Being a licensed practical nurse (LPN) can be a rewarding and exciting career.
LPNs work closely with patients to ensure their comfort, health, and safety.
Some of the duties these medical professionals perform include taking vital signs, helping patients bathe and dress, communicating with fellow personnel and families, and noting patient charts.
An LPN can work in a variety of settings, like hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, home healthcare settings, and hospices.
The need for licensed nursing professionals is expected to increase by 9% in the next 7 years.
These are all appealing highlights for those with an interest in helping others.
But when making the decision if this is the career path for you, there is a need to consider the pros and cons of becoming an LPN.
Below is a list of some pros and cons that you may want to consider.
- Pros Of Becoming An LPN
- Cons Of Becoming An LPN
- Should You Become An LPN?
- Pros and Cons of Being an LPN Summary Table
Pros Of Becoming An LPN
Short Training Period
It takes an average of 12 months to become an LPN, as opposed to 3 to 4 years to become a registered nurse (RN).
You will learn the essentials of being a medical professional and administering patient care.
Should you decide later to pursue an RN license, training may be shorter and you’ll have a good educational base and real-world experience.
A Steady Income
Licensed Practical Nurses are always in demand.
Provided you are dependable and professional, you will never have a lack of work.
There is always the potential for overtime and working at a second facility part-time.
The average LPN salary is $24.00 an hour or $50,000 a year.
Potential For Travel
LPNs can choose to work for a private care company.
This will allow you to go to different locations and visit different people each day.
You’ll be able to get outside more, listen to music as you go to your next location, and even grab something to eat on the way.
You won’t be stuck inside all day, looking at the same scenery.
You can also choose where and with whom you work.
If you are the kind of person that likes to drive and be on the go, a traveling LPN could be a good fit.
Improve The Lives Of Others
Perhaps the biggest pro is that you’d be helping people.
You will make an immediate difference in someone’s life.
Nobody wants to be sick and disabled.
But when we are, we all appreciate some kindness and help.
A good LPN can fulfill not only the medical needs of patients but the emotional ones as well.
If you like comforting people, putting a smile on someone’s face, and maybe even making them laugh, you might make a great LPN.
Sense Of Pride
Being an LPN is an important part of the healthcare team, but not everyone is cut out for it.
Knowing that you are able to execute assigned duties and perform the multifaceted functions of the job will definitely make you proud of your career choice.
Everyone should be proud of what they do. Being an LPN is a great job for that.
Most facilities and private companies offer flexible work schedules.
You may choose to work days, nights, or weekends.
Part-time positions are always available.
Many employers also allow you to choose the number of hours you want.
A work-life balance is important for everyone.
If you have a family (especially children), this is a great benefit.
Not having to worry about pick-ups and drop-offs, activities, or babysitters is a big weight off the minds of every working parent.
Another great pro of being an LPN is that they get some pretty good benefits.
Not all jobs offer them and many employees have to pay for some or all of them.
You can be secure in knowing that you and your family are covered when needed.
In addition to medical coverage, many LPNs have dental coverage, paid sick days, vacation, and disability insurance.
Fewer Barriers To Training
Becoming an LPN is a great way to break into the medical profession and learn the ropes.
LPN training does not require nursing school, which can be difficult and expensive.
There’s no worrying about high school GPAs, entrance exams, massive tuitions, hours of studying, and strenuous licensing exams.
Cons Of Becoming An LPN
Less Money Than A Registered Nurse
If you decide on becoming an LPN over an RN, be prepared to make significantly less.
While an LPN’s salary is nothing to sneeze at (an average of $50,000 for full-time), registered nurses make an average of $77,400.
If money is a factor, you may just want to go the extra mile and become an RN.
Have To Work Nights, Weekends, And Holidays
Depending on the type of facility, many LPNs (especially those just starting out) are needed to work some nights, weekends, and holidays.
You could also be called in to work at the last minute.
This can be a deal breaker for some people who have families and other responsibilities.
Doctors and nurses are not immune from this either.
It’s just a part of working in the medical profession.
One of the main factors in the decision to become an LPN is if you can meet the often strenuous physical requirements.
You’ll have to help patients get out of bed, help them get to the bathroom, in and out of wheelchairs, and even help them bathe and change.
LPNs spend a lot of time lifting, bending, kneeling, pushing, and pulling.
You should be able to perform all these actions on a daily basis.
Also, be prepared to have occasional aches and pains from doing it.
Registered Nurses Will Be Your Boss
This may not sound too bad, but if you don’t like taking directions, or having a list of tasks that are always monitored, becoming an LPN may not be for you.
Your day will consist of a list of duties you need to do.
The RN is in charge of delegating them to you.
They may not be pleasant to perform.
Basically, your entire day is planned by the head nurse.
This may not be terrible, but sometimes personalities clash.
LPNs come in contact with a variety of materials that have the potential to make them and their families sick.
All medical personnel always need to be aware of any possible dangers and take precautions.
Aside from the expected blood and bodily fluids, bleach, alcohol, and other disinfectant supplies are constantly used.
If you have an allergy or sensitivity to these chemicals, this would not be the job for you.
Patients That Pose A Challenge
Though the majority of patients are quite pleasant, you must be prepared for those who are not.
Some patients can be overly demanding, rude, inconsiderate, and even violent.
Some may be under the influence of substances or be having a mental health crisis.
You don’t get to choose your patients.
This is where being kind, patient, and understanding come into play.
If you tend to take things personally, this will be a difficult profession to navigate.
A huge factor to consider when deciding to work with sick people is whether you want to work around sick people.
No matter how clean a facility is, there can still be a big chance of being exposed to contagious illnesses.
Everything from staphylococcus and stomach bugs to MRSA and COVID is found in medical institutions.
If your immune system is compromised (or someone you live with is), other professions may be a better fit.
Stress is always present in the medical field.
An LPN’s job is fast-paced, hectic, and sometimes heartbreaking.
You must attend to your patients, take orders from the head nurse, deal with rude patients, take detailed and accurate notes, and expect the unexpected.
Then there are the occasions where you lose a patient.
All of this can be emotionally draining.
You must be able to handle all of this, leave the job at the door at night, and ask for help when needed.
Should You Become An LPN?
At the end of the day, the decision to become an LPN comes down to what you want your career to look like.
How much responsibility do you want?
Do you feel you have the qualities needed?
The need for flexibility, patience, and kindness is paramount.
LPNs must work well with a team and take direction well.
If bodily fluids are not your thing, don’t research any further.
But it’s a great career if you love helping, being social, and want job security.
Whatever you decide, we hope this was helpful. Good luck in your endeavors.
Pros and Cons of Being an LPN Summary Table
|Pros Of Becoming An LPN||Cons Of Becoming An LPN|
|Short Training Period||Less Money Than A Registered Nurse|
|A Steady Income||Have To Work Nights, Weekends, And Holidays|
|Potential For Travel||Physically Demanding|
|Improve The Lives Of Others||Registered Nurses Will Be Your Boss|
|Sense Of Pride||Hazardous Materials|
|Flexible Schedule||Patients That Pose A Challenge|
|Benefits||Exposure To Viral And Bacterial Infections|
|Fewer Barriers To Training||Stress|