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How can LPNs make themselves more attractive candidates to potential employers?

Dear Donna,

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?

Soon-to-Be LPN


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.

Best wishes,

By | 2020-04-06T11:01:41-04:00 September 25th, 2015|Categories: Nursing Careers and Jobs|1 Comment

About the Author:

Donna Cardillo
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, is president of Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, and author of "Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional" and "The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career." She brings more than 25 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Jacqueline September 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    I completed LVN school 32 years ago. The need for LPN and LVNs is less these days as many RNs are being produced at the associate degree level.

    As for difficulty finding a job upon graduation – this is typical when new graduates flood the job market.

    I started with private duty nursing and kept alert for when the new LPNs quit those luxury jobs.

    I agree with the article that advised networking networking within nursing associations. Why? Most employers prefer to hire people they know.

    I will follow the advice in the article and add networking to my career self-marketing toolkit.

    If at all possible keep going to school to earn your RN licensure.

    The LPN and LVN jobs are not as plentiful as RNs but there are enough for everyone.

    If your state is a Compact state, go outside your local area so you do not compete with new graduates. You will find work and stay employed. Some LPNs leave their state and go elsewhere to gain experience then return to their home state more competitive with added work experience.

    My mistake as a new nurse? Waiting until graduation to find a job. I should have begun marketing myself months in advance of graduation. I have recommended early self-marketing to college students and high school students. Those who matket themselves 3 to 6 months in advance of graduation get hired. This includes one newly graduated but unlicensed lawyer. You see, the LPN and LVN job seeker has much in common with all new graduates. You will find work in your careeer field, but if you delay your job hunt, you may be scraping the bottom of the barrel to find work. As for me, I took a very challenging case through private duty nursing that used almost every nursing skill rewuired in school. Because of that one case, i became an experienced LVN in a very short amount of time, but I would not accept an intense case like that again. Add that I had to drive far away to a rural area on 3pm to 11pm shift. I was very sleepy on the long drive home – and exhausted. There was no rest time the entire shift. I was performing critical care nursing without the ewuipment or support staff. I prayed a lot and performed well. Eventually, I earned a good reputaion in the process and was never without work in that area. My point is that I learned to apply for jobs between nursing school graduations. I have left nursing and returned several times – and I always find LPN or LVN jobs, but the better jobs are gained theough networking. Today in the US job market – its not what you know, but who you know. Add networking to your career marketing toolkit as the author advised and you will find some great LVN or LPN jobs.

    May you have much success to your job hunt, and I hope you found the encouragement in this comment helpful.

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