Being a Licensed Practical Nurse in Wyoming
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is an essential component in the healthcare industry. They assist patients in various tasks like taking medication, bandaging wounds, dressing and bathing. LPNs are also responsible for keeping detailed records and helping Registered Nurses (RNs) and doctors.
Nursing demands a high level of performance and practice. A career in nursing is excellent for someone who likes working with patients and their families and helping the ill. A Licensed Practical Nurse can work in specialized fields such as psychiatry, hospice or orthopedics. LPNs can also acquire additional certifications in areas such as patient counseling or advanced life support.
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Wyoming
If you want to be a Licensed Practical Nurse in Wyoming, you must first have a high school diploma or a GED to start your career. After that, you’ll need to finish a nursing degree program. You’ll take courses in nursing theory and practice, and then you have to sit for The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) exam.
The forms you need to become an LPN in Wyoming can be found online at the Wyoming State Board of Nursing. Future nurses must pass a criminal background check and have their fingerprints taken. After your application has been accepted, you’ll need to schedule your official National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). You must pass this exam within five years of finishing your nursing degree.
Developing Skills to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse
Once you’ve become a Licensed Practical Nurse, there are many certifications that you can consider for expanding your career opportunities. You can get certified in Intravenous (IV) therapy. You can also continue your career path to become a Registered Nurse (RN). There are additional education requirements and exams you’ll need to take in order to move upward in this profession.
Schools for Licensed Practical Nurses in Wyoming
There are 10 colleges in Wyoming that offer nursing programs. Out-of-state students who are seeking a nursing degree can apply to these programs once they have received approval from the Wyoming State Board of Nursing (WSBN) at least one semester before the start date of the course. The WSBN offers free continuing education credits for all LPNs.
To become an LPN, you’ll need to find the right college for you. Here are two examples in the state:
- Central Wyoming College, with Campuses in Riverton, Lander, Jackson and Dubois. Central Wyoming College provides an Associate Degree in Nursing. The courses are hands-on and are intended to prepare students for the NCLEX. All students are eligible for nursing scholarships and financial aid to help offset tuition costs.
- Casper College, Casper. Casper College also offers students an Associate Degree in Nursing. It is an accredited college designed to help future nurses prepare for the official exam. The school excels in job placement and professional skill development. They also pride themselves on promoting a positive environment designed to help every student achieve their goals.
Licensed Practical Nurse Overview and Wages in Wyoming
Wyoming has a low demand for LPNs. The state’s nursing industry is expected to rise by only 4.4 percent over the next seven years, according to Projections Managing Partnership. On average, the state has predicted 50 new job openings for LPNs during that time.
Even though job growth is slow, wages for Licensed Practical Nurses in Wyoming are slightly higher than average compared to the rest of the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average yearly wage was $46,660 in 2017, and the average hourly rate for LPNs was $22.43. These numbers can vary based on the specific job and certifications a Licensed Practical Nurse has.
Working as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Wyoming
Wyoming has the lowest population of the U.S., but there will always be a need for Licensed Practical Nurses nationwide. Most nursing jobs are available in the bigger cities such as Casper or Cheyenne. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wyoming is experiencing the fastest growth in population in the country. This creates openings every year for accomplished healthcare workers like Licensed Practical Nurses. A top earning LPN in some cities can earn as much as $58,990 per year. Hourly rates in Cheyenne or Casper can be as high as $28.36.
Although the expected job openings in Wyoming are on the lower end, LPNs in specialized fields may have more opportunities for work. Nursing is a demanding job but ultimately a fulfilling career.