The Sweet Spot For LPN Courses

There's a profound shortage of nurses in the United States -- as in there is only one nurse out there for every five jobs he or she could fill. No lie: most people who go into an LPN Program quit within the first five years; it's a very demanding job. But then again, stiff competition and tough conditions mean one thing in every capitalist society: excellent wages. And it's true; even without a four-year college degree, a Licensed Practical Nurse can attain wages in the middle five digits even without a lot of experience under his or her belt!

Becoming a practical nurse is a serious matter. There are three ways to go about it: you can go straight into a hospital and learn 'on the job' as a Certified Nursing Assistant; you can go to college and get a degree in nursing and pass a State-certified test to become a Licensed Practical Nurse; or you can go to college for longer and pass a much more difficult test to become a Registered Nurse.

As a CNA, your job will basically be the hospital equivalent of flipping burgers. You'll turn down beds, push wheelchairs, and basically be a warm body that blinks occasionally like they understand what someone is saying. But life gets a big bump upward when you become an LPN.

LPNs are still, in a way, assistants -- they assist the Registered Nurses. But an LPN is "in the game", delivering medicine, giving shots, adjusting people in traction, interviewing patients, and generally doing most of what you would consider "nurse work". LPN training is long and covers a lot of subjects, but it's not all that difficult.

RNs are the rank-and-file warriors in the fight against disease and injury in the USA; while the doctor will figure out what's wrong with you, in most cases the RNs do the bulk of the work. Most people who are interested in nursing believe they will eventually become a Registered Nurse, but a surprising amount make it as an LPN and decide that they don't want to endure the long hours and emotional wear and tear than an RN suffers. RN training blows LPN courses out of the water; it's longer, more meticulous, and more painful, covering everything from anatomy to nutrition to pharmacology.

The best "landing" a person can make in the nursing field is generally as an LPN. CNAs don't make enough; RNs have a tough, tough life. LPN training is doable for an average student but still stiff enough to keep the lowest 45% from competing for the jobs. The wages are good because of the demand, but the working conditions are still tolerable.

The best part, however, is that you can currently take LPN school online, which means a lot more flexibility (and usually a much lower cost) than a brick and mortar school. That alone can mean the difference between someone becoming an LPN or failing to become an RN.

In short, there are a lot of reasons to join the nursing profession -- and a few good reasons you might want to avoid it. But with the income, lifestyle, and working conditions you can get with some straightforward online LPN training, you can hit the sweet spot where you get most of the good stuff and skip most of the bad.

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