Something that you may not know is that once you are an LPN, you have the opportunity of getting LPN specialty certification in one of the areas mentioned below. These are just some of the more obvious areas as you can also have the option of getting such certification for specific illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease. This article serves to inform you of your basic options in this regard.
LPN Specialty Certification: Hospital Nurse
When you think about becoming a nurse you may think immediately of a hospital setting and this is indeed where most nurses start out before they decide which LPN specialty certification they would like to pursue. What you may not have realized is that you can get LPN specialty certification for a hospital setting. Usually nurses start out in this setting anyway, which is a great first step for their careers. Many nurses choose to stay in hospitals rather than moving to an alternative area of specialty. If experience is what you’re looking for then LPN specialty certification for a hospital setting is a good place to start. This is because nurses who work in hospitals effectively have to know how to do everything. Other areas of specialty may require you to learn a specific set of skills that could limit you when you look for another LPN job. A nurse with LPN additional certification for a hospital setting will be able to do anything and therefore be able to work anywhere.
This demanding, but rewarding, job requires that you, among other things:
- Draw blood
- Read vital signs
- Monitor patients’ reactions to medication
- Teach families how to care for sick or injured loved ones
- Feed babies
- Prepare IVs
- Feed, clean, and dress patients who are unable to do so themselves
In a hospital setting LPNs have to answer to doctors and RNs. Your main function will be to assist these more advanced health care professionals with their daily tasks, freeing them up to focus on more advanced and more important aspects of patient care.
Although it may seem attractive just remember that staying in a hospital setting can be just as rewarding and it can leave you feeling fulfilled.
LPN Specialty Certification: Travel Nurse
In many situations nursing facilities may be in a situation where they need:
- Mobile nurses who could go from place to place as needed, or
- Nurses who can perform their duties while traveling
If this sounds interesting to you then you may want to pursue LPN specialty certification as a travel nurse.
An example of the kind of setting that you may be able to work in with this kind of specialty qualification is a cruise ship. Obviously there needs to be medical staff on board in order to deal with any injuries or illnesses that passengers may experience while on their cruise. So you will be in the unique position of being able to help people while seeing the world at the same time. Generally speaking the issues you will have to deal with on a cruise ship are mild at best. A few cases of motion sickness may be all you ever have to face, allowing you to enjoy the experience.
To be a successful travel nurse you will need to be:
- able to adapt easily and quickly to new situations
- able to leave your home behind at a moment’s notice to go anywhere
- prepared to work on short-term assignments
Apart from the fact that you may be given the chance to travel as a travel nurse, you will also find that travel nurses tend to be paid a much higher salary. However, as it requires you to be away from home for long periods of time, this is not a job that is suited to a mother or any other nurse who has strong ties to their home life. If you have nothing to hold you back then this is definitely the LPN specialty certification that you should pursue.
LPN Specialty Certification: Home Care Nurse
If you would like to work in a more direct and intimate environment with a low volume of patients then you should consider LPN specialty certification in home care nursing. Home care nurses are nurses that work in a patient’s home caring directly for that patient and, if necessary, his or her family. Assignments can be either:
- Short-term, such as in cases where patient’s have suffered a temporary injury that they need help recovering from
- Long-term, such as in cases where and elderly citizen living alone is no longer able to care for himself or herself adequately
One huge advantage to pursuing specialization in this area is that you are unlikely to be without work. In the US as well as in many other countries all over the world the elderly population is increasing substantially, which means that there are more and more people who need personal nurses to look after them in their own homes. So, if this is an area of nursing hat suits you, it is definitely the one for you to pursue as you will experience great job stability.
To be a home care nurse you will need to be:
- Quick on your feet
- Able to make important medical decisions on your own
- Able to work without supervision
Generally speaking you will perform most of the same tasks that nurses in a hospital setting will be performing with a few possible additions such as some basic cooking and cleaning. Some home care LPN nurses are required to live in the patient’s home for the duration of the assignment, so this is something that you will have to decide that you are comfortable with or not. If you are not a live-in nurse it will be part of your responsibilities to teach the family members of your patient how to care for him or her when you are not there.
