Why choose a practical nurse program? You're considering a career in healthcare. You want to help people in a medical setting, and are looking to jump into the workforce sooner rather than later. Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to working in the medical field. Nursing is one of the most in-demand career categories in healthcare. That said, "nursing" isn't just one job. Before making a decision, check out the advantages to getting a practical nurse diploma. Even though each type and level of nursing career has its advantages, a job as an LPN (licensed practical nurse) has plenty of pros.
Quick Turnaround Time
Licensed practical nurses need to learn the ins and outs of their trade. With that in mind, obviously you'll need to attend and complete an educational program. Becoming an LPN is a fairly quick educational bath – especially in comparison to bachelor's level registered nurse (RN) programs. Most practical nursing programs take as little as one year to complete. This means that you'll spend less time in school than you would for other types of nursing (and some other types of healthcare jobs). Not only will you finish school quickly, but you'll get into the workforce sooner. That means starting your career, and making a paycheck, in less time.
LPN jobs are on the rise. The expected growth outlook shows a projected 16 percent growth change between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is considered much faster than average. How many new jobs does this translate into? The BLS notes that this field is expected to grow by 117,300 jobs.
Even though LPNs typically don't make the same salary as RNs, they do earn a more than livable wage. The median yearly pay for a licensed practical nurse is $43,170, according to the BLS. Keep in mind, this is an average across all of the states and all of the different experience levels. Am LPN who has been working for a few decades will make more than a nurse who is just starting out. There are also some cities and states where you can expect a higher pay.
An Array of Options
There isn't only one place where an LPN can work. LPNs work in hospitals, doctor's offices, community clinics, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals and other healthcare settings. These professionals also work with a variety of different populations. These include children, the elderly, pregnant women and other patients who are in need of care. Along with where and who you work with, you may also have your pick when it comes to when you work. If you choose to work in a hospital (or another 24-7 healthcare setting), you can work during the day or overnights.
A practical nursing program is the first step in your LPN career. If you're looking for a healthcare job that's in a high-demand field, this may be the ideal career for you. Check out places like PiBerry Institute for more information.