Licensed practical nurses in demand for meaningful careers

| August 2, 2014

NEWARK – The field of nursing is dynamic and the job market is still solid in our region and beyond, according to Sandra Walker, dean of health sciences at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC).

“Practical nursing is a great place to start in the field with an expanding job market, partly due to our population living longer and requiring long-term care,” she said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

And earnings are higher than most expect.

“Licensed practical nurses (LPN) report earnings of between $17 and $20 per hour at long-term health care facilities in the region,” said Walker.

Additionally, many LPN continue to work while pursuing the associate degree in nursing and some employers will assist with the cost of that tuition, Walker added.

Statewide average starting salaries for LPN is $41,540 according Ohio Labor Market information for 2013 found at At COTC, the nursing programs include a one-year certificate in practical nursing along with the associate degree in nursing (ADN), the LPN to ADN transition, and the state-tested nurse’s aide certificate.

“Being a licensed practical nurse has really helped motivate me…I love nursing and don’t think I’d change my profession for the world,” said Robyn Johnson, COTC associate degree nursing student. “After being off for a few days, my residents tell me they missed me. I’ve even had family members stop me in the store to say what a difference I made (in the life of their loved one). It’s a very rewarding field, and you really are appreciated for what you do.”

Johnson, who graduated from COTC’s practical nursing certificate program in summer 2012, works as an LPN at Tuscany Gardens skilled nursing facility in Pataskala.

“The job market is good, you just have to be persistent,” she said. “The COTC nursing program is tough, but I’d recommend it. It’s a two-way street. They want you to succeed but you have to really want it and put in the hard work!”

The COTC practical nursing program offers a fast-track into the nursing field with a one-year plan of study. The curriculum provides a balance of general education and technical, hands-on nursing courses for a strong foundation. Clinical laboratory experiences are an integral part of the program. LPNs work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors, and are responsible for administering basic nursing care and monitoring a patient’s health. Interested students should apply to COTC before Oct. 15 for the next opportunity to be admitted into the practical nursing certificate program that starts in January. For more details and pre-requisite information, go to

Central Ohio Technical College is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.

Category: Education

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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