Also called LVNs, or licensed vocational nurses, LPNs help care for disabled people, sick people, and people who are convalescing. If you're interested in working in this field, you could find positions in nursing care facilities, doctors’ offices, hospitals, and many other locations (including home care options). That gives you a wide range of choices. You could even find yourself in one of the growing number of LPN travel nursing jobs.
LPNs tend to earn between $30,000 and $45,000 per year, with those in the employment services sector earning the most. After that, home healthcare and nursing facilities offer the next-highest median pay, with LPNs working in hospitals and doctors’ offices earning the least. This is a growing career, with a higher than average growth expectancy over the course of the next few years as the Baby Boomers continue to age and require more out of their healthcare.
Depending on the job, you may be expected to gather information about a patient's health, take vital signs, assist patients with personal hygiene, prepare and administer injections, collect lab samples, and perform a large number of other routine but vital tasks. You may also need to supervise nursing aides and assistants. Knowing what you can expect out of a job is essential to landing the perfect position. Here are a few more tips to help you in your nursing job search.
1. Make sure your resume is truly accurate. It should be only one page long, with the desired job listed in the first sentence of your cover letter. Remember that the information there should be a good reflection of your skills and training. Don't exaggerate, and don't assume that a potential employer will know what you can do. Your resume is your foot in the door.
2. Be certain that nursing jobs for LPNs are the positions you're really looking for. You should understand all the duties, the probable salary and benefits, and the potential for advancement before you even put in an application.
3. Avoid negotiating salary and other details until the interview has been concluded or nearly so. You'll want the employer to be planning on hiring you before you talk money, benefits, and scheduling.
4. Have you been in the workforce continuously, or did you take a break to work at home, raise your children, or go to school? There's a big difference in the way you'll build your resume for these positions depending on which kind of situation you're in. Pay close attention to which kind of interviewing you'll be doing and what strategy you'll use.
5. Plan for the future. LPN travel nursing jobs and regular LPN positions are some of the best ones to take because they give you a leg up with only a relatively small amount of training. Do you want to stay in these positions, go on to become an RN, or change to another healthcare field? Asking yourself these questions can tell you where you want to interview and what jobs you want.
6. Believe in your ability to do the job. If you're not sure, the person doing the interviewing will know. Even if you've just received your certification and haven't done much hands-on work lately, confidence is a big boost to getting any job.
7. Focus your applications. Don't send a resume to just any medical facility that may be hiring for LPN positions. Instead, choose a few that you'd prefer to work for and target your applications and interviewing practice towards them. Know all you can about each one.
8. Get the inside scoop. If this is your first LPN job, find someone you know who's worked in a similar position, or at least in a healthcare setting. They'll be able to fill you in on what to expect and what to do and not to do.
9. Network. Related to number eight above, this one requires you to think of every contact you have as one more person who could help you in your nursing job search. Lots of people are nurses — everyone seems to have a friend, relative, or old coworker who's in a nursing position. LPN and other nurses can help tell you where the best places to apply are and what positions are open.
10. Be prepared to answer any question. That means spending some time thinking about what questions you may be asked, how the interview process will go, and what you'll say. Don't answer too quickly — you may look rehearsed. However, hemming and hawing is also a bad idea.
If you want to get into the healthcare industry, a job as an LPN could be the perfect choice for you. Check out all of your options during your nursing job search and remember these tips for the best results.