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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for licensed practical nurses. About 10,440 people are currently employed as licensed practical nurses in South Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 9% to about 11,370 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.

The income of a licensed practical nurse is about $17 hourly or $36,620 annually on average in South Carolina. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 hourly or $39,030 per year on average. Incomes for licensed practical nurses are not quite as good as in the overall category of Nursing in South Carolina, 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: triage licensed practical nurse , clinic nurse, and nursing technician.

There are fourteen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a licensed practical nurse. Licensed practical nurses usually hold some college courses, so it will take a short time to learn to be 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 Charleston 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

Trident Technical College - Charleston, SC

Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29423-8067. Trident Technical College is a large college located in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,758 students. Trident Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated thirteen and seventy-two students respectively 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

Licensing agency: S.C. State Board of Nursing
Address: 110 Centerview Drive, Kingstree Bldg., Suite202, P. O. Box 12367, Columbia, SC 29210

Phone: (803) 896-4550
Website: S.C. State Board of Nursing

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina photo by AudeVivere

Charleston is situated in Charleston County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 111,978, which has grown by 15.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston cost $157,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, five hundred eight new homes were built in Charleston, down from eight hundred seventy-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 37.5% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 10.5%, which is less than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Plymouth Congregational Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charleston is home to the United State Department of Agriculture and the The Center as well as Harmon Field and Stoney Field. Shopping malls in the area include Church Creek Plaza Shopping Center, Citadel Mall Shopping Center and South Windermere Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from French Quarter Inn, Fulton Lane Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.