Want to become an LPN? Not sure how much is the licensed practical nurse salary? The job of an LPN is to offer basic care and nursing to hospital patients.
The licensed practical nurse offers healthcare services under the supervision of professionals. These experts are registered nurses, doctors, and licensed medical professionals.
These LPNs can assist nurse practitioners and physicians in healthcare settings. They assist them in physical exams, medication administration, and wound care.
A licensed practical nurse is for those who want to enter nursing as quickly as possible. You don’t need to spend four years in college to become an LPN.
Read this blog to learn more about what LPN is. In the end, we will also answer your query about licensed practical nurse salary.
Let’s start by learning about what LPN is.
What Are The Licensed Practical Nurses?
An LPN performs many tasks that come under the non-clinical medical care category. The general duties of an LPN are basic nursing and medical care. These tasks include:
- ensuring patients comfort
- Inserting catheters
- nursing medication
- checking blood pressure
- vital signs monitoring
- reporting the patient’s status to doctors and registered nurses.
In rare cases, a licensed practical nurse may perform certain procedures like blood drawings and injections.
Now let’s look at the duties and responsibilities of LPNs.
What Are The Responsibilities Of A Licensed Practical Nurse?
The LPNs offer direct care to hospitalized patients and the residents of medical care facilities. They are under the supervision of doctors and nurses while performing their duties.
An LPN is referred to as an LVN (licensed vocational nurse) in places like Texas and California.
Both of them do the same jobs regardless of their titles. Their duties may include:
- monitoring patient
- bathing them
- checking their vital signs
And other such tasks to keep the patient safe and comfortable.
A licensed practical nurse can support registered nurses performing complex tasks. These complex and specialized tasks include physical therapy, nursing medications, etc.
The Job Description of LPN
Here are some important facts about LPN job descriptions-
- Helping RNs in educating family members and patients after an appointment or discharge from the hospital or healthcare facility.
- Collecting samples of urine, blood, etc.
- Doing periodic laboratory tests.
- Monitoring blood pressure, temperature, and more vital statistics of patients.
- Performing general tasks of patient care like bandage change.
- Observing the changes in health, behavior, and mood of patients. And reporting any abnormal concerns to the physician and RN on duty.
- Filling the medical charts for the services performed on the patients.
- Getting patients ready for their care. Explaining procedures directed by physicians and listening to the patient’s concerns or grievances.
- Administering prescribed medication to patients.
- Providing immunizations to patients.
- Getting patients’ medical histories.
The Merits Of Becoming A Licensed Practical Nurse
Nurses who work as LPN enjoy many benefits. It is also considered a more attractive choice than other nursing alternatives.
The major benefits that come with becoming an LPN include:
- Quick Entry into the Workforce
- Powerful Employment Growth
- Momentous Work
- Springboard to the RN Careers.
Quick Entry into The Workforce
Every licensed practical nurse accepts this fact. The course length of this training program is one major benefit of becoming an LPN.
The average length of graduating with an LPN certification is one year. Within 6-12 weeks, the students can begin their careers after graduating.
To compare, it takes around four years to obtain a degree in professional nursing.
The licensed practical nurse has extra three years in comparison to professional nurses to develop experience within the workforce.
A better choice for students that are concerned regarding their finances. Also, they can cover the education cost while gaining experience and knowledge in their work.
Powerful Employment Growth
The employment growth for LPNs has been really good for the past decade. This growth is said to be increased by 9% by 2030.
The major reason behind this increased demand is due to-
- America’s aging population
- Procedures increase that can be performed outside the hospital
- More demand for residential care, such as in homes and living centers.
Assisting people is always a meaningful choice in a career. Many licensed practical nurses choose this career because they love assisting patients. And some prefer to be of service to others.
Nurses are often in the company of either sick, hurt, or fragile individuals. This makes LPNs more dedicated to their work than other professions.
The nurses highly appreciate this sense of attainment and self-worth.
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Springboard to the RN Careers
People with financial concerns can go for an LPN degree first and then pursue a career in RN. It is a particularly viable option for such people.
Also, the working hours and time to complete the RN course aren’t suitable for everyone. When you become an LPN first, you get a lot of open space in your profession. You can gain experience and enhance your skills before pursuing the RN degree with full dedication.
It’s a good opportunity for those looking to experience the nurse profession. Also a good opportunity for those looking for a balance in their school and work life.
Difference Between LPNs And RNs
Understanding the key difference between the LPNs and RNs is essential. Otherwise, it becomes really difficult to differentiate between the two.
Both licensed practical nurses and registered nurses work together frequently. And the duties of both overlap daily. This leads to confusion about their responsibilities and duties.
Primarily, LPNs and RNs have the same objective to meet the basic nursing tasks. They perform care for patients with any injury or illness. Both assist with taking care of patients for the fast recovery of their health. But, things ranging from the scope of practice, workplace, education, and compensation differ.
The difference in their professions include:
- scope of practice
- work settings
Scope Of Practice
A licensed practical nurse performs basic nursing care under the supervision of a doctor or a registered nurse. An RN usually has more autonomy and can perform more critical and discrete tasks.
Registered nurses also have more experience and training in dealing with complex cases. They assist the patients with wound care, trauma, palliative care, and emergencies concerning cardiac.
Furthermore, LPNs cannot perform duties such as starting IV fluids or administering intravenous agents using a central line.
RNs are experts in handling such responsibilities.
LPNs are commonly employed in places like nursing and residential care facilities. Around 38% of LPNS have this kind of work setting.
RNs are generally employed in hospitals. Over 60% of the RN workforce is present in this setting. Meanwhile, only 14% of the LPN workforce are employed in hospitals.
There is a significant difference in the education of both LPNs and RNs.
LPN candidates are required to get a certificate or diploma for the state-approved program.
It takes around 12 months to complete this course. This program includes general nursing skills, sanitation, infection control, safety, and general health concepts.
On the other hand, to become an RN, you must earn a college degree like ADN or BSN.
The ADN degree program runs for two years. Its curriculum covers liberal arts and nursing topics. Meanwhile, BSN is a comprehensive program lasting four years. This program assists with preparing RNs for nursing roles that are advanced in nature.
The average wages of RNs are much higher than LPNs. It is justifiable as RNs are more experienced in clinical practice and have more academic knowledge.
On average, registered nurses in the US earn around $80,010 yearly. Meanwhile, LPNs earn around $50,090 yearly on average.
What Is A Licensed Practical Nurse Salary?
According to BLS, a licensed practical nurse salary in the US is approximately $50,090 on a yearly basis.
This may look like a low number in comparison to different professions in the healthcare industry. But remember that this income is still significant if we consider the job requirements and required education.
Also, this salary is not stagnant and can be increased with experience in the field. Experienced LPNs have the potential to earn around $65,520 per year, as per the BLS report.
At I’Kare consulting firm, we offer guidance to individuals seeking jobs in the healthcare industry. We recommend what’s best for you and provide job opportunities accordingly. Contact us today if you are also looking to build a bright future in the healthcare industry. We will love to guide you to the best outcomes for your future.