As one of the nursing programs approved by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing, the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health is proud to present its practical nurse training program. Working as a practical nurse is an admirable career that attracts professionals who are passionate about helping others.
What Practical Nurses Do
What does a practical nurse do? Practical nurses are important members of nursing teams. They provide basic nursing care to patients, and are typically supervised by a Registered Nurse (RN). They are expected to perform a wide range of duties on the job. In the Salter School’s practical nurse training program, students get hands-on experience in learning these important practical nursing skills:
- How to correctly and safely administer medications
- How to measure and record a patient’s vital signs, including blood pressure, height, weight, and pulse
- How to change and apply dressings for wounds or surgery incision sites
- How to collect and process specimens for laboratory testing
- How to care for patients with urinary catheters
- How to care for patients with tracheostomy tubes
- How to care for patients who are on ventilators (breathing machines)
- How to care for patients with gastrostomy or nasogastric tubes (feeding tubes)
- How to care for patients with ileostomies or colostomies
- How to provide for a patient’s basic needs, such as bathing or getting dressed
- How to monitor a patient’s condition and keep accurate records
Most practical nurses work in nursing homes, assisted living homes, long-term care facilities, group homes, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Some may work in private homes. Because so many of their patients are receiving long-term care, practical nurses are often able to develop close, meaningful bonds with their patients. This type of personal bond is often cited as one of the most rewarding aspects of practical nursing.
Looking to the Future: Jobs for Practical Nurses
According the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, the job outlook for practical nurses is encouraging. The handbook says, “Employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.” The handbook attributes this projected growth to the aging baby boomer population and the growing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
To become a practical nurse, it typically takes about one year of training. The Salter School, located in Manchester, NH, offers a rolling admissions policy, which means that you could begin your classes within about six weeks of contacting us. We ask that students have a high school diploma or equivalent, and come with a willingness to work and learn.
If you are searching for a practical nurse training program, you will want to be sure that your program is accredited. Accreditation means that the program has met certain educational standards as determined by a third party accrediting board. The training program at the Salter School is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a practical nurse, contact us today, and get started on a new chapter in your career!