Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are often settled members of their communities. Considering that many LPN nursing programs are offered in community and junior colleges nationwide, this shouldn't be surprising. Working professionals who choose an education path that allows them to remain near their home base benefit both financially from the lower cost of tuition and reduced (if not eliminated entirely) cost of room and board that large universities charge and professionally by being introduced quickly into the nursing workforce of their very own communities. Towns and cities, both large and small, offer a variety of work opportunities to LPNs. So, how do you find LPN jobs near you? Let's take a look at where LPNs can work to get started.
What is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)?
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a qualified healthcare professional who provides direct patient care. They are responsible for monitoring vital signs, administering medication, providing wound care, and educating patients on health-related topics. LPNs work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians and registered nurses, to ensure the best possible care for their patients. With a passion for helping others, LPNs are often the first point of contact for patients in a medical setting.
Variety of Work Settings for Licensed Practical Nurses
With education and skills that set them apart, LPNs are a vital component of healthcare delivery, and many responsibilities for providing direct patient care fall within their scope of care. This begs the question, in what facilities can LPNs find jobs? These qualifications signify that LPNs can work and are needed in a wide variety of settings, such as:
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- General Hospitals
- Home Health Care Services
- Research Hospitals
- Assisted Living Communities
- Retirement Home Communities
- Doctors' Offices
- Psychiatric Hospitals
- Substance Abuse Hospitals
- Outpatient Health Clinics
- Personal Care Services
- Employment Agencies
- Junior Colleges
- Summer/Vacation Camps
- Community Health Centers
With such a broad range of job setting options, as an LPN, you are likely to be able to find jobs near you. Are any of these options from the list in your community? Or even near your home? Have you looked? Perhaps you're wondering: what's the advantage of working LPN jobs near me?
Benefits to Working LPN Jobs Nearby
When your job is near your home, there are many gains to be made, some of which may seem more obvious than others, and some of which may be more or less important to you as well. Here's a summarized list:
- Avoid Soul-Crushing Commutes - Who enjoys spending time in traffic sitting, watching the minutes pass on the consul clock? Absolutely no one! This benefit cannot be overstated! Commutes steal time out of your day and sap your energy.
- Better Work-Life Balance - When your home is nearby, and you spend less time in transition from work to home (because, again, battling traffic on a long commute is soul-crushing), you have more time to be present in your home life, which means more time for your family and friends. Who wants to go out for dinner after a long shift plus an hour commute knowing they have to do it all again the following day?
- Financial Savings - Working near home means you save money that you'd otherwise spend on gas. Once upon a time filling up the tank with gas a few times a week wouldn't dig deep into your bank account, but those days are in the past. Moreover, if you work close to home, you may eschew the vehicle entirely and use public transportation, ride your bike, or even walk.
- Less Tardiness - So many of these benefits are on a string leading right back to the avoidance of traffic, but truly this one applies as well. With little to no commute, the odds of something happening in traffic to cause you to be late are significantly reduced.
- More Free Time - With more of your off-shift hours in the day being able to be spent in or near your home, the time otherwise spent in the car can be spent doing other things. Free time can be exactly what you want it to be. Whether that means doing nothing or something is entirely up to you.
- Environmentally Friendly - Public transportation is a means of reducing your carbon footprint, as is using your own vehicle less. Biking and walking, by their very nature, are environmentally friendly as well, so this one is an easy perk regardless of your motivations.
- Better Work Productivity - Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Andy Wu conducted a research study on this very premise, specifically between inventor productivity and their commute times. The study found "that commuting negatively affects inventor productivity, with every 10 km increase in the commuting distance leading to about a 5% decrease in patenting quantity and a 7% decrease in patenting quality. The negative effects are stronger for top inventors whose productivity is within the top 10% among all inventors." Nursing isn't the same as inventing, yet the mental processing required to engage critical thinking to navigate complex patient cases means LPNs need to be alert and productive.
- Work PRN Jobs - With such a large list of LPN work settings, it's highly likely more than a few of those settings are near you. You don't have to choose only one if you work as a PRN LPN. Picking up PRN shifts at different hospitals or facilities near you as an independent contractor allows incredible flexibility for scheduling. Some LPNs work only PRN shifts, while others have a staff position and pick up nearby PRN shifts here and there. The opportunities are there waiting to be picked up and can be easily found by downloading an app on your phone, such as the Nursa app.
What's the Average LPN Salary?
The national average salary for LPNs is rising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual wage in 2022 for LPNs was $55,860 ($26.86 per hour), and 50% of all LPNs nationwide earned $54,620 ($26.26 per hour). These numbers are up quite a bit when compared to 2021 when the national average annual salary was $51,850 ($24.93 per hour), and half of LPNs were earning $48,070 per year ($23.11 per hour).
The BLS data shows that the overwhelming majority of LPNs work in skilled nursing facilities; furthermore, among the major employers of LPNs, skilled nursing facilities pay more than their counterparts on the list. The highest-earning LPNs are employed in personal care, grant services, insurance, employment services, and junior colleges, and among that list, employment services provide the most LPNs. LPN projected job growth remains on track with the average of other occupations, projected to grow at 6% through 2031.
How Can I Make More Money as a Practical Nurse?
Want to earn a higher-than-average per diem rate for picking up LPN jobs? Then check out Nursa. It is a healthcare marketplace that connects local talent, including LPNs, to PRN jobs near them.