5 Different Healthcare Career Paths for LPNs

LPNOne of the primary benefits that many licensed practical nurses (LPNs) appreciate is that their career allows them to choose a nursing path from a spectrum of different options. Whether they’re entering the work force for the very first time, or deciding to change their work environment after several years of serving in the same spot, an LPN can move through different paths in his or her career.

Fortunately, LPNs can also be rest assured that there will always be a job available for them, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the availability of jobs within the LPN market is expected to grow by around 25% through to 2022.

Those who are planning to start their career soon, or are looking for ways to switch to a new working environment, will benefit from understanding the options they have available to them. Our list of five different healthcare paths for LPNs will help you to find the route that is right for you. Take note that the salary for LPNs (in any healthcare path) is between $30,970 and $57,360 per year.

#1. Nursing Care Facilities (Exclusively for the elderly)

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In general, licensed practical nurses are expected to perform a range of core duties, regardless of the work environment they are in. When it comes to working with the elderly, they may be required to assist patients in ensuring they maintain basic hygiene, as well as monitor and record their status as they progress through life. Usually, LPNs who choose to work within nursing care facilities for the elderly will benefit from expanding their knowledge regarding ailments that older patients are typically subject to, such as dementia, arthritis, and heart or lung problems. They may assist with physical therapy regimes and provide companionship to the elderly, as well.

Where to Look for Employment

The typical places to search for a position in nursing care facilities are public and private nursing homes, as well as retirement homes and assisted living facilities.

Projected Growth

By 2022, the demand for professionals in residential care homes and assisted living facilities is expected to grow by anywhere up to 29.1%, according to BLS data.

#2. Physician Offices

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LPNs can be particularly useful within physician offices in ensuring that patients receive the highest possible standard of care. They will typically take orders from the doctor, as well as give injections when necessary, administer medication, prepare patients for examination, dress incisions and assist with some minor surgeries. In some offices, an LPN may also be asked to assist with some administrative tasks.

Where to Look for Employment

LPNs should be able to find work in this area if they look in clinics, private or public physician offices, emergency medical centers and ambulatory surgical centers.

Projected Growth

By 2022, the need for nurses within physician offices is expected to grow by anywhere up to 29.2%.

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  #3. Private Medical and Surgical Hospitals

Within a private medical or surgical hospital, a licensed practical nurse will be expected to discuss health concerns and issues with patients, as well as monitor and record their status both before and after surgery has taken place. Furthermore, LPNs will be expected to supervise any nursing aides which work within the hospital, and assist with many advanced nursing practices under the supervision of a doctor, nurse or surgeon.

Where to Look for Employment

Many hospitals will hire LPNs, however the best places to look are typically the emergency wards, maternity departments, and surgery facilities.

Projected Growth

Though the demand for nurses within this field is not expected to grow as dramatically as in some other paths, it is still expected to see a growth of around 4.0% by 2022.

#4. Mental Health or General Nursing Care Facilities

Often, when people think of assisted living, they consider the options for the elderly without paying attention to the facilities that are provided for individuals who are chronically ill, mentally ill, or in need of rehabilitative services. Within this location, an LPN would be required to develop treatment plans for patients, ensure they and their rooms remain safe and hygienic, provide supervision to nursing aides and conduct health assessments.

Where to Look for Employment

Examples of employers in this area include residential treatment agencies, such as homes for the chronically or mentally ill, hospice services and rehabilitation services.

Projected Growth

According to the BLS, the demand for experts within this occupation in this industry is expected to grow by 34.9% by 2022.

#5. Home Healthcare Facilities

LPNs can also find rewarding careers within the subsection of home healthcare, working with subsets of larger facilities, clinics and private agencies. Some of the common duties an LPN would be expected to carry out in this format include assisting patients with personal hygiene, conversing and encouraging individuals to improve good mental health, evaluating patient conditions, teaching basic care to loved ones, and accompanying patients on daily outings.

Where to Look for Employment

Employers in this area can typically be found within private home-health agencies, either relating to physical or mental health, smaller areas of larger facilities or clinic outpatient departments.

Projected Growth

According to the BLS, the demand for experts within the home healthcare occupation is expected to see growth of approximately 42.6% by 2022.

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