Practical nurses are typically thought of as assistants to Registered Nurses or nursing home caregivers – but that only begins to scratch the tip of the iceberg in this dynamic career.
Sprott Shaw College offers a world class Practical Nursing program, and Director of Nursing and Health Care Operations Esther Aguilar told Vancity Buzz a few things about this diverse career.
Here are three things you might not have known about Practical Nurses:
1. The scope of duties is expanding
Gone are the days when Practical Nurses were non-emergency caregivers in nursing homes. Now Aguilar says they have more options.
“They can work in acute care too, not just nursing homes. They don’t just assist Registered Nurses either,” she said.
Practical Nurses have their own patient load separate from Registered Nurses and even work in postpartum and are qualified with extra courses to administer immunizations.
2. There’s room for advancement
It doesn’t just stop at being a Practical Nurse. This is a career that has room for growth within the health care field, especially when it comes to nursing homes.
“They are being given opportunities for growth within the field,” Aguilar said.
Most notably, these nurses are becoming care managers and directors of care in nursing homes, which was unheard of previously. More and more employers are recognizing the benefits that hiring a Practical Nurse in a leadership role has, including expertise in the field.
3. Some things about Practical Nursing can’t be taught
Aguilar says it’s all about the personality for being a Practical Nurse.
“Somebody with great cognitive skills, critical thinking skills, abilities to problem solve, people who are professional – they will do well in the field.”
Every student undergoes a personality assessment to make sure they’re fit to be a nurse. Essentially, if you have a kind heart and are passionate about caring for people, you’ll be a great fit for the program.
For more information on the Practical Nursing program, visit sprottshaw.com.