The Practical Nursing Program at ESCC has the approval of the Alabama Board of Nursing and meets the education requirements for a practical nursing certificate in the state of Alabama. While LPNs are in high demand and provide essential patient care, the certificate could position them for career pathway progression to becoming an RN.
What is Practical Nursing?
A Practical Nurse is a vital part of the healthcare system and is responsible for providing patients with essential care, which includes helping them to eat, dress, bathe, etc. They also assist Registered Nurses (RNs) and Doctors in keeping detailed records, maintaining clear communication between the entire care team, and working with patients and their families to understand procedures and how to care for sick relatives.
While many nurses spend their entire careers working as a PN, this position is also a great stepping stone to furthering your education and enjoying a pay increase by becoming a BSN-RN or Nurse Practitioner (NP).
WHAT JOBS CAN I GET?
An LPN works under the supervision of doctors and RNs, performing duties such as taking vital signs, collecting samples, administering medication, ensuring patient comfort, and reporting the status of their patients to the nurses. They report to doctors and registered nurses and sometimes oversee CNAs. Within an organization, the overall function of a licensed practical nurse is to ensure patient comfort and safety.
WHAT’S THE CAREER
While salaries vary according to location, the median salary for an LPN is $47,480 – according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The good news is that this is a growing field with high demand and salaries are expected to increase significantly over the next 10 years.
The median annual salary for an LPN is $47,480 as of 2019 according to the BLS. However, nurses in certain areas can earn over $50,000. Those numbers don’t include bonuses, overtime, holiday pay, and other benefits. Certain facilities may even offer financial help if you choose to further your education. All of these different benefits are something to consider as you shop around for the right job.
Pay and benefits for LPNs will vary widely according to what area of the healthcare system you are working in and your actual location. In general, LPNs can volunteer for available overtime and earn 1.5 times their normal salary. Full-time positions also come with holiday pay and sick time. Depending on the healthcare facility, LPNs can also earn bonuses and may be able to enroll in profit-sharing programs.
EDUCATION & CERTIFICATION
Proof of CMA (AAMA) or CCMA (NHA) certification as a Medical Assistant OR proof of long certificate/associate degree in EMS (Paramedic) licensure.
COMPLETED THE FOLLOWING COURSES:
• ENG 101
• MTH 100 or higher
• BIO 201 AND 202
• SPH 106 OR 107
• PSY 210
If you are a paramedic, you may not have PSY210 as your elective. Please take PSY210 before entering the Practical Nursing program. If you are a Medical Assistant graduate, you have to pass your certification exam before entering the Practical Nursing program.
Having compassion and empathy for your patients is important in this line of work. Many times you will be working with patients who are undergoing a great deal of physical and emotional stress.
Keeping accurate track of details is a critical skill for any job that involves caring for patients, and this holds true for practical nurses. Delivering accurate care at the correct time is critical to the patients’ health.
INTERPERSONAL & COMMUNICATION SKILLS
In a Practical Nurse job, you will need to have good communication skills. The job will require interacting with your patients and being able to communicate with them so that you can understand their needs.
In this career, your job is to work with sick and injured people. This may mean they move slowly and need your help with basic tasks. This may mean they have dementia and are unable to communicate meaningfully with you.
PHYSICAL STRENGTH & STAMINA
Because practical nurses work so closely with patients, they are often called upon to help patients move from their bed to a wheelchair, to reposition patients as their bedclothes are being changed, or to help them with bathing and getting dressed.