Practical Nursing in Connecticut

Many of Connecticut’s residents rely on licensed practical nurses for basic healthcare services and a reassuring smile.

LPNs are nurses, not nursing assistants, but they have a lower level of nursing training (LPN Programs in Connecticut) and responsibility than registered nurses. They work under direction of registered nurses or medical professionals. Another distinguishing characteristic: They work with patients that have stable conditions (LPN vs. RN).

One will find LPNs many places, though they are less commonly employed in acute care hospital settings than are RNs. Among the possible work settings: skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, and private homes.

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Settings

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are distinguished by the level of care required as well as payment options.

LPNs at nursing homes may carry out technical procedures and supervise CNAs. Some work as general staff nurses, others as charge nurses.

One of Connecticut’s facilities has been in the news because of its success with a particular population: prisoners who have been granted medical parole. 60 West receives Medicare funding. The staff considers their role to be caregiving. Residents have serious medical conditions which can include dementia and/ or terminal illnesses. They’re not all former prisoners. Some residents are hard to place for other reasons; psychiatric hospital referrals are accepted. The Register Citizen reported in 2017 that, 3 ½ years into operation, there had been no criminal activity and no incidents that resulted in workers’ compensation claims (https://www.registercitizen.com/news/article/Connecticut-model-nursing-home-for-paroled-11966223.php).

In early 2018, 60 West is among the highest rated nursing homes in Connecticut, according to Medicare Compare. It’s rated five star in health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. The following other Connecticut nursing facilities also have this distinction:

  • Avalon Health Care Center at Stoneridge in Mystic
  • Caleb Hitchcock Health Care CE in Bloomfield
  • Essex Meadows Health Center
  • Hancock Hall in Danbury
  • Hughes Health and Rehabilitation in West Hartford
  • McLean Health Center in Simbury
  • Meadow Ridge in West Redding
  • St. Joseph’s Residence in Ensfield
  • Watertown Convalarium, Inc
  • Westview Nursing Care & Rehab in Dayville

Assisted living residences provide care for stable clients. LPNs in assisted living may progress to the level of charge nurse. Duties can include supervising resident assistants, assisting with wellness education and health promotion, and supervising medication assistants. Some LPNs serve as liaisons. For those that seek to go higher, it is helpful to achieve RN licensing or a bachelor’s in a related field.

One will find top nursing homes and assisted living facilities offering person-centered care with consistent caregiver relationships and choices about when and what to eat. Many organizations offer memory care. They may offer programs like music and memory which utilizes personalized music.

One memory care facility, assisted by a grant, offers community partnerships that provide residents with attendance at dress rehearsals, showings of iconic movie clips, and special guided museum tours.

Home Health and Private Duty Nursing

LPNs may also provide skilled nursing services in the home. This may include care of the medically fragile and of patients with trach, vent, or g-tube needs. LPNs may also supervise unlicensed aides. Some organizations hire them to carry out duties like intake.

Medicare Compare places the following among Connecticut’s highest ranked home health agencies:

  • Caretenders
  • Ledyard Regional Visiting Nurses Association Agency
  • Gentiva Health Services

Children are among the patients served. They depend on visiting nurses to allow them to leave hospital settings and live at home (as opposed to more restrictive settings like medical foster care). Some need round-the-clock services; this is an opportunity to provide one-on-one care and develop deep relationships. It is possible to specialize in pediatric care at the LPN level. Pediatric Services of America has a Connecticut presence and hires a mix of nursing professionals at the LPN and RN levels.

LPNs also provide services like medication administration and health oversight in facilities that house diverse populations, from adolescents with drug issues to people with developmental disabilities.

Other Employment Options

LPNs are also employed in clinics, practitioner offices, and outpatient services. The following were among the positions posted in early 2018:

  • Provide allergy care at a medical practice with duties that would include spirometry, injections, allergy testing, and breathing treatments as well as intake
  • Act as a floater and coordinator at multiple radiology practices, with duties to include confirming that lab results were available, setting up patient rooms, escorting and preparing patients, performing venipuncture, assisting during procedures, and monitoring patients
  • Carry out a variety of tasks including injections, equipment sterilization, and coordination of patient flow at a pediatric office

LPNs are among those who may be sought for camp nurse or first aid director roles. They sometimes also provide one-on-one services to students with disabilities in school settings.

Some hospital positions do go to LPNs; this depends on the staffing patterns of the organization.

One recent posting was for an LPN to provide basic services in a state hospital, with duties that could include doing narcotic counts, providing insulin injections, administering/ dispensing other medications, providing catheterization care, and monitoring hygiene.

There are many varied positions. Occasionally a position is posted for someone who has both a college degree and a healthcare credential like LPN. One recent posting was for clinical informatics analyst; another was for memory care director.

Career Outlook and Average LPN Salary in Connecticut

The average Connecticut salary was $26.79 or $55,720, in 2016.

Connecticut LPN employment levels have been projected to increase by 8% over the course of the 2014 to 2024 decade.

Related Articles:

How to Become a CNA in Connecticut

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Connecticut

How to Become an RN in Connecticut

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