What Careers are Available as a Licensed Practical Nurse?

Though many students enter LPN programs and assume that they’ll one day work in a nursing home, there are careers available as a licensed practical nurse outside of nursing homes. LPN programs teach you basic nursing skills that can help you when working for a doctor in his or her office or when working in a more specialized field of nursing. Though Payscale found that the salary range for licensed practical nurses is between $14 and $24 an hour, some of these positions may pay more.

Hospice Nurse

A hospice is a medical facility that provides around the clock care for patients who cannot care for themselves at home. These patients include homeless people who do not have homes, elderly patients who previously lived in nursing or retirement homes and those recovering from a serious operation or treatment. Though some view hospices as a place where patients live out their remaining days, many patients stay in hospice for a few weeks or months after leaving the hospital before going home. Hospice nurses help those patients feel more comfortable and work with doctors to treat those patients.

Home Health Nurse

Working as a traveling nurse is a great option for those who like traveling across the country and working in different facilities. If you like the idea of change but aren’t a fan of traveling, you might look into some of the other careers available as a licensed practical nurse such as a home health nurse. A home health nurse is one who works for a company but visits with patients inside their homes. You’ll take their vital signs, record the progress they made in recent weeks and ensure that they follow their doctor’s recommendations.

Labor and Delivery

Some licensed practical nurses, especially those who like working with women, find work in labor and delivery rooms and facilities. Many hospitals hire LPNs to work in the maternity ward. These nurses keep track of a patient’s contractions, informs the doctor of any problems with the baby or mother and help mothers feel calm and comfortable until it’s time to go into the delivery room. These nurses also work inside the delivery room to help the doctor deliver the baby, keep the mother relaxed and assist doctors with difficult labors. They may also be responsible for keeping loved ones updated on the delivery.

Nursing Teacher

While many of the careers available as a licensed practical nurse require working with patients, you may want to take some time off and work with the next generation of students instead. Nursing schools and colleges that offer nursing programs need licensed and registered nurses to train their students. As a nursing teacher, you’ll use your own knowledge and experience to help students learn tips and information not found in their textbooks. Nursing teachers also oversee the work that students do during their clinical rotations and help prepare those students for taking the national licensing exam after they graduate.

Related Resource: Become an Operating Room Nurse

Many licensed practical nursing programs prepare students for working in nursing homes, retirement homes and similar facilities for the elderly. After finishing your degree and getting your license though, you’ll find that there are a variety of other careers available as a licensed practical nurse, including those as a nursing teacher and in fields of nursing like labor and delivery.