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What Students need to Know about the LPN Profession

Career News July 12, 2013

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) has one of the most profound and monumental careers one can experience. A LPN is likely to administer to you when you’re born and again when you are about to depart. Hospitalization is traumatic for most patients and induces a wide range of emotions. A nurse’s compassionate smile and obvious desire to aid in the patient’s recovery is priceless. The highly regarded career as a LPN is one of the most admirable careers in healthcare. Most nurses have gained fame and world-wide recognition for their contributions in health care.

Founders of the nursing profession

Clara Barton – Clara was the most significant nurse in history. In 1881 Clara organized the American Red Cross.

Florence Nightingale – Florence Nightingale is a heroine from the time of the Crimean War between Russia and Germany. Assisting at a hospital in Scutari, she noticed the high mortality rate and recognized sanitation as the cause. She devised the methods of sterilization that saved countless lives.

Florence, being somewhat of a mathematician, pioneered new methods of analyzing medical data. The latter part of her life was spent writing books on the subjects learned and building a curriculum for future nurses.

Florence said of her profession: “To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; is to be a nurse. Nursing is an art, and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work, for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts. I have almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.”

And don’t forget about the infamous Helen Fairchild, Margaret Sanger and of course, Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary, President Abraham Lincoln’s wife, volunteered to help with the treatment of Union soldiers and the freed slaves. She was instrumental in the formation of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. These are some serious shoes to fill.

Personal attributes necessary to become a LPN

Strong communication skills: This is one of the most important attributes. A nurse must communicate well with patients and families as well as the staff.

Emotionally stable: Stress is commonplace where traumatic situations are a regular occurrence. Dealing with suffering and death without allowing it to become personal is important.

Empathy: Having the ability to show compassion and empathy toward patients calms an overwhelmingly traumatic experience for patients. Most times, an empathetic nurse is the calming force necessary to a patient’s survival.

Flexibility: Work hours and duties may vary from week to week. Most overtime hours and late-night shifts are not uncommon, but not necessarily the rule.

Attention to detail: It is understood, the smallest detail can have drastic consequences. A great nurse is meticulous in her work habits and pays attention to the smallest of details.

Interpersonal skills: The ability to work and communicate effectively with other nurses, doctors and staff.

Physically fit: Nursing requires much standing and some physical work such as turning patients and assisting them in other ways.

Problem solving skills: A nurse must possess the ability to think on his or her feet quickly. They must recognize potential problems, and execute corrective action before they are up to their knees in alligators. That is a poor time to remind yourself your initial objective was to drain the swamp.

Respect: Respect for rules and the patient’s confidentiality are important. Providing the same quality of care to people of all persuasions and religious convictions is necessary. They must always respect the wishes of the patient.

Required study to obtain a LPN license

In order to obtain a LPN license, students are required to earn an associate’s degree in nursing at an accredited school. Once you have gain experience as a LPN, your career can be advanced to a regular nurse, or a registered nurse by obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. There are many different schools offering online courses that will help you earn your associate’s degree and become a LPN. The LPN is just one of over 22 specialized areas of nursing endeavor.

The associate’s degree provides a basic level education necessary to help students enter the field of health care. From there, the sky is the limit. The health care field is wide open and expanding at an incredible rate. Most accredited schools offer associate’s degree in nursing as well as high level training in the health care field, most of which are online.

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