Licensed Practical Nurses, LPN for short, and Licensed Vocational Nurses, LVN, are the nurses and helpers who actually work with the patients in a healthcare facility, under instructions given by a physician or a Registered Nurse. LPNs and LVNs need to be friendly, relatable and communicative, as they are the ones who have the most direct contact with the patients in a healthcare facility. Some of their most basic tasks include changing bandage, inserting catheters, monitoring the patients’ temperature, blood pressure, medical records and their basic comforts, including helping them dress or take a bath. Below, you will find several reasons why becoming an LPN or an LVN will be a good choice for you.
1. Various Work Settings
As with other occupations in the healthcare industry, especially nurses, LPNs and LVPs can work in various different settings. If you become a LPN or LVN, you can work in public healthcare facilities, like hospitals, ER centers, nursing care facilities, as well as in private hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or community centers for elderlies. But, you can also work in outpatient care, psychiatric facilities, dialysis centers and many other work settings. In 2014, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPNs and LVNs have been employed in the following industries: 7% in government facilities, 11% in home healthcare and outpatient services, 13% in offices of private physicians, 17% in hospitals, both private and state, while a whopping 38% have been employed in nursing and residential care facilities. So, after graduation or obtaining a license, LVPs and LVNs have the easiest time finding work.
2. You do not need a degree
Prospective LVNs and LVPs do not need to have an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. All they need to complete is a year of courses that cover several medical issues. Part of the program is conducted in clinical setting, which will help you develop a contacts’ network which will aid you in finding work after you’re done. The courses covered by most programs are basic nursing, physiology and anatomy, emergency care, nutrition, surgical and obstetric nursing, and other basic courses in nursing. The programs usually take a year to complete, although there are some programs that last only seven months. The usual cost of a LVN or LPN program is about $2000. In addition, today there are online courses which means you can work in the field while you study and get certification.
3. Career prospects
Becoming an LVN or an LVP is a good start to a career in nursing. If you are happy being an LVN or an LVP, you might consider getting a full degree in nursing, and become a Registered Nurse. There are many Associates’ and Bachelor’s degrees that you can complete with various specializations. In addition, most workplaces, especially hospitals, offer help and support to prospective RN’s who already work in the facility as vocational or practitioner nurses. However, this might be a lot of work, can take about 2-4 years to complete, and then you need to sit the National Council Licensure Exam to receive your certificate. But, RNs in various specializations earn good annual salaries of around $90,000 to $100,000, and LVNs and LPNs are eligible for accelerated programs that will shorten the amount of time it takes to complete an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing.