Becoming an LPN in Nevada

Nevada needs LPNs: those who stay at the practical nursing level for many years and those who progress to the level of RN. According to a 2017 health workforce report produced by the Office of Statewide Initiatives at the UNR School of Medicine, Nevada is #47 in the nation with regard to LPNs per 100,000 people and #48 with regard to registered nurses. With a population that’s increasing – and aging – this is serious cause for concern.

LPNs are licensed nurses, but their level of nursing preparation is below that of registered nurses. They complete accredited or approved programs and pass a test. LPNs work under direction. They administer medication and carry out other technical nursing acts appropriate to their level of training and credentialing. They conduct focused assessments: distinguishing between abnormal and normal findings, anticipating potential changes, determining what information needs to be conveyed to a health professional with higher credentialing. Some pursue additional training that increases their allowable duties.

Job ads reveal employers seeking LPNs in many settings. Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health agencies are well represented.

LPN Areas of Specialization

IV qualification can increase one’s value in some settings. There are number of IV-related duties that an LPN can potentially take on. This type of advanced work will, however, require completion of an approved course. Board-approved IV courses include at least 30 instructional hours and at least 10 clinical or lab hours.

Sometimes Nevada employers look for nurses with expertise in wound care. The position may involve a range of duties: participating in the assessment process, providing treatment, educating CNAs about wound care, contributing to system-wide documentation and data analysis. This is an area where LPNs can seek adjunct certification.

At the time the AARP last compared state data, Nevada was #49 in the nation with regard to percentage of high-risk nursing home residents who had pressure sores. 2018 job ads suggest there are a number of organizations working to improve this important quality-of-life indicator.

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Nursing facilities care for multiple populations, including those who need a period of post-acute recovery following a major surgery, stroke, or other medical event. A majority of people who enter nursing facilities for the first time are there for the short-term. For some people, of course, the nursing home is home, even though Nevada is well above the national norm when it comes to transitioning people who have had long stays back to the community.

For some elders, assisted living represents a viable alternative. In the assisted living arena, LPNs vie for positions as high as wellness director. Duties may include coordinating care with home health agencies, acting as liaison with family members, coordinating training and in-service, notifying professionals who are higher on the chain of command about changes in patient condition, and even developing systems for monitoring health conditions.

Top Nevada Facilities

The following are among the top nursing facilities in Nevada, according to data published on the Medicare Compare website in 2018:

  • Advanced Health Care of Las Vegas
  • Grover C Dils Medical Center Skilled Nursing Facility in Caliente
  • Harmony Manor Skilled Nursing Facility in Winnemucca
  • Silver Hills Health Care Center in Las Vegas
  • Las Ventanas Retirement Community Skilled Nursing Facility in Las Vegas
  • Highland Manor of Mesquite
  • Rosewood Rehabilitation Center in Reno
  • Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living have a quality development program. Recognition is progressive. Facilities may make it as high as gold after sustained effort for a period of years. A visit to the AHCA website in early 2018 shows one Nevada facility active at the silver level: Silver Ridge Health Care Center in Las Vegas. Two Nevada facilities entered at the bronze level in 2018: Silver Hills Healthcare Center in Las Vegas and Sunrise of Henderson. Some recipients from past years remain active and may make it to silver in 2018 or a subsequent year.

Two Nevada facilities, meanwhile, were recognized in the workplace category through NRC Health: Mission Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Las Vegas and Rosewood in Reno.

A number of Nevada elder care facilities have achieved certification through Music and Memory (https://musicandmemory.org/about/certified-music-and-memory-nursing-homes/). The program is used to increase functioning and decrease agitated behavior in people with dementia. Many facilities around the nation use the personalized music to make bathing and other care routines less of an ordeal.

Home Health and Private Duty Nursing

Home health and private duty nursing represent additional employment options. LPNs may be hired to pay short visits to people to provide doctor prescribed skilled nursing services. Often these services are prescribed for people who have been discharged from the hospital but aren’t quite back on their feet yet; older adults often receive intermittent and short-term in-home nursing services through Medicare.

The following are among the top Medicare-certified home health agencies in Nevada, according to data from Medicare:

  • Reliance Health Care LLC in Las Vegas
  • Genesis Home Health Services in Elko
  • Mesa View Home Care in Mesquite
  • Saint Mary’s Home Care Service in Reno

Nurses may also do shift work with adults or children who need more intensive long-term services.

Some organizations want LPNs who can serve as navigators or carry out intake coordination. Even these nurses may have some direct care duties.

LPN Salary in Nevada

Nevada’s Licensed Practical Nurses earned an average $26.60 an hour in 2017. This makes Nevada the fifth highest paying state in the nation. There is relative parity between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas with each of the four reporting districts within $2.00 of the others.

Related Articles:

Becoming a CNA in Nevada

Becoming a Medical Assistant in Nevada

How to Become an RN in Nevada

RN Programs in Nevada

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