachelor’s Degree: $13.13 – $23.31
- Diploma of Nursing (DN): $13.78 – $23.31
- Certificate (Cert), Nursing: $13.14 – $24.07
- Diploma (Dipl), Nursing: $13.18 – $22.76
And last but not least, the pay that you can earn during your LPN career will be affected not only by the state in which you work but also by the specific cities within that state. Here is a list of the cities that pay the most to LPN nurses:
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Mesa, Arizona
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Baltimore, Maryland
- New York, New York
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Portland, Oregon
- Seattle, Washington
- Chicago, Illinois
- Detroit, Michigan
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Houston, Texas
- Denver, Colorado
- Tucson, Arizona
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Sarasota, Florida
- Naples, Florida
Now that you have considered all of the LPN career information presented here you should be far better equipped to make the best decisions possible in your LPN career. You should also be able to decide whether or not this is the best career choice for you or if you should perhaps look into something else instead. There are certainly many things in favor of having an LPN career. The salary is good, there are plenty of different settings that you can work in making it more likely to find a niche where you fit, and the job stability for this profession is very good indeed. However you need to make sure that you have the right personality for the job. This is your career choice, so make it carefully.