If you are interested in the field of healthcare, have you ever considered becoming a practical nurse?
Practical nursing is a practical choice for people who are looking to get into the workforce quickly. Practical nurse training programs are non-degree programs that can be completed in just about one year. That’s not long to gain the kinds of marketable skills to get you started in a new career.
What do practical nurses do?
If you are wondering what practical nurses do, the answer is: whole lot of important work! They are everyday heroes who provide care to patients in their time of need. If you are looking for a job field that truly makes a difference in the lives of others, then this could be a good match for you. Practical nurses typically work at nursing homes, where the patients need support around the clock. Practical nurses are responsible for:
- Checking in on their patients throughout their shift
- Taking vital signs
- Changing wound dressings
- Administering medications
- Noting any changes to a patient’s health
- Keeping patient records up to date
- Providing care for patients with breathing tubes, eating tubes, and catheters
- Providing compassionate support for patients in need
- Updating patient data in the electronic health record system
What are the benefits of becoming a practical nurse?
If you are thinking about enrolling in practical nursing school, consider some of the benefits of this career choice. It may be the right fit for you.
1. Flexible scheduling
Like other types of nurses, practical nurses usually work 12-hour shifts in order to accommodate the round-the-clock needs of nursing homes. While these shifts may sound long, they can actually free up your time at home. You might work three shifts over three days, and end up with four days off. Not bad, especially if you are raising small children or tending to other responsibilities at home. Not all jobs require 12-hours shifts. There are also positions that have 8-hour shifts, as well as part-time and per diem options that can work for some people.
2. Fast training path
Practical nurse training is relatively fast. A practical nurse program takes just about one year to complete. (Compare this with becoming a registered nurse (RN), which requires you to get an associate’s degree or higher, which can take two or more years). The short training program can be an advantage if you want to get in the workforce quickly.
3. Portable skills
Once you get licensed in your state, your practical nursing skills are portable to any healthcare facility in your state, which gives you a lot of marketability. While most practical nurses work in nursing homes, you might also find opportunities in assisted living facilities, hospitals, schools, doctor’s offices, hospice care, rehab clinics, or in-home care.
4. Job Outlook
The job outlook for practical nurses is positive according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This handbook predicts that employment of practical nurses will grow 16 percent from 2014-2024, based on the fact that the baby boom generation is aging, and will be in need of nursing home care. This positive prediction is one reason why people are choosing this field.
5. A career that makes you proud
Do you want to have a career that you feel good about? Then you can’t go wrong with nursing. Practical nurses truly make a difference in the lives of others. Your nursing skills will make you feel valued not only in your career but also in your community. You will be making the world a better place!
For more information on this career, try What it Takes to Be a Practical Nurse. If you think this career could be for you, why not take a step toward your new career today?
For residents of Florida, the Harris Casel Institute offers a practical nurse training program at its campus in Melbourne. Visit us online to find out more about enrolling!