Benefits of Being a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
It is true for every job that you have to make most out of your working hours. The typical work routine of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) may leave you physically exhausted but it is clear that it delivers you the reward financially as well as emotionally.
So you have almost decided that you want to become a health care professional but the only obstacle in your path is not knowing which way to go. If you figure out who you want to become then your half journey is completed. The right decision of choosing a career path out of numerous possibilities comes from aligning your skills and interests.
Owing to the availability of many options such as the LPN, registered nurse (RN), certified nurse assistant (CNA) et cetera it is legitimate to get confused. These professions can be differentiated on the basis of various factors like education, salary, roles and responsibilities and career growth. You are reading this article most probably because you want to get facts and information in support of your decision of becoming an LPN. The article is written for clearing the air regarding what benefits to look for in the career of an LPN.
There can be a number of pros and cons linked to a profession and which one sheds less or more impact largely depends on the individual. The following points focus on the bright side of the profession of an LPN.
An LPN Spends Less Time in Educational Program than an RN:
The one prominent difference between an LPN and an RN results due to the different educational background. Going through the career path an aspiring LPN student spends just only one year studying a practical nursing program of one year in duration. While it takes 4 years for an aspiring RN to complete the professional nursing degree. Thus, you can add work experience in your resume very quickly. Most of the working LPNs tell that the less duration of the course inspired them to become an LPN.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Predicts Growth In Employment:
Wanting to help people in need on a daily basis is one thing and being sure of the growth in the career for the long term is another. Having a clear sight of how your future looks like help in diminishing anxiety. The LPN jobs are expected to grow by 16 percent till 2024 according to the report of the BLS. The strong reason behind the availability of opportunities at large is that people grow older with time. According to the BLS, the career of an LPN is evergreen for their increasing demand in residential care facilities as well as in environments specially designed for taking care of older patients.
As an LPN You Can Gain Balance Between Work and Life:
You can fulfill your need of giving attention to your family members, especially to your kids working in night shift. An LPN nurse can have a flexible work routine, enough to balance the responsibilities at workplace and home. With working a night shift you can look after your kids during the day. Also, your choice of the work-setting is completely your own. You can approach either hospital, physician's office or nursing homes to find employment. Simply put, the career of LPN offers you a great balance between work and life.
Variety is the Spice of Life:
The routine of an LPN is not repetitive, unlike the other jobs which have a fixed routine for the employees to follow. Some employees like a consistent change in their routine. Seeing the urgent requirements in a health-care setting an RN can't predecide a schedule for LPNs. One day as an LPN you will be doing the routine check up to take important signs and another day you will be using your skills and knowledge in an emergency situation. Given the condition, there are a variety of tasks that an LPN can carry out except for assessing the health of the patient.
Appreciation Can Make Your Day:
The patients and their families recognize the hard work of an LPN. Being busy entire day to take care of random patients is more rewarding when someone feels thankful for your kind work. It boosts the self-esteem when what you are doing is capable of saving lives of people you don't really know. The job of an LPN gives you a chance to form a selfless connection with strangers who eventually become an important part of your life. Therefore, you can always draw immense satisfaction at the end of the day.
Licensure Examination for the LPN Job is Relatively Easy:
Basically, it is due to the different educational path of both RN and LPN which separates them on the basis of salary, roles, and responsibilities. A typical path of an aspiring RN is to earn the bachelor of science in nursing or an associate degree in nursing which extends to 4 years. While there is nothing like for an aspiring LPN student who has to complete a year long accredited program which awards a certificate in practical nursing. After the completion of education, both of the professions require a licensure to practice in a medical setting. Owing to a different level of courses that an LPN and an RN student learn both of them sit for the different exams that they must pass. For an LPN student, the name of examination is known as NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination- Practical Nurse) and an RN student takes NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination- Registered Nurse). The latter one requires more critical thinking so it is comparatively tough. The licensure requirements vary by state.
Options for Further Studies are Open for an LPN:
It might be your practical approach if you are looking forward to gaining work experience first before starting to handle the responsibilities available at a higher level. Having worked for a couple of years an LPN may think of advancing the skills and knowledge so that it results in more satisfaction. The next step after becoming an LPN is the position of the RN. If you manage to complete the special education programs available for an LPN to pursue the role of an RN, eventually you will be increasing your salary.