LPN Specialty Certification: Office Nurse
LPN specialty certification or LPN additional certification in office nursing is a far more administrative role than a practical, hands-on role. If you prefer the administrative side of things then this is the line of work for you to get involved in as a nurse. Some of the main areas that you will be able to find work in are:
- Private offices
- Health spas
- Facial surgery centers
- Medical clinics
- Non-hospital surgery centers
It is important to note that in many of these settings you will have to do equal amount of medical work as administrative work. However the overall amount of medical work that you will have to do will therefore be far less than that of nurses that has specialized in other settings. If you feel that you your administration skills are the strongest in your arsenal then this may be the type of specialization that will allow you to be as effective as you possibly can as an LPN. Office nurses often state that the reason that they pursued LPN specialty certification in this area is because there is less stress. Office nurses work traditional 9-5 hours and are seldom required to work night shifts. Nurses in practically every other setting have far worse hours to deal with.
The main tasks of a nurse in this setting are to:
- Prepare patients for examinations or surgery
- Assist doctors during surgery
- Handle injections or medications
- Dress wounds and incisions
- Deal with administrative office work
Some nurses prefer more contact time with patients and more hands-on experience so it is up to you to decide if this is the best LPN additional certification for you to consider.
LPN Specialty Certification: Military Nurse
The military is one of the main clients of the health care profession and consequently nurses who are able to deal with this highly stressful situation are required. As a result many nurses pursue LPN specialty certification in military nursing, although it must be noted that this position carries with it a lot of risk and does not suit everyone. You will, effectively, be required to go to war. This is one area of nursing that requires extremely advanced LPN specialty certification. It will take a lot of your time. In some cases you will be trained while on active duty. If this is the case your tuition fees will most likely be reimbursed. Some nurses who are interested in this line of nursing do not end up pursuing this path because they feel that job opportunities are limited to wartime. This is not, however, the case. Military nurses are always in need whether the country is at war or at peace so it is a line of work that will ensure continued job satisfaction and employment. Generally speaking you will also need to be a member of the military in order to become a military nurse as this will give you an advantage from personal experience in terms of knowing what sort f injuries are likely to arise on the battlefield and how to deal with the emotions that your patients are likely to be experiencing when they are brought to you. To get LPN specialty certification in this area you will need to attend an Army ROTC Nurse Summer Training Program under where you will get firsthand experience under the guidance of a registered Army Nurse. You will also be able to attend similar programs to become a nurse in the air force or in the navy.
LPN Specialty Certification: Nursing Care Facility Nurse
One of the main advantages of pursuing LPN specialty certification in a nursing care facility is that you get to deal with an environment that moves at a much slower pace than in many other settings. If you feel that you are no longer able to deal with the panic experienced in a hospital or the stresses that come with a wartime situation then it may be time for you to look into LPN specialty certification for a nursing care facility. The main duties that you will perform are the same as those in a hospital. However the patients in a nursing care facility are not generally expected to recover and they tend to stay there for much longer periods of time than patients in a normal hospital. Because of the type of patients that you will have to deal with, a nurse who plans to work in a nursing care facility will need to be:
- Able to face death and dying easily
- An emotional stoic
The things that you will be required to do in a setting such as this will most likely include:
- Giving injections
- Assisting with daily functions
- Conducting basic lab tests
- Monitoring patients’ health
- Creating a care plan
- Supervising nurse’s aides
- Taking and recording vital signs
- Maintaining equipment
- Working with patients’ families
Like with a career in home-based nursing care, LPN specialty certification for a nursing facility setting also comes with a good future job outlook. Again, the fact that there are more and more elderly people out there who need daily help in order to survive means that you will never be without a job if you are specialized in this area. The number of nurses working in this kind of setting is expected to continue growing, making it by far one of the better LPN specialty certification options to choose.
Now that you are aware of the various LPN specialty certification options you should be in a better position to decide whether or not you want to specialize and, if so, in what area. With LPN additional certification your skills will be greatly in demand and you should be able to name your own price when it comes to getting a new job. Just make sure that you choose an LPN specialty certification program that suits your goals as well as your personality. As you can probably tell by the different things that different nursing specialties demand, not every nurse is suited for every nursing job.