The career of a licensed practical nurse, also known as licensed vocational nurse, is one of the very rewarding but also demanding medical careers. The duties and responsibilities a licensed practical nurse include helping other nurses and doctors with patients and due to the current demand of LPNs there is a lot of opportunity to work overtime. Let's take a look a closer look at the LPN career and requirements for the job.
How long to become an LPN
Becoming an LPN is actually very simple. It takes only two years of LPN training to be able to get the LPN certification. Before we get into the salary and the licensed practical nurse education programs, we must cover everything it takes to become a licensed practical nurse!
As we already mentioned, being a licensed practical nurse requires a lot of patience and stress tolerance. However, there are plenty of more traits and requirements one must have in order to be successful at this job. A licensed practical nurses work a lot with the patients, which means they must know how to be supportive and compassionate.
Working with people in such a situation requires you to be a good listener and to know how to properly communicate. Compassion is the key here, as you must be able to understand how the person feels in order to help them out. Licensed practical nurses work under the supervision of the doctor and they do the basic side care of the patients.
A licensed LPN can easily find a job in a medical facility such as a hospital or a clinic, as these members of medical staff are very high in demand. Some licensed practical nurses work in home care too, which requires them to spend their work hours at the patient’s house.
The job description of a licensed practical nurse includes monitoring patients and taking vital signs, administering medication, providing assistance with personal hygiene to the patients who are unable to take care of themselves, taking blood pressure and performing basic care treatments. Besides that, an LPN also has to compile all the patient’s info and do the paperwork in the office.
LPNs also maintain the medical equipment in their workplace and make sure everything is in order. They supervise assistants to ensure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. All together, the list of duties of a licensed practical nurse is quite big, meaning this job position requires a lot of hard work.
We have already mentioned that the educational program for becoming an LPN is very short. In fact, becoming a licensed practical nurse is the quickest way to get into the medical field. There is also room to advance from this position, which is why it is a great start for someone who would like to work in this field.
To become a certified licensed nurse you need two years of LPN training. In order to get into the training program, all you need is a high school diploma. Full college education is not necessary for this position, as the LPN training will completely prepare you for this job.
Once you complete the 2 year training program, you will have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam, which is an exam that will determine whether you are ready and able to become an entry-level nurse. You will not be able to get hired without passing this exam. If you’re wondering where you can get into the LPN training program, it is good news that those programs are offered in many educational facilities.
The licensed practical nurse training is offered at vocational or technical schools, while you can also find certain training programs at community colleges, depending on your location.
LPN Classes Online
While many people prefer getting traditional LPN training that includes classroom study and clinical practice under supervision, some prefer taking LPN classes online. While both options are available, it is recommended to go with the traditional version because it will provide you the practical experience that will help you do better at your future job.
Besides, employers are much rather going to hire a person who has at least some kind of practical experience over a person who has taken online classes. If there is no other way for you to do the training program and you must take the classes online, you can get additional practical training from other members of the medical staff when you get hired. However, keep in mind that if you want to get hired faster, the traditional LPN training program is the way to go!
Licensed Practical Nurse Salary
Licensed practical nurses make $19.42 per hour on average. That equals to an average amount of around $40,000 per year. Keeping in mind that LPNs often have to stay at work past their hours, they can earn a lot of extra money. While the pay in this medical career is not the most impressive one, it is a pretty good starting point.
If you’re looking to improve your position as a licensed practical nurse, you can step up your game and become promoted to a charge nurse. Charge nurses, as the title suggests, are in charge of monitoring the work of other licensed practical nurses and ensuing everything goes smoothly. Charge nurses are also paid more, which is why it is a good idea to pursue the promotion.
In order to become promoted you must show skills such as good leadership, responsibility, the ability to find quick solutions and take care of problems. If you do well at the position of the licensed practical nurse, you will have great chances of being promoted!
Reasons to become a LPN
Even though the job is quite demanding and requires a lot of commitment, there are some really solid reasons why one would want to become a practical nurse. For starters, it is the quickest way to get into the medical field without years of education. All you need is a high school degree and 2 years of LPN training. As soon as you pass the LPN test, you’re good to go!
Once you become a licensed practical nurse, the journey doesn't’t end there! You can still improve and move onto the higher position of a charge nurse if you show the right skills and traits at work. Becoming a charge nurse will bring you a decent increase in salary, which is already quite great at $40,00 per year for a licensed practical nurse.
However, one of the main reasons why you should be interested in this job position is the fact that you will be helping a lot of people deal with their illnesses. Every job in the medical field is a noble vocation, however, working as a licensed practical nurse really requires you to be close with the patients.
You must be able to communicate with the patients and help them by taking care of them every day. Without tons of patience and high stress tolerance, working this job would be too difficult to handle. Besides all the work a licensed practical nurses have with the patients, they also have to maintain the medical equipment, file records and do the administrative work in the office.
All of it put together results in a long list of duties one has to complete at work, which is why LPNs often need to stay working for longer hours. However, if you love what you’re doing, staying at work for a few more hours a week is a great way to earn some extra money and points that will get you closer to that promotion to a charge nurse!
If you’re considering enrolling in a licensed practical nurse training program, make sure you are ready for the challenges this job brings!