As discussed earlier, there are always two sides of a coin. Now you must be wondering what are those aspects that make this career path challenging enough. There are some of the cons that are important enough for you to notice before making a decision which will impact the rest of your life.
All Day Long An LPN Needs To Be Physically Active:
The entire day of an LPN consists of moving, transporting and lifting patients. The motion takes the movement of the body parts. Thus an LPN is always under a risk of harboring injuries. A good stamina may prevent excessive tiredness arising due to standing for a long time. The job of an LPN is physically challenging because at the end of the day there might be issues with pain in joints and other parts of the body. The career counselors strongly advise the aspiring LPNs for doing stretching exercises and always keeping themselves fit.
Stress Can Either Make You or Break You:
A little bit of stress is good for motivation but a high surge of stress may conflict with your personal life. The hectic day of an LPN includes paying attention to patients to look after them. The job is very much linked to taking note of details and implementing a plan of action. There is no room for a silly error while dealing with details. A wrong information of the patient is not going to treat the disease with accuracy. Either you can take stress constructively or destructively depending on how you look at it. The constructive attitude is when you pass your entire day so fast and increase your confidence with becoming habitual to the process that you enjoy it. The destructive attitude is when the work pressure makes you tense which eventually may affect the accuracy of your work. At the end of the day either you feel gratitude or feel drained out. It will be better that you learn how to relieve stress so that it doesn't terrify you.
Salary of an LPN is Less than that of an RN:
Owing to spending relatively less time in medical school it is quite self-explanatory that the salary for the entry level job of an LPN has to be lower than that of an RN. Giving emphasis on figures, the annual salary of an RN on average is $68,450 according to the BLS, while an LPN on average draws $44,090 in a year. If you are looking forward to reducing the educational years then you have to compromise with the amount you can earn in a year. Though, it is valid that your salary can always increase with years of experience or who knows you will be thinking about becoming an RN after a couple of years.
The Risk of Getting Exposed to Fluids of Body:
It is obvious that in a hospital when you are dealing with patients you will often need to deal with fluids of the patient's body. Even if smelling the blood is problematic for you, you are always under a risk of in taking unwanted chemicals through your nose, eyes or mouth. In addition, you may inflict an injury from the needles of the injection. There are guidelines for safety and precautions that you will be taught so that you can prevent such incidents.
It is absolutely one of your concerns about where you see yourself in the future if you choose to become an LPN. There are the following points that should make clear the doubts regarding the future of LPNs.
Human Beings Grow Old:
According to studies, every day 10,000 people are turning 65 years old and this is valid until 2030. This data clearly indicates that there will be no pause in demand of the health care services that at least old age people need every now and then. The growth in the career of LPN is based on the opportunities available for them in the health care facilities. According to the BLS, there were 719,900 job holders in 2014. The data of statistics show that the employment opportunities are at large available in nursing and residential care facilities equating to 38%. In addition, it is 17% in hospitals, 13% in the office of physicians, 11% in home health care services and 7% in government.
Old LPN Population is Retiring:
One more fact, that supports the availability of opportunities in future is that most of the current LPNs are at the retiring phase of their life. It is fortunate enough that as soon as the old population retires there will be a great number of vacancies to hire young LPNs.
Educated Patients are Aware of the Health Problems:
Unlike several decades ago, now people are more aware of their health due to the emerging advances in the technology. The educated population can't possibly compromise when it comes to something related to their health. A need of addressing and knowing about the health issues lead them to relevant health care facility. This continuous presence of patients is a factor in the consistency of job opportunities that LPNs seek.
After a Couple of Years, You Can Become an RN:
Taking the career of LPN as the start of professional nursing you will always be able to upgrade your education down the road to become an RN if you want to. Any decision of the career should be your own as others might enjoy the outcome but you have to go through the process. For becoming an RN you need to take additional education which you may even pursue without leaving the job. There are options available for studying LPN to RN programs including online classes so that you can prepare for the NCLEX-RN. Also, there are some institutions that offer evening and or weekend classes.
We hope that you have got the answer for the question "why should I become an LPN?" It is easy to believe in the data extracted from research and facts. In less time you can achieve more being an LPN alongside managing your family. You may get a logical reason to pursue any field but the final decision should be based on whether you can do it or not. You know it better than anyone else as in the world. Remember that you should learn those skills and gain that knowledge which aligns with your interests and abilities. If it is the same with the choice of becoming an LPN then going ahead on this path can give you all the benefits mentioned in this article.