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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses in Columbia, Maryland

Licensed practical nurses can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. Currently, 10,410 people work as licensed practical nurses in Maryland. This is expected to grow 22% to 12,720 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for licensed practical nurses, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.6% over the next eight years. Licensed practical nurses generally care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions.

Income for licensed practical nurses is about $23 per hour or $47,970 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $18 hourly or $39,030 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Nursing, people working as licensed practical nurses in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Nursing nationally. People working as licensed practical nurses can fill a number of jobs, such as: office nurse, home health nurse, and charge nurse.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Columbia include:

  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Nurse Practitioner. Provide advanced nursing care and treatment to patients. Perform physical examinations, order diagnostic tests, develop treatment plans and prescribe drugs or other therapies.
  • 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.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
  • 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

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

Columbia Union College - Takoma Park, MD

Columbia Union College, 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Columbia Union College is a small college located in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 974 students. Columbia Union College has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated seven students in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated seven students in 2008.

Carroll Community College - Westminster, MD

Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Rd, Westminster, MD 21157. Carroll Community College is a small college located in Westminster, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,453 students. Carroll Community College has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Sojourner-Douglass College - Baltimore, MD

Sojourner-Douglass College, 500 N Caroline St, Baltimore, MD 21205-1898. Sojourner-Douglass College is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,243 students. Sojourner-Douglass College has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training.

Howard Community College - Columbia, MD

Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044-3197. Howard Community College is a medium sized college located in Columbia, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,905 students. Howard Community College has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated twenty 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.