How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Kentucky
A career as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in Kentucky can be both stable and lucrative. An LPN takes care of patients in clinical settings and can administer treatments and medication. As a vital part of any healthcare team, an LPN assists other nurses, doctors and administrative staff with various tasks including maintaining detailed records. Those in the nursing field must be able to work under stress, in a fast-paced environment. LPNs should enjoy helping sick or injured patients and making sure they are comfortable and cared for. Kentucky has a growing demand for Licensed Practical Nurses.
Finding Work as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Kentucky
The Kentucky Board of Nursing oversees Kentucky’s Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses.Like other smaller states, LPNs who are licensed in Kentucky are granted a multistate license so they can practice in neighboring states as well. Future LPNs are required to begin their career with a high school diploma or a GED. Then, they must graduate with a nursing degree before attempting to become licensed. Candidates in Kentucky may only attend board-approved schools.
How to Become an LPN
Once a candidate has chosen an accredited and approved nursing school and finished with a degree, they must take a written exam to prove they understand Kentucky rules and laws for licensing. This is an open-book exam. They also need to pass a criminal background check and submit their fingerprints to the Kentucky State Police. Once these steps are complete, all candidates must take the official National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). All of Kentucky’s licensing is now done electronically. New Licensed Practical Nurses will receive their license number via email. If a candidate fails the NCLEX the first time, they must wait 46 days before retaking the test. If it takes longer than six months to pass the exam, another criminal background check is required.
Schools for Nursing in Kentucky
Many colleges here offer approved nursing programs. Kentucky makes nursing education accessible to everyone across the state. Here are a couple of top options:
- ATA College, Louisville. Located in Louisville, Ohio and Florida, ATA is a school that offers students a 15-month nursing program. Students complete this course with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (AND), preparing students for the NCLEX. A quick overview shows that they have no entrance exam and there is no waiting list. Classes are held during the day, as there are currently no night classes being offered. ATA College is an accredited school and has the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) approval. Sample courses are an introduction to practical nursing and maternal/newborn nursing.
- Galen College of Nursing, Louisville. Galen offers students an ADN Program as well. It is a two-year program with no prerequisites to start. Over half of the curriculum is hands-on learning. Many students who graduate with their AND go on to become Registered Nurses. Classes are available during the day and evening, and financial aid assistance is available. The school provides financial aid assistance and job placement. They are one of the few schools in Kentucky that accepts transfer credits for nursing students.
Professional Overview and Wage Expectations for LPNs
Kentucky has a rising need for Licensed Practical Nurses statewide. According to the Projections Managing Partnership, the Kentucky nursing industry is expected to grow 7.6 percent by 2026. Although the field is steadily increasing in this state, Kentucky is still in 39th place for LPN job growth. Nonetheless, jobs for Licensed Practical Nurses will remain stable and rise slightly over the next six years. The state expects to see approximately 850 new nursing jobs each year.
Salaries are high for LPNs in Kentucky. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average annual wage was $40,960 in 2017. The average hourly rate for a Licensed Practical Nurse was $19.69 during the same year. Salaries are wide-ranging depending on specialties and certifications available to Licensed Practical Nurses. Kentucky comes in 14th nationally in terms of wages for LPNs.
Employment as an LPN in Kentucky
There are more opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses in larger cities like Paducah and Louisville. There are many different opportunities for LPNs based on the broad range of healthcare facilities and certifications. LPNs can become certified to work in hospice care, the military, oncology clinics or pediatric wards. A highly-skilled and experienced nurse can make as much as $50,520 annually or $24.29 per hour.
By obtaining your licensure, you will have a stable foundation for upward mobility in this profession and the ability to focus on more specialized areas if you choose. You could become a Licensed Practical Nurse in less than two years in the state of Kentucky.