How to Become a Licenced Practical Nurse in Puerto Rico
Licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, are essential members of health care teams. Whether in a hospital, clinic, or long-term care facility, your patient care is invaluable. As an LPN, you will work under the direction of a registered nurse (RN) or doctor to perform tasks that vary depending on where you work. You might perform basic diagnostic tests, administer approved medication or insert IVs and catheters. LPNs are also depended on to keep accurate patient records, to help ensure the best care possible.
What Do I Need to Become an LPN in Puerto Rico?
Your first step as an aspiring LPN is to complete a quality practical nursing program. Once you graduate, you have to pass either the Puerto Rico Board of Nursing‘s Spanish-language exam, or the NCLEX-PN English-language exam. This allows you to then apply for your practical nursing license.
What Practical Nursing Programs Are Available?
All programs require a high school diploma or equivalent and proof of immunizations for students under 21 years old for admission. Each school will also have its own specific requirements apart from these.
- Antilles College of Health This San Juan college offers its program two ways: either through day courses, which takes 12 months to complete, or through night courses, which requires 15 months for completion. The full cost of the program, including tuition, books and supplies, is currently 10,230.00.
- Caribbean University The LPN program at Caribbean University is offered at all four of its campuses, in Bayamón, Carolina, Ponce and Vega Baja. Prospective students can contact the university for more information about the program, including current cost and estimated length.
- National University College IBC Institute With 15 campuses, IBC Institute is easily accessible for a large number of students. Their 54-credit program, which includes EKG training, takes one year to complete. Contact the university for information about tuition and fees.
What Certification Do I Need as an LPN?
LPN program graduates can apply directly to the Departamento de Salud for their license, once they have passed either the Spanish-language commonwealth exam or the NCLEX-PN exam. Students from mainland-US states can contact the department directly for information on transferring their state nursing license to Puerto Rico. In order to maintain licensure, LPNs need to maintain 21 hours of continuing education and three hours of infection control training in each licensing period.
What Is the Job Outlook for Practical Nurses in Puerto Rico?
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the 2017 median salary for practical nurses in Puerto Rico is $21,970.00 annually or $10.56 hourly, compared to a median hourly wage of $9.76 across all industries. However, with austerity measures in place since 2018, the current earnings may be lower. It is also important to mote that while practical nursing does offer a slightly higher rate of pay than many others, it’s not a growing industry: negative growth of -7.6 percent is projected between 2016 and 2026. This will mean an average of 270 job openings per year.
Working as a Licenced Practical Nurse in Puerto Rico
Vocational training and focused work are essential to developing strong practical nursing skills, but it’s important to remember that nursing goes beyond patients’ physical needs. LPNs are often called on to listen to worries, give information and maintain the lines of communication. Having this reliable support during treatment is invaluable to patients. Being compassionate and sensitive is what will set you apart as someone families can trust to care for their loved ones. If you’re passionate about caring for people, both physically and emotionally, practical nursing may be the career for you.