I am a LPN student with a bleak view of the job market. My class will finish in July 2016. What can an LPN expect when looking for jobs? What can we do to make ourselves more attractive to potential employers?
Dear Soon-to-Be LPN,
Opportunities for LPNs vary from state to state, depending on scope of practice. By and large, LPNs still have opportunities in long-term care, assisted living and rehabilitation facilities, as well as hospice and home care. LPNs are also being used in schools, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals/clinics, correctional facilities and a wide range of other ambulatory care settings, including medical practices, clinics, group homes, hemodialysis and more.
LPNs also work for insurance companies doing pre-certification, in occupational health, nursing informatics and quite a few other non-traditional healthcare settings.
The job market is competitive for all nurses, so putting your best foot forward, activating and cultivating your professional network, and continuously expanding your skill set are all essential. For more specifics on marketing yourself well, read the articles “Put Your Best Foot Forward for Maximum Impact” and “Interview to knock their socks off.”
It is important for you to join and get active in nursing associations too. It is through professional associations that we build community in nursing. Without community, you may survive but you will never thrive. Consider the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses but also check with your state chapter of the American Nurses Association to see if they have a membership category or special coalition for LPNs. Many of them do.
Participation in professional associations expands your professional network, keeps you current with knowledge, information and trends, and provides support throughout your career. Plus, networking is well known to be an effective way to find job openings and get interviews.
LPNs play a vital role in healthcare. Be proud of what you have accomplished and what you do. Convey that sense of pride when you network, interview and work. There are always opportunities for individuals who are passionate, professional and enthusiastic.