I passed the NCLEX-PN last year and have worked for a couple of nursing agencies. I really enjoy this type of work, but it is not consistent and I am struggling to pay my bills. I thought of going back to school for my BSN, but that doesnt seem possible and I am close to giving up on my dream of being a nurse. Can I work for other companies as an LPN or be an independent contractor in New Jersey?
In Need of Hope
Dear Donna replies:
Dear In Need of Hope,
In the inpatient care setting, LPNs are working primarily in long-term care, subacute and rehabilitation facilities. You don’t mention if you have applied to any of these. If not, you should do so. Also, it is possible to become an independent contractor directly to facilities, if they are willing to work with you in that capacity. Here’s an online source you may find helpful, http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Independent+Contractor. It explains the differences between being an employee versus an IC. You may want to consult a nurse attorney for further advice on this matter.
LPNs work in many nontraditional areas including occupational health (formerly called employee health), public health, schools, insurance companies, etc.
If you are not an active member of the New Jersey LPN forum, (https://m360.njsna.org/frontend/portal/SignupOptions.aspx, scroll down to LPN Forum) you should be. Networking is well known to be a great way to find a job. Plus, as a new nurse you especially need to immerse yourself in the nursing community.
Regarding going back for your BSN to become an RN, this is something you should consider seriously. RN/BSNs have more opportunities now and will in the coming years, while the future of the LPN in the U.S. healthcare system is uncertain.