LPN Nursing Jobs
By an allied health world contributing writer
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Jobs for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are abundant. Practical nurses and vocational nurses are essentially the same job with the same responsibilities they are just given different titles. Texas and California most often use the title LVN vs. LPN.
In 2009, LPNs and LVNs were among the occupations with the most job openings for those seeking a job with just an associate’s degree. The job as a whole is expected to grow by almost 20% in the next eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This is a much higher growth rate than average. While overall jobs prospects will be very good, job outlook varies by healthcare industry.
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Currently there are almost 754,000 licensed LPNs and LVNs in the United States. States with the highest concentrations of workers in this profession are Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Mississippi. The highest paying states in the profession are Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey and California.
Where do LPNs/LVNs work?
LPNs and LVNs work in a variety of settings. This may includes hospitals, outpatient facilities, long term care facilities, clinics and home care. Just over one fourth of all LPNs and LVNs are employed in nursing care facilities and residential care facilities. While this particular medical industry is not the highest paying for LPNs and LVNs it does have the most jobs currently available. General medical and surgical hospitals employed another quarter of the total licensed practical and vocational nurses. The remaining half are divided among physician offices, home health care services, employment services, and federal, state, and local government agencies.
What are the responsibilities of a LPN/LVN?
The responsibilities of a LPN and LVN vary depending on their place of employment. Nursing care facilities may require LPNs to evaluate resident’s needs, develop care plans and supervise patient care provided by nursing aides. In doctor’s offices they may perform more clerical duties than medical duties. Home healthcare LPNs, in addition to being responsible for patient care, may teach family members simple nursing tasks. In almost all settings, registered nurses oversee LPNs and LVNs.
The demand for LPNs and LVNs is being driven, in large part, by an aging population. The elderly have an increased risk of injury and illness which increases their demands for healthcare services. While job growth will occur over all healthcare industries, LPNs and LVNs who want a job with staying power will find the most available jobs in places that service geriatric patients such as nursing care facilities, community care facilities and home healthcare services.
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Most LPNs and LVNs work full-time, 40 hours a week. Only about 18% of LPNs and LVNs work part-time. Due to the nature of the work, nights, weekends and holidays may be included in a LPNs work schedule. LPNs and LVNs must also be cautious on the job as they may face hazards from chemicals, radiation, and infectious diseases. They are also subject to back injuries from moving and assisting patients and shock from electrical shock equipment.
The education for a LPN or LVN is usually earning a LPN certificate and/or an associate’s degree in nursing. LPN certificate programs can be completed in one to two years, while an associate’s degree may take two to three years. Upon completion, of the required education program, passing of the practical nursing exam and obtaining a license to practice as a LPN or LVN in your state, jobs should be easy to find and some many even offer signing bonuses and incentives. LPNs and LVNs willing to relocate, will find that rural areas are in desperate need of nursing staff.
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