Why Should I Become a Practical Nurse?

Why Should I Become a Practical Nurse?

Mar 13, 2015 | 10:00 am

If you know that nursing is your career calling, and you don’t want to spend years in school training, why not become a practical nurse? With programs that offer students the training and skills to enter the healthcare field as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in a little over one year, it’s one of the quickest ways to get started in the profession.

Reasons to Become a Practical Nurse

Here are five of the most common reasons people become LPNs or LVNs. See if you agree with this checklist!

Caring for patients – Practical nurses can be found in almost every area of healthcare, and they may be the first nurses patients come in contact with as they check vital signs, blood pressure and temperatures. A comforting, caregiver personality is a perfect fit for this position.

Get started sooner – Instead of completing two to four years of study, LPNs can train for a little over one year through an approved program before entering the workforce. This is a great fit for people who know what they want and feel eager to start.

High demand career – Practical nurses are needed everywhere from hospitals to nursing homes to mission fields, so it’s no wonder that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment increases for LPNs of up to 25 percent between 2012 and 2022.

Flexible work locations – Practical nurses can find work in nursing homes, physician’s offices, hospitals, community clinics, military health centers, home health care settings and residential care facilities, to name a few.

Career advancement – As well as advancing their careers by training for supervisory positions, practical nurses can return to school to complete LPN-to-RN degree programs that promote them to registered nurse (RN) status. With experience and more education behind them, the sky is the limit.

What You Need to Get Started

After earning your high school diploma or GED, apply to a practical nursing program through a local vocational school or community college. You may be asked to complete an entrance exam and criminal background check.

Between classroom hours and supervised clinical experiences, students should graduate with a strong foundation in clinical nursing techniques and feel prepared to take part in direct patient care. They can also sit for the National Council of Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), which is the license required for the title LPN.

If this is the career choice for you, good luck! The nursing profession is open and ready for more qualified practical nurses to join its ranks.