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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses in Des Moines, Iowa

For those living in the Des Moines, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for licensed practical nurses. About 7,060 people are currently employed as licensed practical nurses in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 14% to 8,010 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for licensed practical nurses, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.6% over the next eight years. In general, licensed practical nurses care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions.

Licensed practical nurses earn approximately $17 hourly or $35,370 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $18 per hour or $39,030 annually. Incomes for licensed practical nurses are not quite as good as in the overall category of Nursing in Iowa, and not quite as good as the overall Nursing category nationally. People working as licensed practical nurses can fill a number of jobs, such as: home health nurse, licensed practical nurse , and clinic licensed practical nurse .

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as a licensed practical nurse. Given that the most common education level for licensed practical nurses is some college courses, you can expect to spend a short time training to become a licensed practical nurse if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, licensed practical nurses care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions. They also may work under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Licensed practical nurses furnish basic patient care and treatments, such as taking temperatures or blood pressures, dressing wounds, treating bedsores, giving enemas or douches, rubbing with alcohol or performing catheterizations. They also measure and record patients' vital signs. Equally important, licensed practical nurses have to observe patients, charting and reporting changes in patients' conditions, such as adverse reactions to medication or treatment, and taking any needed action. They are often called upon to assemble and use apparatus such as catheters and oxygen suppliers. They are expected to administer prescribed medications or start intravenous fluids, and note times and amounts on patients' charts. Finally, licensed practical nurses evaluate nursing intervention outcomes, conferring with other health care team members as needed.

Every day, licensed practical nurses are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for licensed practical nurses to help patients with bathing, dressing, maintaining personal hygiene, moving in bed, or standing and walking. They are often called upon to record food and fluid intake and output. They also inventory and requisition supplies and instruments. They are sometimes expected to sterilize apparatus and supplies, using germicides, sterilizer, or autoclave. Somewhat less frequently, licensed practical nurses are also expected to answer patients' calls and decide on how to help them.

Licensed practical nurses sometimes are asked to ready food trays and examine them for conformance to prescribed diet. They also have to be able to evaluate nursing intervention outcomes, conferring with other health care team members as needed and supervise nurses' aides and assistants. And finally, they sometimes have to work as part of a health care team to gauge patient needs, plan and modify care and implement interventions.

Like many other jobs, licensed practical nurses must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Des Moines include:

  • Physician Assistant. Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
  • Registered Nurse. Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required. Includes advance practice nurses such as: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Advanced practice nursing is practiced by RNs who have specialized formal, post-basic education and who function in highly autonomous and specialized roles.
  • Sports Trainer. Evaluate, advise, and treat athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Licensed Practical Nurse Training

Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus - Urbandale, IA

Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus, 4655 121st Street, Urbandale, IA 50323. Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus is a small university located in Urbandale, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 864 students. Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated ninety students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: AACN Certification Corporation has launched the ACNPC, an advanced practice certification examination for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners.

For more information, see the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses website.

Certified Corrections Nurse: This category includes individuals who work with both staff and offenders in a correctional setting.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Nurse Manager: This category includes individuals who manage health care units or programs within a correctional setting.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Registered Central Service Technician: The Association's certification programs are the most highly recognized for quality and comprehensiveness within the healthcare industry.

For more information, see the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management website.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant: An IBCLE or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a specialist that has taken and.

For more information, see the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website.

Long-Term Care: Long-Term Care certification is comprehensive in that it covers the entire life-span, from cradle to grave, for people that are chronically ill.

For more information, see the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc. website.

Pharmacology: NAPNES Certification in Pharmacology allows LP/VNs to measure their knowledge against a national test and offers a national credential, post-licensure, that many employers require.

For more information, see the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc. website.

IV Therapy: National studies show that specialized certification for LPNs is a great avenue for professional growth, helping to increase earning potential and marketability.

For more information, see the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc. website.

Gerontology : National studies show that specialized certification for LPNs is a great avenue for professional growth, helping to increase earning potential and marketability.

For more information, see the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc. website.

LICENSES

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Licensing agency: Iowa Board of Nursing Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
Address:

Phone: (515) 281-6488
Website: Iowa Board of Nursing

LOCATION INFORMATION: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.