Physician’s offices – In a doctor’s office, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) fall under the leadership of Registered Nurses (RNs). The physician’s office LPN is likely to be the first person in the examination room to greet patients. They collect the patient’s medical history and current information, as well as listen to any concerns. They conduct basic health tests, such as taking blood pressure and temperature, and communicate these important details to the rest of the medical team. In some states, LPNs may administer an I.V. drip in a doctor’s office. Working in a doctor’s office is the second most common employment setting for LPNs, according to national statistics. Besides clinical nursing skills, in the doctor’s office career path, LPNs truly need to utilize their soft skills such as being understanding, empathetic, detail-oriented, and acting as a team player.
Rehabilitation centers – LPNs who work in rehabilitation usually focus on a very specific demographic – be it elderly, chronically ill patients, or patients battling physical disabilities. The nature of the rehabilitation LPN role includes lots of hands-on manipulation and engagement with these very patients. For example, this may include guiding individuals through physical and educational activities and coordinating layered-care schedules. Communication and record-keeping are also very important in the rehabilitation center LPN career path. Within this long-term care setting, patient progress is measured over an extended period of time. Additionally, patients’ families and loved ones count on the LPN’s full commitment to providing regular updates and an ongoing rapport. Communicating with patients and their families is one of the most rewarding parts of this job.
Emergency rooms – In the emergency room, LPNs can work under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RNs). They are often responsible for monitoring basic patient health, such as taking vitals, collecting samples, and sometimes, participating in emergency care. They may act as an Emergency Room Technician (EMT) or Dialysis Technician. They may also change bandages and bathe patients when needed. The ER is the most fast-paced setting that Licensed Practical Nurses may work in. Therefore, such LPNs must follow instructions from leadership quickly, often regarding difficult decisions on a case-to-case basis. Many LPNs who find the ER satisfying continue this career path by acquiring further education and licensure, to become RNs.
Schools – Have you considered working in children’s healthcare? Rather than working in a pediatric office, many LPNs who work well with this age group decide to eventually become public school nurses! LPNs aspiring for this position typically start their education with an LPN program, and then move into a bachelor’s degree program, according to Practicalnursing.org. More than just handing out band-aids and taking temperatures, the school nurse career path can be very rewarding. These nurses encourage students to get immunized, and they act as an important touchstone for students with chronic or recurring illnesses. LPNs who build a career in public schools become enmeshed in the education field, which has different politics than the healthcare field. To boot, these nurses get to work school-day hours, and typically have the same generous time off that teachers enjoy. Having Summers and weekends free is a unique benefit of the LPN career in public schools.
Visiting Nurses – The third most common LPN career path is working in home health care services as a visiting clinical nurse. Home health nursing is very different from nursing in a hospital, physician’s office, or school, because your job happens from the home environment! Meeting patients in their own space, where they feel most at ease, comfortable, and independent, can be a wonderful experience. Often long-term, or visiting multiple times a day, the frequency and longevity of care that visiting nurses provide in these situations is also unique. Visiting nurse services are utilized by people at all stages of life, from newborn, to the elderly. Though care will vary, some one-on-one services might include: administering medications, cleaning and dressing wounds, documenting symptoms and vitals, suggesting home safety improvements, and otherwise educating patients and their family members. Another job within visiting nurse services that an LPN may hold is the role of a scheduling supervisor. With so many moving parts, having an organized scheduler to distribute home care services appropriately is key to team success.
As you can see, there are so many career options for aspiring Licensed Practical Nurses. If caring for others is your passion, you can rest assured that your skills and talents are needed on one of these LPN career paths! Follow those dreams by earning your diploma from a reputable LPN school like Stone Academy. Let us help you get started on your application, today. Call 800-585-1315 to learn more.