People choose to enter the medical field as a Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse, LPN or LVN respectively. The benefits afforded to the LPN and patient is enormous and only a year’s worth of training is required. After only 12 months of training you will be well prepared to start a new career and earn a generous salary. In addition to a relatively short training period, the demand to fill these positions continue to increase, not only within a hospital setting, but outside also.
The lucrative position of a LPN consists of taking care of sick, disabled and injured patients. Individuals choosing to enter this field should have a compassionate and caring nature and will generally provide treatment under the direct supervision of the attending physician. Their responsibilities are many and include such things as documenting a patient’s personal information, preparing and administration of injections, performing laboratory testing, collecting fluid samples such as blood, educating patients and family members regarding living a healthy life and, at times, they are responsible for the actions of any nursing assistants on the floor.
The annual salary of a LPN is considerable, and according to various statistical reports, as of May, 2006, ranged between $31,000 and just more than $46,500, but this is contingent on the particular field of employment. For example, surveys have indicated hospital LPNs tend to earn approximately $35,000 on an annual basis, while those employed in a physician’s office earned slightly more than $32,000. Compared to other medical positions, this is a reasonable and comfortable income.
The necessity for LPNs continues to increase, and as of 2006 anywhere from 700,000 to 750,000 LPNs were employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that this is a number that will only increase during the next 10 years. They have indicated a 14 percent growth, to 850,000; rate is possible by the year 2016. Although this projected increase is due to continuing demand, the largest increase will be seen in the nursing and home care field.
Additional recognized reasons for the anticipated increase in Licensed Practical Nursing positions is the coming retirement of the generation referred to as the baby boomers, the overall increase in a need for general healthcare services and advanced technology. This new technology allows patients to have a variety of procedures and diagnostic testing done in the confines of a physician’s office rather than a hospital setting. These individuals are a vital aspect of the healthcare field. They comfort and care of patients who are seriously ill and uncomfortable. And, as a larger segment of the aging population becomes home bound, LPNs will be instrumental in providing healthcare services in a home environment.
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