It is not uncommon for an aspiring LPN to hear, “It’s so great that you’ll work in a nursing home!” or something of the like. Many people assume that Licensed Practical Nurses can only work in nursing home settings. And while many LPNs get into the field only to work in long-term care, it is not what every single LPN wants to do.
Perhaps that is why you are here now. You are interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, but do not want to be limited solely to one career. If you are going to pursue LPN training and dedicate the time to earning your license, you want to explore all of your career options. You want to know what jobs are out there, and where LPNs can expect to put their skills to practice. What can an LPN do once they earn licensure, and where can LPNs work?
As a leading LPN school in Connecticut – with practical nursing graduates scattered across the state – Stone Academy knows all that an LPN is capable of after completing the required education. In this article, we will outline some of the many LPN careers available today, long-term care and beyond.
1. Medical and Surgical Hospitals
If you desire a fast-paced work environment where no two days are the same, a hospital or critical care setting is a great choice to launch your LPN career. Despite the popular belief that only Registered Nurses are hired in hospital settings, there are a range of departments that could use an LPN nurse. For example, LPNs are often hired to work in maternity wards, emergency rooms, and surgical departments.
Generally speaking, in a hospital setting, Licensed Practical Nurses can be found assisting doctors and RNs with advanced medical practices. Many LPNs will also supervise the hospital nursing aides. LPN nurses also monitor patient conditions, take vital signs, and communicate face-to-face with patients – answering questions, listening to concerns, and educating patients and their families about treatments.
2. Physician’s Offices
In a private practice, such as a Physician’s office, an LPN takes on great responsibility in ensuring that patients receive top-quality care. In this setting, LPNs take orders from the physician, prepare patients for examination, take patient vital signs, administer some medications, and may also give injections. LPNs in private care settings may also dress incisions, as well as carry out administrative tasks.
In addition to Physician’s offices, LPNs can also take on similar jobs in health clinics, emergency medical centers, and ambulatory surgical centers. LPNs working in Physician’s offices may also consider certain specializations, such as pediatrics or oncology.
3. Home Health Care
The baby boomer population is aging, the elderly population is growing, and the demand for quality health care, as a result, is increasing – particularly in people’s homes as they grow old. There is a great need for LPNs in the home health care world. They are being hired by large health facilities, clinics, and private agencies, to travel to patient’s home and to ensure they are receiving the care they need.
Home health care is not just specific to geriatrics, either. Sometimes, due to physical injury, illness, or a mental health condition, patients also require home care services. In a home health position, LPNs can expect to evaluate patients’ living conditions, teach basic patient care to their family members, assist patients with their personal and environmental hygiene, promote positive mental health in patients, and accompany them on daily outings if necessary.
4. Assisted Living & Rehabilitation Centers
When people think “assisted living,” and “long-term care,” they often think of the elderly. However, there are many types of patients that require long-term care and rehabilitation – those who are chronically ill and in hospice, those struggling with mental health issues, and those who need residential rehabilitative services (e.g. for substance addiction).
In an assisted living or residential rehab environment, LPNs are responsible for conducting health assessments of patients, helping with the development of treatment plans, as well as ensuring patients’ rooms are safe and hygienic. Licensed Practical Nurses may also supervise nursing aides in this setting.
5. Nursing Home Facilities
According to nurse.org, Americans today are living longer, but also experiencing poorer health. This means that they need more help with essential care from a qualified provider. Nursing homes are, without a doubt, one of the most popular workplaces among LPNs today – largely because of how rewarding the job can be.
In a nursing home setting, LPNs learn a lot about common ailments affecting the elderly – dementia, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, heart or lung problems – and how to properly approach and manage them. This is a valuable advantage of working in a nursing home setting. In addition, LPNs in this workplace can expect to assist with physical therapy regimes, monitor patients and record their statuses each day, keep patients and their rooms clean, and provide companionship to patients in the home.
In addition to the above places that LPNs can work, there are many different titles that aspiring health care professionals can take on after becoming an LPN. For example, many of Stone Academy’s graduates have gone on to work as:
- Emergency Room Technicians
- Dialysis Technicians
- Visiting Clinical Nurses
- Public School Nurses
- Scheduling Supervisors
- In addition to Licensed Practical Nurses
According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, there are over 325 annual job openings for LPNs in the state, with an average growth rate of 8 percent. Why wait to start your path towards this in-demand career? All you need to get there is some postsecondary training – which you can complete in just months at Stone Academy – and completion of your NCLEX-PN exam to earn your license to practice!