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April 25, 2018 (Cleveland)

NEONI Releases Infographic on Licensed Practical Nurses



NEONI Releases Infographic on Licensed Practical NursesThe number of licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Ohio is shrinking. In 2016, there were 48,539 LPNs licensed in Ohio, down 8.1 percent from 52,838 two years prior. The latest infographic published by NEONI, The Center for Health Affairs’ workforce initiative, highlights this and other key statistics gleaned from an analysis of the most recent LPN licensure dataset from the Ohio Board of Nursing.

The reduction in the number of licensed practical nurses is coming largely from the youngest cohort, those ages 21 to 35, who account for two-thirds of the decrease. This combined with the fact that eight in 10 LPNs ages 25 and younger were actively pursuing or intending to purse their registered nurse (RN) credential, will only accelerate the aging of the LPN workforce. In fact, these effects are already being felt, as the median age of licensed practical nurses in Ohio rose from 43 in 2014 to 44 in 2016. In Northeast Ohio that number is higher. LPNs in this region have a median age of 46.

Given the shrinking workforce, it is perhaps unsurprising that compared to 2014, more LPNs were working as nurses and fewer were unemployed in 2016. In 2014, 80.9 percent of LPNs were working as nurses and 5.7 percent were unemployed and seeking a nursing position. Two years later, 82.6 percent were working as nurses and 3.6 percent were unemployed and seeking work as a nurse.

Hospitals, which employ only 8 percent of the state’s LPNs, are less likely to feel the impact of the shrinking workforce than long-term care settings, which employ nearly half. This will likely exacerbate the challenges associated with accommodating and caring for an aging population and the resulting increased demand for care in nursing home and assisted living settings.

For more data on Ohio’s LPN workforce, take a look at the recently released infographic or contact us. Stay tuned next month, when NEONI will highlight the importance of licensed practical nurses to the racial and ethnic diversity of the overall nursing workforce.