• career advancement;
  • career consciousness;
  • career motivation;
  • licensed practical nurses;
  • role acceptance

Aim  To investigate the effects of personal and professional variables on career advancement intentions of working Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).

Background  In Japan, two levels of professional nursing licensures, the LPN and the registered nurse (RN), are likely to be integrated in the future. Therefore, it is important to know the career advancement intentions of LPNs.

Method  Questionnaires were sent to a sample of 356 LPNs. Analysis of variance (anova) and discriminative analysis were used.

Results  We found that those who had a positive image of LPNs along with a positive image of RNs were identified as showing interest in career advancement. The results of anova showed that age had a negative effect; however, discriminative analysis suggested that age is not as significant compared with other variables.

Conclusion  Our results indicate that the ‘image of RNs’, and ‘role-acceptance factors’ have an effect on career advancement intentions of LPNs.

Implications for nursing management  Our results suggest that Nursing Managers should create a supportive working environment where the LPN would feel encouraged to carry out the nursing role, thereby creating a positive image of nursing in general which would lead to career motivation and pursuing RN status.