You thought that becoming a nurse was an easy career path, but then you began exploring career options and found that it’s more complex than you initially believed. Many pathways and degrees of education can lead you to a nursing profession.
You’ve been told about Registered nurses (RNs), But there’s another nursing position that you must be aware of LPN or licensed practical nurse. Why should you become an LPN? There are many good reasons to look into this path. Like any other career, there are choices to be aware of.
Do not risk your nursing career! Here’s a look at some of the LPN benefits and drawbacks you should know about to make the best choice for your situation. Armed with this information, you’ll be more prepared to make an informed choice and choose the best online LPN programs.
The benefits of becoming an LPN
There are numerous advantages when choosing an LPN Diploma over other nursing training choices. Here are some positive aspects that could influence your choice.
1. You can begin your nursing career more quicker.
The main benefit to the LPN track is that the time it takes to complete is significantly quicker than other alternatives. If you’re looking for a quick way to establish yourself on a more solid level within your profession, the shorter path to becoming an LPN could be a great option.
2. There’s still plenty of earning potential.
Your salary in the future should always be a factor when weighing your career choices. You’ll be happy to know that the average annual wage in the field of LPNs for 2019 stood at $47480, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They are well ahead of the median annual wage for all workers, which was $39,810 as of May 2019. Although entry-level wages will likely be less than the median number, the potential for earning an LPN remains high. This nursing career path offers the best chance to achieve financial stability, and that’s something to pay attention to.
3. The outlook for job growth for LPNs is still strong.
LPNs can earn a respectable wage, but what happens do you do if there’s no job open for you once you have earned a Diploma or license for practice? The good news is that demand for LPNs seems to be strong as the BLS expects the number of LPNs employed to increase to 9 percent in the period between the years 2019 to 2029.2
The job growth rate is more rapid than the average national rate due to the addition of 65,700 new jobs anticipated during the same period by the BLS. The majority of this projected growth is due to the aging Baby Boomer generation, which will continue to require increased medical treatment in the coming years.
4. There are fewer barriers to entry.
The process of becoming a nurse might be a daunting task. Before you even start, you must get into nursing school. What happens if your high school GPA is lower than you’d like or you’re unsure about your TEAS (Test of Academic Skills Essential) results? In addition to any required classes you require.
Obtaining a nursing degree is now a problem for those pursuing the LPN career path. Suppose you need to feel more confident about your academic abilities. In that case, this option can make a nursing career attainable–especially with the help of dedicated instructors and staff who want to see you succeed.
5. You can advance to RN later on.
Are you concerned about beginning your LPN career only to wish you were an RN? That’s fine! Most nurses begin their careers with an LPN to get experience in this field and earn a steady income. You can move to a higher nursing level and become an RN when you’re established.
The disadvantages when you become an LPN
Although there’s a lot to enjoy about an LPN job, there are a few alternatives to consider before pursuing an LPN Certificate. We’ve highlighted a few of the most notable potential negatives of choosing this career route.
1. LPNs are paid less than RNs.
While the LPN salary isn’t something to be sneered at, they make less than their RN counterparts. The median annual wage of registered nurses in 2019 was $73,300. Compare these median salaries side-by-side, and you’ll find an additional $25,820 in the gap. That’s an enormous difference that is worthy of attention.
It’s not the only factor in the field of work. However, it can make a huge difference. If you’re considering the possibility of an LPN career, you’ll need to decide if the less pay is worth it compared to the benefits of the LPN Diploma.
2. There are few options in terms of specialization.
Registered nurses can choose among specialty areas, including intensive care nursing, operating room nursing, or public health nursing. The specialties could offer benefits such as an increased salary or desired working hours or align with the interests of nurses.
However, those with an LPN designation are more restricted in their choices. Many specialty areas require nurses to hold at least an Associate’s or Bachelor’s level. LPNs can focus on specific areas like wound or long-term care, especially if they obtain relevant certifications. However, they will have access to different choices than RNs.
3. LPNs have a smaller area of practice.
The scope of practice defines the tasks a healthcare professional is competent to fulfill. The scope of practice for LPNs differs by state. Still, they generally provide basic care for patients under an RN or other medical professional’s supervision. LPNs are expected to collect and record the patient’s vital signs, maintain accurate health records, assist patients in bathing or dressing, and administer medication.
They are all essential duties to ensure patients’ comfort and a high treatment level. If you were hurrying through an ER to provide emergency medical care or chatting with a doctor regarding a patient’s treatment plan, you might be disappointed by the LPN job.
4. LPNs often work in gerontology.
Gerontology, which is the treatment of the elderly and aging population, is the most sought-after job for LPNs. An astounding 38 percent of LPNs work in nursing homes and residential care facilities. In contrast, only 15 percent are employed in hospitals, and thirteen percent are employed in doctors’ offices.2
There’s absolutely nothing wrong when you working in the field of gerontology! LPNs play a crucial role in the field of the elder care system. If you’d prefer to work only with older patients, your choices in the field of LPN might be less than you thought when you first thought about an LPN career.
A nursing career worth considering
After you’ve learned more about the possible benefits and drawbacks of becoming an LPN, Are the benefits of becoming an LPN, or have you swayed your decision? If you’ve determined that this is the right nursing career path for you, there’s never a better time to start!