6 Reasons LPNs Are Still In Demand
The thought of becoming a registered nurse (RN) has always been in the back of your mind. Before you knew it, life became much more complicated with bills to pay, children to feed and house to maintain. The thought of committing the time and energy necessary to launch an RN career seems impossible right now.
Rest assured because there’s a more manageable option that will allow you to move one step closer to your dream. Becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a great stepping stone for anyone contemplating a career in healthcare. This option can provide the job security and financial stability you’re family has been seeking in as little as 12 months.
What’s more is that it will put you on track to becoming an RN, allowing you to advance your career when your schedule allows. But are LPNs in demand like RNs are? The answer is yes!
6 reasons becoming an LPN is worth it
We gathered government data along with insight from nursing organizations to identify a few factors that suggest there’s no better time to become an LPN. Take a look at our findings:
1. LPNs are needed to keep up with the rapid increase in long term care patients
The baby boomers are creating a surge in demand for medical and rehabilitative services, making the role of the LPN more critical than ever. Studies predict that 10,000 people will turn 65 each day from now until the year 2030, making LPNs vital in skilled nursing facilities and home health jobs.*
2. The current LPN workforce will require a fresh wave of new hires
Members of the current nursing workforce are rapidly approaching retirement. In fact, more than half of the current LPN population is over 40 years of age and over one third are over 50 years of age.* As these healthcare professionals retire, they will leave plenty of job openings in their wake.
3. The job outlook for LPNs is positive through 2022
Employment for LPNs is expected to grow by 25 percent, much faster than average for the next eight years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, LPN programs have remained stable in the U.S. since the 1990s, supporting the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) notion that LPN careers are a secure trend in healthcare. In other words, this profession isn’t going anywhere!
4. An LPN program can be completed in less than a year
An LPN program can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete, depending on the school and the number of credits applicants transfer. Either way, it is a significantly shorter time commitment than the four years of nursing school required for RN jobs. This means you’ll be out of the classroom sooner, allowing you to get your feet wet in the field and start earning a steady income.
5. Many LPN students work full-time jobs while preparing for the NCLEX-PN exam
LPN students must pass the NCLEX-PN to be eligible to apply for licensure and begin working. It may sound intimidating, but many students maintain a full-time job during the LPN program, fitting in coursework and clinicals alongside their other lifestyle commitments. This balancing act has proven successful because LPNs perform as well or better than RNs on the NCLEX-PN exam, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
6. LPNs have exciting earning potential
It’s a nurse’s job to take care of others but at the end of the day, you need to take care of your family, too! Becoming an LPN can help you and your family reach financial security. LPNs have the opportunity to earn as much as $58,000 annually, according to the BLS.** Even if you still hope to become an RN, it will be nice to have a steady paycheck coming in while you acquire the experience and additional education you’ll need to advance your career.
Take the next step
You’re now well aware that LPNs are, indeed, in demand. You also see that becoming an LPN can get you one step closer to achieving your dream career without sacrificing the time and money you need to devote to your family.
If you still need more validation that this is the right career move for you, check out these facts about the LPN career outlook.
*Statistics on the aging population in the U.S. and average age of LPN workforce came from the Pew Research Center and HRSA’s report: The U.S. Nursing Workforce: Trends in Supply and Education.
**Salary ranges represent national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and include workers at all levels of education and experience. Ranges do not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.