Good News in Practical Nursing
According to data complied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPN jobs pay a median annual salary of $39,030 as of May 2008. Of this figure, the lowest-paid earned $28,260 while the highest-paid earned over $53,580 within the same time period. Practical nurses who worked for employment services earned an annual salary of $44,690 while those connected to the offices of physicians were paid $35,020 yearly. Thus, LPN work pays depending on the work setting with other factors like geographical location also come into the picture.
As of 2008, there were 753,600 jobs in the practical nursing sector. The job outlook is considered much faster than average, meaning an overall growth of 20 percent while the job prospects are very good. It should be noted that home healthcare services and nursing care facilities presents the best opportunities for finding work as a practical nurse.
With all these good news in practical nursing, the next step is to consider a career in the field. It may just be a stepping stone to a registered nurse career or it may be the professional path chosen until retirement. Either way, there are certain ways that one can secure good LPN jobs.
The very first step is, of course, to get qualified for the LPN jobs. It starts with enrolling in a practical nursing program in a vocational and technical school as well as community and junior colleges in your area. It is also possible to qualify for a program offered by hospitals, colleges and universities in this line of work, with the hospital stint serving as a de-facto on-the-job training that many prospective employers will appreciate in candidates looking for LPN work. Most LPN programs require a high school diploma or its equivalent.
The year-long LPN program typically includes classroom instruction on subjects like patient care and basic nursing concepts as well as actual clinical practice in a variety of settings. Since lives are also at stake, the study periods are similar to bachelor or associate degrees in nursing in terms of demands albeit on a shorter time period.
License as a practical nurse is secured through passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). It has four areas of examination - care environment, psychosocial integrity, physiological integrity, and health promotion and maintenance.
But an education and a license does not make an effective and efficient practical nurse. Positive personality traits are also necessary especially as a practical nurse is one of the healthcare professionals that patients come into frequent contact with while in the hospital or in the nursing home. You have to possess the traits of sympathy and empathy, attention to detail and excellent observation skills, ability to work under close supervision and to follow orders, and even good decision-making and communication skills. Add in a passion of learning and LPN jobs are well within your reach.
In many instances, LPN work is very stressful. You are expected to perform a variety of jobs for the patient, the doctors and the nurses, all of which can make a hectic day - or night since practical nursing is often a 24/7 concern - at work. Thus, it is as important to be passionate about the job as it is to possess the right educational and clinical qualifications.
What exactly are the responsibilities that make passion an imperative need in the job? Practical nurses are required to care for sick, injured, disabled and convalescent patients in a variety of settings ranging from hospitals to homes. Patient care includes basic bedside treatment, monitoring of vital signs like temperature and blood pressure, prepare and administer enemas and injections, provide dressings for wounds and even give rubs and massages.
Patient personal hygiene is also a concern. Thus, a practical nurse will provide baths as well as assistance in standing and walking. Under the direction of a physician, laboratory tests may also be conducted as well as cleaning of medical equipment. Now with all these tasks that require doing in the course of a working day, passion and patience indeed have value.
Now, when you have all these qualifications and qualities, LPN jobs are yours for the taking.