Not only is healthcare the fastest-growing industry today, it is also one of the most exciting and rewarding career paths. Working in healthcare means helping people in need. It means working closely with the sick, injured, and disabled, doing all you can to help them get back on their feet.
Many believe that nurses are the backbone of healthcare. Day-in and day-out, nurses and nursing assistants dedicate themselves to their patients – ensuring they are comfortable, tended to, and receiving top-quality care. Nurses, in all their roles and titles, will agree they have one of the most fulfilling jobs out there – which is why so many passionate students desire to get involved.
If you are looking to get started in the nursing field, but don’t have any prior experience or nursing classes under your belt, you are in the right place. Stone Academy has multiple entry-level programs that can introduce you to the field of nursing, not only building up your nursing skillset, but also helping you get a foot in the door at a variety of healthcare facilities throughout Connecticut.
The beauty of an entry-level nursing program is that it also offers a fast-track into the healthcare field. The LPN school at Stone Academy, for example, allows students to become Licensed Practical Nurses in just a matter of months, not years. For those who would like to dip their toes into the nursing field, but who may not be ready to commit to a full-on nursing career, we also offer a 125-hour CNA program, which qualifies students to become Certified Nursing Assistants.
Let’s break down these two entry-level career paths:
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are exactly what their title entails – licensed nurses who practice routine patient care, such as measuring patient vital signs and administering medications. Becoming an LPN requires less time than a Registered Nursing degree.
- Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are nursing aides that work under and alongside Registered Nurses and LPNs. They perform basic, essential, hands-on care for patients in a wide variety of healthcare facilities – which we’ll detail below!
You can read more about the difference between CNAs and LPNs by visiting our blog here. Or, read on to learn about the many different workplaces that you can kick off your nursing career.
Who is Hiring Entry-Level Nurses?
One of the most popular entry-level nursing jobs is that of the Licensed Practical Nurse. This is largely due to the versatility and flexibility of the job. Because LPNs are licensed as practical nurses, they are eligible to work in a range of different healthcare settings, including:
- Physicians’ offices
- Home care settings
- Health clinics
- Long-term care facilities
- Nursing homes
- Hospice facilities
- Rehabilitation centers
LPN training is a great stepping stone for those who want to kick off a career in nursing, without diving into a critical care setting. In an entry-level nursing position such as this, you can expect to work directly with patients, communicating with them about their needs and treatment, and also providing basic care: administering vaccinations and prescriptions, collecting lab samples, stitching/dressing wounds, etc.
As an LPN, you can also expect to work with a variety of different patients, including children, adults, and the elderly, as well as work closely with your medical team. LPNs assist with doctors’ orders and often work under the supervision of Registered Nurses.
If you are ready to commit to two years of nursing school, you might also consider becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). RNs typically work in hospital settings – private general hospitals, state and local hospitals – and take on more advanced duties than the average LPN. Entry-level RN jobs typically involve managing patient illnesses and conditions, performing diagnostic tests, and creating patient care plans.
You can also get a taste for the nursing field by working where entry-level nurses work, by becoming a CNA! CNAs, also known as Certified Nursing Aides, assist nurses with their day-to-day duties. They help ensure patients are comfortable in their rooms, that they are maintaining personal hygiene and health, and also help with daily patient activities such as feeding and getting dressed. CNAs will also monitor patients closely, as they are in and out of the rooms often, and will report any patient needs back to the nursing staff. CNAs often work in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care, home health, and rehab facilities – all great environments for those looking to make connections with others in the field. By working as an entry-level CNA and later choosing to advance to a nursing career, you may also benefit from tuition reimbursement from your employer, should you decide to pursue nursing school.