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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses in Chattanooga, Tennessee

If you want to be a licensed practical nurse, the Chattanooga, Tennessee area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 22,700 jobs for licensed practical nurses in Tennessee and this is projected to grow by 15% to 26,140 jobs by 2016. 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. Licensed practical nurses generally care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions.

The income of a licensed practical nurse is about $16 per hour or $34,990 yearly on average in Tennessee. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 per hour or $39,030 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Nursing, people working as licensed practical nurses in Tennessee earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Nursing nationally. Jobs in this field include: clinic licensed practical nurse , private duty nurse, and office nurse.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Chattanooga area, including two within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree to start your career as a licensed practical nurse. Licensed practical nurses usually hold some college courses, so 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 Chattanooga 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.
  • 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

Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA

Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has a two to four year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated sixty-four students in 2008.

Dalton State College - Dalton, GA

Dalton State College, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720-3797. Dalton State College is a small college located in Dalton, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,892 students. Dalton State College has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated thirty-five 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

Licensing agency: Board of Nursing
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 532-5177
Website: Board of Nursing Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.