RNs Can Specialize – What About LPNs?

It is widely known that once you get your RN degree, you can pick an area you love and specialize in it. You may be wondering if you can specialize as an LPN, whether that is your ultimate goal or just a stop on your pathway to become an RN. See LPN to RN. Whatever the case may be, there's good news. An LPN actually can specialize in certain topics with the correct education and certifications. In fact, there is probably a certification to fit whatever you enjoy. For example, you may be interested in starting IVs, which may seem weird to some, but is a very in-demand skill.

To specialize in starting IVs is amazing, because it takes a good pair of hands to do so. IV certification may be included in your schooling depending on what state you live in, or you may have to take an additional class or exam to achieve that certification. With your IV certification, it is in your scope to start an IV, as well as identify the role of fluid and electrolyte imbalance in homeostasis, understand the pharmacology aspect of IV therapy, demonstrate knowledge of the different IV fluids, operate IV pumps and equipment, calculate flow rate of infusions, perform venipuncture, and also identify potential complications from IV therapy.

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If you enjoy taking care of geriatric patients, you can actually get a certification in long-term care. It takes a special kind of nurse to be able to do this job and be there for this aging population. Some of these residents may not have any family members or friends to speak of. Once you take on that job, you are their family; you are what they know. It is helpful to know about nutrition for this career pathway. If nutrition is your passion, long-term care may be a good fit for you. There are many individuals in long-term care who require modified diets made strictly to benefit their health and wellbeing. It is also extremely important to assess, assess, assess. Assess while the patient is bathing so you can search for skin breakdown, etc. Assess while they are eating so you as the nurse can see how they are doing. Assess their bathroom habits so that you know if their diet is working for them. Treat them like you would want your family to be treated. Some elderly patients can be in extreme pain and take that pain out on you by being rude, but gently letting them know you will be there every step of the way if they need anything can help immensely.

Some other very specific LPN certifications you can obtain include: Pharmacology, Nephrology, Urology, Wound Care, Corrections, Hospice, Breastfeeding Support, Research, and Cardiac Catheterization. There are also general certifications, some of which are required for employment in certain facilities, including Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NALS), and/or Pediatric Emergency Assessment and Stabilization (PEARS).

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Whatever you enjoy doing in the nursing field as a Licensed Practical Nurse, there is more than likely an area or skill for you to specialize in. If you are interested in a specific field of work, you can more than likely become certified, you will just have to do your research. Also, becoming certified in something can make you a more desirable hire, and put you in a position of leadership amongst your peers.

LPNs can be found in many settings, including nursing homes, long-term care centers, hospitals, pediatric centers, therapy centers, abuse centers, rehabilitation facilities, and more. There are numerous work opportunities for nurses, no matter the kind. It is wonderful to become certified in a specialty that you enjoy so that your job does not feel like work, it feels more like a hobby and something that you love to do. This tends to result in spreading joy and positivity to your co-workers, patients, residents, and friends.