Job Hunting Tips for Licensed Practical Nurses
Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs, are already in high demand around the country. Between 2014 and 2024, this field is projected to grow by about 16 percent, with more than 117,000 jobs being added due to the aging population and other factors. Although you shouldn't have any trouble finding employment as an LPN, there are things that you can do to increase the odds of getting the best positions and the most competitive pay. Read on to pick up useful tips for making yourself more marketable and landing the ideal LPN job.
Seven Tips for Finding the Perfect LPN Job
All too often, LPNs enter the workforce thinking that they just have to show up and apply to find great jobs. In reality, however, there are variations in terms of pay, duties, and other aspects of LPN jobs. Keep in mind too that lots of others are vying for these jobs, so it pays to take steps to stand out from the crowd. Some tips to keep in mind during your LPN job search include:
- Obtain Certifications - A great and fairly easy way to improve your marketability as an LPN is by obtaining specialty certifications. This often means focusing your work on a particular area and then sitting for a certification exam. Oftentimes, these exams are administered by hospitals and other employers. Examples of popular certifications for LPNs include gerontology, nutrition, and assisted living care. By being able to list extra credentials on your resume, you are more likely to hear back from prospective employers, and you are certain to stand out from many other applicants.
- Write a Great Resume - The importance of developing an effective LPN resume can't be emphasized enough. Since this is probably your first job in the nursing field, look for advice about writing a resume with very little job experience. Take the time to create unique cover letters for your resumes too. Tailor them to suit specific employers. This shows that you sincerely want to work for them and that you're willing to take the time to reach out on a more personal level. If necessary, pay someone to develop a resume for you. It is typically well worth the small investment.
- Think Outside the Workplace Box - All too often, freshly minted LPNs are under the impression that nursing homes are the only places that will hire them. As a result, they only apply to nursing homes and wonder why they seem to be missing out. In reality, LPNs are hired by many employers, including hospitals, doctor's offices, and clinics. Don't limit yourself to nursing homes or to any particular work environment. After all, there's no telling where the best opportunities are in your area. The only way to find out is by keeping an open mind and by applying for jobs in as many different work environments as possible.
- Get a Referral from Your Training Program - LPNs often find employment right after obtaining their licenses through referrals from their training programs. Indeed, many LPN training programs even have guarantees about helping graduates find employment. Some have agreements with local healthcare facilities and help to place LPNs there shortly after graduation. Others have connections and are happy to share them with graduates to help with their job hunts. Finally, you may be able to find work at the same facility where you completed your clinical training during your LPN program. In fact, be sure to ask about this option while completing your training.
- Attend Job Fairs - Due to high demand for properly licensed LPNs, hospitals and other healthcare facilities often hold job fairs for healthcare professionals. Keep your eyes peeled for advertisements about local health fairs for healthcare workers. Most of the time, jobs for LPNs are readily available. If nothing else, job fairs are great places to make important connections and to get leads on potential opportunities in the future. In fact, even if you aren't actively seeking employment, it never hurts to attend job fairs as an LPN to be on the lookout for bigger and better opportunities.
- Join Professional Nursing Organizations - Another great way to get leads on LPN jobs is by becoming a member of local nursing organizations. Local chapters of national organizations are available in most major metro areas, so chances are that there are at least a few opportunities in your area. These organizations are excellent for networking, which is an important way to land excellent LPN jobs. As a member of a nursing organization, you will meet others who have helpful insights about job hunting as an LPN. You will also be able to attend mixers and other events where you can learn about job opportunities in the area.
- Listen to Word of Mouth - Finally, use social media and other methods to inform everyone that you are now an LPN with a valid LPN license and are looking for work. Many times, the best job opportunities come about simply through word of mouth. Encourage friends to spread the word. A friend of a friend might be able to help. If you know anyone who works in healthcare, you should definitely touch base with them to see if they have any pertinent advice. Always follow up on potential job leads that you get through friends, as these are often the best opportunities.
LPN jobs are plentiful around the country, but that doesn't mean that you should just take the first job that you run across. It is well worth it to take your time and to use different approaches to find the best LPN job opportunities. Your extra effort will pay off when you find an ideal LPN position with competitive pay, great benefits, and other perks.