Is Becoming an LPN Right for Me?

Individuals interested in a career in nursing must decide what type of nursing degree is right for them.  Before making this important decision, it is imperative to know what the duties and responsibilities for each classification entails.  You need to determine how much time you have to devote to education, what your comfort level is in personal care, and your personal timeline for completing your education.

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is sometimes referred to as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).   A career at this level is impressive; however, it should not be confused with that of a Registered Nurse (RN).  An LPN’s education begins with either a high school diploma or equivalent.  The individual must complete a range of clinical experiences and finally pass the NCLEX-PN test for final certification.

LPN positions can be found in nearly every medical facility or treatment center.  An LPN is never expected or permitted to work without the direct supervision of a physician or RN.  The job duties include updating patient records, taking vital signs, or collecting fluid samples.  LPN’s are prohibited from emergency or critical care situations.  Their primary job duties are in line with the basic care requirements for patients.

Being an LPN is a fulfilling position and provides many individuals with a rewarding career.  The promotional possibilities are a little unconventional, as the next step is to be an RN.  To become an RN, additional education and experience is required.  However, a background as an LPN makes the training and testing less cumbersome.  An LPN is not a fully trained nurse, but will be familiar with some medical terminology and testing, reducing the amount of knowledge they will need to acquire to take the next step.

The average salary of an LPN is $40,380 a year, which is well above the poverty level for a family of 4 in the United States.  The expected job growth for LPN’s is expected to increase by at least 22% by the year 2020.  This equates to more than 168,000 new positions in this limited period of time.

Individuals interested in a career as a licensed practical nurse can find online programs in addition to classroom training available to suit their busy schedules.  A career in the health care field can be rewarding.  The need for nurses of all types is expected to continue to grow, as is the need for all professions within the medical industry.

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