15 Sep Licensed Practical Nurse: Is This Program Right For You?
Are you considering a career in nursing?
If so, there’s no better time than now to embark on this journey, as the field is seeing a steady growth.
But, deciding to become a nurse is only the first step in your journey. Next, you need to decide on which degree option to pursue.
You have two options to choose from: a Registered Nurse (RN) degree or a Licensed Practical Nurse Diploma (LPN).
Ultimately, which one you choose depends on your interests, skills, and career aspirations.
In this guide, we’re going to look at why a Licensed Practical Nurse program may be the right decision for you.
Enter the Workforce Quickly
An RN degree takes up to four years to complete.
An LPN degree, on the other hand, can be completed in as little as one year.
After your training is complete, you will be required to pass the NCLEX exam before entering the workforce. This is the same exam registered nurses are required to take.
Once you pass the exam, you’ll be ready to join the workforce and further develop your career.
As the baby boomer population continues to age, the need for nurses of all skill levels will continue to rise.
In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPN jobs are expected to grow by 16 percent by 2024.
This rate is more than twice the average job growth rate, which is 7 percent.
There are plenty of entry-level jobs open to recent LPN program graduates. After you graduate and pass your exams, it’s plausible to land your dream job and begin working within a couple weeks.
Positive Work-Life Balance
Many people find themselves drawn to a career as an LPN partly because it’s not always a 9-5 job.
For example, many LPNs work 3, 12-hour shifts over the course of three consecutive days. This gives them a four-day weekend. Some will also choose to work overnight shifts so they have the day to spend with their children.
Per diem (day-day) work is also available.
While achieving a work-life balance is difficult with any career, many people are drawn to an LPN career because it offers a variety of scheduling options to fit your lifestyle.
Variety of Working Environments
LPNs aren’t limited to hospital settings.
LPNs also have the option to work in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, family practice offices, and in patients’ homes.
Stepping Stone to RN
Your decision to become an LPN can open a lot of doors — including a door to become an RN.
There are many bridge LPN-RN programs that allow you to earn your associate’s degree in as little as 12 months.
Most programs are offered online, in the evening, and on weekends. This means you can still work and earn money while working towards your degree.
Be sure to check with your employer before choosing a bridge program. Many employers will even help you pay for it!
And, you don’t have to stop at your associate’s. You can then move on to earn a bachelor’s in nursing, followed by a master’s and a doctorate.
Licensed Practical Nurse: Wrap Up
We hope this guide helps you make a more informed decision about which degree option to pursue.
If you’re ready to begin your journey as an LPN, click here to learn more about the program.