One of the common misconceptions about licensed practical nurses (LPNs) is that you’re limited to working in a nursing home. This simply isn’t true. LPNs can work in a variety of settings with different specializations of care.
If you’re interested in becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) but are unsure about working in nursing homes, here are some options for you:
Nursing Care Facilities
There are several types of nursing care facilities where LPNs could work, including public and private nursing homes, retirement homes and assisted living facilities. You will primarily work with elderly patients and help administer medication and assist with daily activities. Some patients in these facilities are younger and are rehabilitating, such as after a surgical procedure.
Many LPNs choose nursing care facilities because they enjoy a slower pace and seeing the same patients. This allows LPNs to connect with their patients on a personal level as well.
Home healthcare is like nursing care, but you will work with patients in their homes rather than a facility. Home healthcare LPNs are sometimes needed around the clock, which means you might be able to choose your preferred schedule.
If you’re compassionate and personable, home healthcare could be a great fit. You’ll likely have patients you see regularly, allowing you to develop a strong rapport. The bond you can build is one of the reasons patients choose to have in-home care and one of the perks of being an in-home caregiver.
Hospitals and Clinics
LPNs can provide patient care in public or private hospitals, urgent care clinics, and surgical facilities. Working in a hospital-type setting is best for those who enjoy variety in their day and perform well under pressure.
Within a hospital, you could work in emergency wards, maternity departments and surgery facilities. You will tend to have longer shifts when in a hospital, but the fast-paced environment will keep you on your toes.
Physician offices may provide a less hectic environment than hospitals while still within a clinical environment. The majority of patients come in for routine healthcare rather than emergencies.
In a physician's office, LPNs generally have a regular, 9 to 5 schedule. Your responsibilities include administering basic nursing care like changing bandages and updating doctors or RNs on patient status.
Insurance carriers will hire LPNs to help support care coordination. LPNs won’t be practicing their hands-on skills like they would in patient-focused positions. Instead, they will use their knowledge to design and analyze benefit packages. You could also help review cases to ensure that care is coordinated, appropriate and effective.
There are different environments LPNs can work in, each with its own set of benefits. If you’re interested in exploring any of these opportunities, start with your diploma in practical nursing from Herzing! We provide support throughout your education to help you reach your career aspirations.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.