Practical Nursing in Indiana

Indiana LPNs work in virtually every type of healthcare setting, but their training is a better match for some settings than others. LPNs are less likely than their RN counterparts to provide inpatient hospital care and are unlikely to work in emergency care settings. Instead, they work largely with populations who are elderly, chronically ill, disabled, or convalescent. Some work with generally well populations in community or medical settings.

Licensed Practical Nurse is the lowest nursing license, but it is above the level of nursing assistant. The LPN credential can be earned with education at the certificate level (LPN Programs in Indiana). Prospective LPNs living in Indiana complete state-accredited programs and then pass a licensing examination. LPNs can enroll in additional nursing programs later and (assuming they pass the licensing examination at the appropriate level) earn higher credentials.

LPNs work under direction of medical professionals or RNs. Indiana defines LPN and RN scope of practice broadly. Nurses practice within generally recognized standards and within the level of their training.

In addition to administering medications and providing treatments (e.g. wound care, catheters), LPNs often have a role in overseeing care provided by nursing assistants.

A Snapshot of the Indiana LPN Workforce

Indiana surveys the LPN workforce less frequently than the RN workforce. The Indiana Center for Nursing published a report in 2013 based on a 2012 survey (https://www.ic4n.org/indiana-nursing-workforce/nursing-re-licensure-survey-reports). A majority of the state’s LPNs participated, though participation was not mandatory for renewal through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency – Board of Nursing.

Long-term care employed the largest subsection of the state’s LPNs. 38.7% reported working in long-term extended care facilities; 9.2%, in long-term acute care facilities.

Private offices (physician or dentist) employed 8.4%; primary care centers, an additional 4.3%.

Home health employed 7.9%; private duty nursing, an additional .7%.

Assisted living employed 5.6%; facilities for the mentally disabled, .9%. A smaller number were employed in adult day care.

How many practical nurses worked in hospital settings? This depends on one’s definition. 5.4% reported inpatient employment; 2.2%, inpatient and outpatient. An additional 1.2% reported outpatient employment, and 1.6% reported ambulatory/ outpatient care. Psychiatric inpatient positions (often regarded as a separate category) employed 1.2%. Very small segments of the LPN workforce worked in other hospital settings such as operating room.

Among the other LPN employment settings, one finds schools and colleges, community health centers, prisons, hospices, and mental health and addiction facilities.

One can expect that there have been some changes since 2012, though, nationwide, the move away from hospital employment was well underway by that time.

Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living

In the modern era, nursing homes often do not function as homes in the sense they once did – that is, they’re not permanent residences. Many people are there to receive care for a relatively short time period (generally, no more than a few months) as they transition from hospital to home. In part, this represents improved therapy and medical treatment. It also reflects the recent push to care for people in the least restrictive – and least expensive – setting possible.

In another sense, nursing homes can be much more homelike than they were in decades past. They are using innovations like consistent caregiver assignments, technology, and music to transform care. Some even have a more homelike physical design. And for some, nursing facilities provide housing until the end of life.

Assisted living is intended as an alternative to the nursing home. It is often thought of as private pay, but this is not always the case. Indiana provides assistance under two Medicaid waiver programs. Participants live in apartment-style residences. They receive medication monitoring and minor nursing care as well as assistance with personal care and activities of daily living. The state recognizes several levels of care.

Some seniors choose to move into senior living communities at a stage in life where they meet their needs independently. They can transition to assisted living, memory care (dementia care) or skilled nursing when and if they need to.

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Highly Rated Employers of LPNs in Indiana

Experiences can be very different from one long-term care or assisted care facility to the next. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues star ratings for nursing homes and also for home health and hospice. Multiple other organizations seek to recognize quality and, in some cases, actively promote it. Some consider the perspective of the employee or associate.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living recognize facilities through three progressive levels. The highest, gold, is a rare honor. Five Indiana facilities achieved silver level in 2017:

  • American Village in Indianapolis
  • Ashton Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Wayne
  • Bethlehem Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation in Fort Wayne
  • Homeview Center of Franklin
  • Willowdale Village in Dale

NRC Health carries out a simple but large-scale survey of nursing home and assisted living community residents and associates. One Indiana assisted living community was recognized in the associate (worker) category in 2017: Primrose Retirement Community of Anderson.

Home Care Pulse provides quality management services for a number of organizations that provide care in people’s homes.

Average LPN Salary in Indiana and Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Indiana LPNs averaged $19.97an hour in 2016; this translates to $41,540 for 52 40-hour weeks.

A majority of employed Indiana LPNs reported working 40 hours or more a week in the 2012 survey. (This is in contrast to some other states where the largest subset have reported 36 to 40 hours.

Indiana practical nursing has been projected to experience 13% occupational growth across the 2014 to 2024 decade.

LPN is #6 on the Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs list (https://netsolutions.dwd.in.gov/hh50/).

Related Articles:

Becoming a CNA in Indiana

RN Requirements in Indiana

Medical Assistant Classes and Certification in Indiana

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