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Practical Nursing as a Career

Students enrolled in our practical nursing program will receive the knowledge they need to take and pass the NCLEX-PN licensing exam after graduation and begin their Practical Nursing career.  Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) typically work in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, home care settings, and health care providers’ offices.

Practical nurses provide patients with everyday care such as administering medications. Practical nurses are the ones who work directly with clients to administer medications, collect data, and take and record vital signs. Their duties may also include tasks such as sterilizing instruments and preparing oxygen supplies.

Good communication is an important feature of a practical nurse’s role. LPNs work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) and inform clients and their families about medical information. They may even educate family members on infection control and safety if they work in a home healthcare setting. Skilled practical nurses assist RNs in developing and carrying our treatment plans. They also handle medical administration records and paperwork.

A Practical Nursing career can have you working in many different healthcare settings. Places LPNs may work include:

  • Nursing homes
  • Home care settings
  • Medical offices
  • Urgent care clinics

Professional Environment

Jobs in a Practical Nursing career tend to be full-time in nursing and residential care facilities. LPN jobs require patience and compassion because working with clients in health care settings can be challenging. The job can also be physically demanding. You will be on your feet for most of the day.

The professional environment can be rewarding, especially if you work in a long-term care facility, where you truly have the opportunity to get to know your clients. As an LPN, you may be required to do shift work during nights, holidays, or weekends. If you enjoy working with others in an active environment, then the Practical Nursing program at Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health may be the right career path for you.

Employment Outlook

When you are considering a new career field, it makes sense to think about job growth predictions for the future. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the employment of LPNs is expected to grow by 16 percent from 2014 to 2024. This rate is faster than the average for other occupations profiled in the handbook.

The handbook, a publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, also predicts that an increase in chronic diseases and the aging of the baby-boomer generation may lead to more demand in healthcare services, especially in ambulatory and outpatient care facilities. These trends could impact the employment of LPNs positively.

Earnings/Salary for a Practical Nursing Career

A typical LPN salary will vary depending on your location, work setting, and level of experience. The Occupational Outlook Handbook gives an estimate of the average median annual income for an LPN.

Remember that this amount could be more or less depending on where you work. A quick online search may give you a sense of how much an LPN in your area makes annually. Although most LPNs start out in entry-level positions, there may be an opportunity to grow as you gain experience and continue your education.