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What is a Practical Nurse

Nurses are important members of healthcare facilities. Some patients would even prefer talking with, and generally being with, nurses instead of doctors. They are often deemed as friendly and understanding. What most people do not know is that there are different career paths available for nurses. One such path is towards being a practical nurse.

Practical nurses, as the name suggests, provide more practical or basic care for patients. They ensure that the patient is comfortable at all times. They are assigned to work with a doctor and/or a registered nurse. They may be assigned to handle laboratory results, take patients' vital signs, and administer treatment courses. Yes, this is one of those roles where you would feel like someone's life is in your hands.

If you have endless patience, you would definitely be a good fit for this role. Of course, you also need to have a stellar performance review in order to succeed.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Practical Nurse. For example, did you know that they make an average of $33.18 an hour? That's $69,024 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 78,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Practical Nurse Do

There are certain skills that many Practical Nurses have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Interpersonal skills, Patience and Speaking skills.

Learn more about what a Practical Nurse does

How To Become a Practical Nurse

If you're interested in becoming a Practical Nurse, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 30.1% of Practical Nurses have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 22.2% of Practical Nurses have master's degrees. Even though most Practical Nurses have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Practical Nurse. When we researched the most common majors for a Practical Nurse, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Master's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Practical Nurse resumes include Associate Degree degrees or Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Practical Nurse. In fact, many Practical Nurse jobs require experience in a role such as Staff Nurse. Meanwhile, many Practical Nurses also have previous career experience in roles such as Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. University Hospitals Jobs (22)
  2. UPMC Jobs (9)
  3. Rutgers University-New Brunswick Jobs (8)
  4. Good Samaritan Hospital Jobs (8)
  5. St. Joseph's Hospital Jobs (12)
Average Salary
$69,024
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
628,482
Job Openings
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Practical Nurse Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Practical Nurse

Practical Nurses in America make an average salary of $69,024 per year or $33 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $99,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $47,000 per year.
Average Salary
$69,024
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How much should you be earning as an Practical Nurse? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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12 Practical Nurse Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Practical Nurse Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Practical Nurse resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Practical Nurse Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. University Hospitals Jobs (22)
  2. UPMC Jobs (9)
  3. Rutgers University-New Brunswick Jobs (8)
  4. Good Samaritan Hospital Jobs (8)
  5. St. Joseph's Hospital Jobs (12)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Practical Nurse Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Practical Nurse templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Practical Nurse resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Practical Nurse Demographics

Practical Nurse Gender Distribution

Male
Male
14%
Female
Female
86%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Practical Nurses, 85.7% of them are women, while 14.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Practical Nurses is White, which makes up 63.7% of all Practical Nurses.

  • The most common foreign language among Practical Nurses is Spanish at 66.4%.

Job Openings

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Practical Nurse Education

Practical Nurse Majors

74.0 %

Practical Nurse Degrees

Bachelors

30.1 %

Masters

22.2 %

Associate

19.8 %

Top Colleges for Practical Nurses

1. Emory University

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,306
Enrollment
6,975

2. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

3. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

4. Maria College of Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,140
Enrollment
876

5. Clarkson College

Omaha, NE • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,392
Enrollment
646

6. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,914
Enrollment
4,155

7. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404

8. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Arecibo

Arecibo, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,872
Enrollment
3,553

9. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Bayamon

Bayamon, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,940
Enrollment
4,169

10. Vermont Technical College

Randolph, VT • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,108
Enrollment
1,350
Job Openings

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Online Courses For Practical Nurse That You May Like

Vohra Wound Care Certification for Facility-Based Nurses
edX (Global)

The Vohra Wound Care Certification program was developed by Vohra Wound Physicians. Vohra is the largest group of wound physicians in the United States, with more than 20 years of clinical experience providing wound care services to more than 3000 skilled nursing facilities in 30 states, with thousands of patients treated every month. We believe every patient, family, nurse, and caregiver can be empowered through education. Hundreds of thousands of people have already benefited from this course...

Essentials of Palliative Care
coursera

This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural consideratio...

Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care
coursera

This course presents basic principles of cancer survivorship to primary-care physicians. Developed by a team of experts in caring for cancer survivors, and narrated by a primary-care physician, this course provides practical tips and tools that can be easily integrated into medical practice. You will learn about the complex physical and psychosocial needs and concerns of the growing number of cancer survivors, along with the key role that primary care physicians have in guiding these patients ba...

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Top Skills For a Practical Nurse

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.0% of Practical Nurses listed Health Care on their resume, but soft skills such as Interpersonal skills and Patience are important as well.

Best States For a Practical Nurse

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Practical Nurse. The best states for people in this position are Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada. Practical Nurses make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $93,511. Whereas in Washington and California, they would average $90,276 and $88,411, respectively. While Practical Nurses would only make an average of $86,581 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Practical Nurse Jobs:
4,929
Highest 10% Earn:
$125,000
Location Quotient:
0.99
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Alaska

Total Practical Nurse Jobs:
642
Highest 10% Earn:
$99,000
Location Quotient:
1.12
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Practical Nurse Jobs:
1,279
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
Location Quotient:
0.89
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Practical Nurses

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