3 Reasons to Become a LPN
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is increasingly becoming the new educational standard for today’s nurses. But while many individuals aspire to earn a BSN, you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to begin your nursing career.
In fact, many people first become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in order to gain experience in the field. LPNs are integral members of the healthcare team that work closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians to provide patients with basic nursing care.
Here are just a few of the advantages of becoming an LPN:
1. You can get started a lot sooner
Most BSN programs take a few years to complete, but it can take as little as 12 months to earn your diploma in practical nursing.
As an LPN, you’ll work under the supervision of RNs and doctors, and may assist with a variety of patient care duties, including measuring and reporting patient vital signs, dressing wounds and administering prescribed medications.
2. Your skills are in demand
Employment for LPNs is expected to increase by as much as 12 percent through 2026, as hospitals and other healthcare facilities strive to accommodate the medical needs of an aging population.
Some LPNs work for hospitals or private practices, but there is especially high demand for LPNs in assisted living facilities and home healthcare environments. About 38 percent of LPNs worked for nursing and residential care facilities in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are many other opportunities for LPNs in long-term care, such as rehabilitation centers, residential treatment centers and hospice. A small percentage of LPNs may work within the public health sector for schools, health departments and non-profit organizations.
3. You can continue your education at any time
Often, LPNs choose to advance their nursing skills and training by becoming a RN at the ASN or the BSN level. Some programs may offer an accelerated option to make your transition from LPN to RN as easy and streamlined as possible.