Nursing opportunities come in all shapes and sizes—LPNs, RNs, DNPs, and more. Although different nursing licenses have different roles and responsibilities attached to them, they all have one thing in common—they reflect a commitment to the practice of nursing and to a career in caring.
For some nurses, becoming an LPN is the first step in their career. For others, it is a rewarding career in itself and they enjoy the challenges and sense of purpose that goes along with caring for people in need.
That’s because as an LPN, there is so much you can do. Although the responsibilities or scope of practice can vary from state to state (each state’s board of nursing regulates what each nursing license level can and cannot do) in general, LPNs in all states perform nursing care such as:
- Medication administration
- Monitoring for changes in condition
- Vital sign checks
- Wound care and dressing changes
- Specimen collection
- Urinary catheter insertion and care
- Tracheostomy and ventilator management
- Ostomy site care and maintenance Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Finger stick blood sugar testing
- Proper charting and documentation of nursing care
Where can you work?
While it’s true that the opportunities for work in hospitals are declining nationwide for LPNs, there are still many other settings in which your skills are in demand. Many LPNs find work in nursing homes and other senior living facilities such as assisted living communities. Home health care is attractive because of the meaningful one-on-one care they provide as well as the chance to use a variety of the skills they learned and practiced in school. Other work settings that commonly hire LPNs are rehabilitation facilities, group homes, clinics, doctors' offices, military instillations, and schools.
Do you like working with children? The elderly? Developmentally disabled? There is ample opportunity to pursue your preferred area of practice.
Is there career advancement?
Yes! In certain work settings, LPNs progress to greater levels of responsibility—even supervising certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and other LPNs. You can also earn specialty certifications, such as IV certification or advanced life support, to help boost your employability and set yourself apart.
If you do want to eventually pursue another degree, look for an employer that not only offers scholarships to help you finance your degree, but gives you the scheduling flexibility and support to pursue your nursing dreams.