After you become a practical nurse, also known as a vocational nurse in some states, you will provide vital bedside care for the sick, injured and convalescent. A Become a Practical Nursepractical nurse takes direction from doctors and registered nurses. The job scope of someone who has become a practical nurse varies everyday while working one on one with patients. These jobs include giving injections, taking vital signs, performing basic diagnostic tests, dressing wounds and administering medication. Some practical nurses focus in areas of pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics or psychiatry. A practical nurse will typically work in health care facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, mental health institutions, private homes, community health clinics, and public health departments. To become a working practical nurse, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, and then you’ll typically need to graduate from an accredited practical nurse program. Practical Nursing programs generally take 12 -18 months (depending on full or part time) of schooling at a hospital, vocational technical school or community college.Typical nursing classes in an campus or online nursing program could cover anatomy, biology, some chemistry, psychology, EMT training, first aid, physical ed, foods and nutrition, child growth and development, in addition to clinical practice in patient care. To receive a certification and or license before you become a practical nurse, you must pass a nationwide nursing test, called the NCLEX-PN®. To be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN® exam, you must finish an education program that is accepted by your state’s Board of Nursing. For more information about the NCLEX exams visit the National Council of State Board of Nursing

Become a Practical Nurse With Training

Practical nurses should have a compassionate, sympathetic nature. They should be emotionally stable because working with the sick and injured can be demanding. In order to become a practical nurse you also need to be attentive, and to have excellent decision-making and communication skills. As part of a healthcare team, the practical nurse must be able to follow orders and work closely under supervision. Practical nurses should take pleasure in learning because continuing education credits are necessary by some states and/or employers at standard intervals. Career-long learning is all part of being a practical nurse.

Practical Nurse Job Outlook

Demand for students who want to become a practical nurse will be fueled by the rise in the numbers of the older population. Since older people have an increased incidence of injury and illness, this will increase their demand for quality health care services. In addition, with enhanced medical technology, people are living longer lives and increasing their demand for long-term health care. Job growth as a practical nurse should occur in all health care settings but particularly in those that service the geriatric population like nursing care facilities, community care facilities, and home health care services. Overall job prospects are expected to be excellent.

* NCLEX-RN® and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.


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