Increasing Diversity in the Nursing Workforce is a Challenge. Could Licensed Practical Nurses be Part of the Solution?
There are more than 21,000 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in Massachusetts alone. Beginning as an LPN affords those with low income, single parents, career changers, and new immigrants a relatively quick admission to the workforce. This brings a more diverse population into nursing that otherwise may not have the opportunity to enter the profession. There is broad agreement that a diverse nursing workforce is essential to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse population.
These practical nursing students show extreme dedication and commitment by completing rigorous LPN programs, some as short as 10 months, to prepare them to begin their careers. For some, this will be the start of a pathway to becoming a registered nurse (RN) or higher. LPN-to-BSN programs at nursing schools in Massachusetts, for example Holyoke Community College and Fitchburg State University, and Worcester State University, are filling that need.
Hear the stories of some LPN students, LPNs, and other nursing professionals in this short video.