It’s a well-known fact that medical careers are in high demand. A licensed practical nurse (LPN) can find exciting opportunities in all kinds of settings, from hospitals and clinics to residential care facilities. There are so many options that it can be difficult to choose which direction to go in. Luckily, there isn’t a wrong answer. The right career depends on your values and priorities. Prism Career Institute compares and contrasts some of the top job opportunities for LPNs so you can make a better-informed decision when planning for your future.
Hospitals and Doctor’s Offices
LPN positions at hospitals and doctor’s offices are not popular entry points for most beginners. This is partly because these opportunities require experience. In either setting, however, LPNS have a great opportunity to gain valuable experience with a variety of patients under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN).
The downside to hospital work is, of course, the long hours. These are fairly intense jobs that often demand 12-hour shifts, with all of them spent on your feet. The exceptions are jobs in doctor’s offices. Smaller clinics like this tend to offer shorter shifts and more regular hours.
Long-Term Care Facilities
Residential and long-term care facilities provide support for patients who aren’t expected to improve quickly. Whether it’s due to age, a chronic illness, or the need for physical therapy, these patients will need help for an extended period. These facilities may include:
- Assisted living communities
- Memory care
- Chronic illness support
- Rehab centers
LPNs perform a crucial role in watching over patients, helping them improve, and providing fellowship and emotional support. This means they need to be good at communicating with stressed individuals. In return, however, LPNs are rewarded knowing they’ve made a true difference in every patient’s life.
One of the most popular LPN opportunities is school nursing. Schools offer steady, well-paying jobs to ensure students get the care they need. In this role, you’ll most often be asked to aid with minor illnesses, like colds, vomiting, sore throats, and head lice. You may also be called upon to treat small injuries or support kids until they can be transported to a hospital.
School nursing jobs are popular largely because of their work schedules. Instead of working the typical 12-hour shift, these LPNs are busy during school hours only. It’s also an opportunity to work with kids and teens outside of a healthcare facility. The downside is that schools offer little room for advancement, as most only have a small handful of nurses on staff.
Urgent and Emergency Care
Finally, for an LPN who doesn’t mind a high-pressure workplace, there’s always emergency care. These settings tend to change constantly. You might spend a few hours relaxing at a desk before suddenly being greeted with 10 patients – all of them requiring urgent care. This makes emergency rooms exciting for people who love fast-paced work, but it also means unusual work shifts. Anyone looking at an emergency care career should also keep in mind that many patients have major injuries. If you find this upsetting, an emergency room might not be the best workplace for you.
Preparing for Your LPN Exam
If any of these job opportunities for LPNs excite you, then now’s the time to get started. Prism Career Institute offers a practical nursing program at our campuses in Cherry Hill and Egg Harbor, New Jersey, as well as in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To learn how we can help you prepare for your LPN licensing exam, contact us today.