As an aspiring Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you know that the end of your college education is just the beginning of your professional journey. Thanks to this foresight, many hopeful LPNs will select a career-centric training program like Stone Academy. In as few as 16 months, LPN graduates are equipped with the essential knowledge needed to take the NCLEX-PN exam. A passing score is mandatory in order to begin practicing as a nurse. So, it is this PN license, along with proof of education, that will be the first two notches on your healthcare belt. They will help you meet the minimum qualifications for practical nursing jobs in a variety of environments, including hospice, long-term care, at-home care, emergency care, state institutions like public schools, and much more.
Though these are some very exciting options for up-and-coming healthcare workers, many LPNs decide to continue to explore their interests and talents through additional, voluntary certifications. You can boost your skill set, your resume, your pay grade, and your confidence, by making any of these LPN certifications your next goal!
Five Voluntary LPN Certifications
- Wound Care Certification (WCC)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 139 million visits made to U.S. hospitals annually. Did you know that 40 million of those hospital trips, or about 29%, are injury-related? Now you know why the WCC certification is so valuable for LPNs. The ability to treat wounds is highly sought after in hospitals as well as in long-term care, and this certification will cover everything an LPN needs to know to analyze, dress, treat, and manage wounds.
- IV Therapy
The allowances for LPNs to administer IVs vary, depending on which state you are licensed in. Therefore, an IV therapy certification could greatly enhance your hire-ability and help you stand out amongst other LPNs. It goes without saying that IV therapy is prevalent in almost all healthcare settings, from hospitals to at-home care. Make sure to do some research to understand your specific state restrictions regarding IVs and level of nursing certification. Then, if blood and plasma transfusions sound like something you want in your wheelhouse, we highly recommend this LPN certification for its flexibility across the industry.
- Pharmacology (NCP)
An LPN pharmacology specialization will teach volumes about medication. For instance, you would learn to understand dosage, administration, as well as drug classifications. In addition, application of IV fluid is covered in the NCP certification. It is a perfect partner to the IV therapy certification, plus, it is a good teaser if pharmaceutical work is something that you think you might want to pursue with further education. While LPNs only require a diploma, pharmacists must earn a bachelor’s degree, and according to Forbes, it is a lucrative career. In Connecticut, pharmacists made almost $124k in 2018 annually on average!
- Nephrology Certifications
The following certifications help LPNs manage kidney treatment. You might be surprised to learn that chronic kidney disease affects more than one in seven adults in the U.S., or about 37 million people. Kidney failure is a serious ailment, which requires dialysis to ensure the patient’s survival. It is sobering to learn that more than 240 people who are on dialysis still die every day, when suffering from end stage kidney failure. It goes without saying that nurses who specialize in kidney therapies are in-demand now more than ever.
Certified Hemodialysis Nurse (CHN)
Hemodialysis is a method of nephrology (kidney) care. Nurses with this specialization will be able to apply and monitor dialysis measures, which is a blood-filtering procedure. Dialysis moves blood out of the body into an artificial kidney for filtering, before returning it to the body.
Certified Peritoneal Dialysis Nurse (CPDN)
This specification of dialysis, peritoneal, is simply a different method of applying dialysis or filtering blood due to kidney malfunction. Peritoneal dialysis is conducted inside the body through fluid exchanged via a surgical catheter.
- Life Support Certifications
LPNs are most often on the front lines of care, whether their patient has a chronic condition or is undergoing an initial physical examination. The ability to discern high levels of risk and to be able to prioritize and delegate proper emergency attention to the patient is a huge benefit to patient well-being. Consider these certifications to understand more about life-saving techniques for specific populations and conditions.
Basic Life Support (BLS)
The BLS LPN certification teaches LPNs how to identify when a patient is confronted with something life-threatening. Special training in this area focuses on CPR and using an automated external defibrillator (AED). LPNs with a BLS certification know when and how to resuscitate and stabilize patients in dire situations.
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
An LPN with an ACLS certification will be able to recognize and understand the treatment for heart-related emergencies such as cardiac arrest. A certification like this could land you a special department, for instance, in a cardiac ward in a hospital.
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
If pediatric care is something that you are passionate about, it might be smart to pursue pediatric certifications for LPNs, such as PALS. This certification would prove especially useful for working in settings such as a children’s hospital or rehabilitation center.
Regardless of whether you’re applying to jobs for the first time or switching up your career, earning professional, practical nursing certifications in addition to your basic licensure will most certainly expand your job options. The state-wide average annual salary for LPNs in Connecticut was last reported by the state to be $58,468, which is an excellent baseline for your first step into nursing. With specialized knowledge, you could be eligible to earn more. Better yet, you might find a specialty that you truly love and wish to pursue further with additional education and experience.
For many nurses, a passion for healing and promoting the well-being of others is a driving factor in why they want to wake up and put on scrubs every day. Finding new ways to spark your interest in healthcare amounts to more fun and fulfillment. Ready to learn more about getting started as an LPN? Visit Stone Academy online to request a tour, or give us a call at 800-585-1315, and we’d be happy to answer all your LPN questions.