Benefits of a Career as a Practical Nurse

Look into some of the details of this important healthcare role

If you’re considering nursing school, practical nursing can be a good option. This course of study is more in-depth than what you’d need to train to be a home health aide or nursing assistant. However, it doesn’t demand quite as much as a program for becoming a registered nurse. Sound like it might be a happy medium?

If you think you may have what it takes to become a practical nurse, then read about some of the benefits of this career path:

A flexible schedule
Achieving work-life balance is never easy, but working as a practical nurse provides you with some options. If you work in a hospital or nursing home, as most practical nurses do, your schedule is likely to be based on shifts. Over time at a particular job, you may have more choices in terms of which shifts you can take. This can be especially helpful if you’re the parent of young children, since taking several shifts in a row also allows you to take several consecutive days off. If your partner has a day job, working the night shift can come in handy, so you can sleep while your children are in school during the day.

Only one year of training
Registered nurse programs require an associate’s degree or higher, but a practical nurse program takes just about one year to complete. If you’re eager to get out in the workforce as soon as possible, this is a big advantage. Training programs like the one at Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health will also help you to prepare for the state’s licensing exam, which you’ll need to pass before you can practice in the field.

A positive job outlook
It’s never possible to know exactly what’s going to happen with the job market, but according to the U.S. Department of Labor, there will likely be positive job growth in this field. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.” This is a terrific reason to pursue this career path.

Portable skills
You can use the skills that you will gain as a practical nurse in many different job settings, and anywhere in the state where you’re licensed. This can mean working in a range of different medical environments, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Providing in-home care to patients is another option for practical nurses.

A job you can feel proud of
Practical nurses dedicate their days to assisting vulnerable patients, and that can be incredibly gratifying. Some patients will need your help taking their medication, while others will need your help as they struggle to regain their mobility after an injury or other setback. Every day provides new challenges, and as a practical nurse you’re there to make a difference in the life of each patient. It’s a job that you can leave every day knowing that you made a difference.

Consider practical nursing as you’re evaluating different career options. If we can answer any questions for you at any point in your journey, please reach out to us!


This post is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health, located in Manchester, NH. Visit us online to learn more, or reach out to schedule a campus tour!

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