Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse

Charge Nurse, Clinic Licensed Practical Nurse (CLINIC LPN), Clinic Nurse, Home Health Care Provider   More Names
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Licensed Practical Nurse, Clinic Nurse (LPN, Clinic Nurse), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Nursing Technician, Office Nurse, Pediatric Licensed Practical Nurse (PEDIATRIC LPN), Private Duty Nurse, Triage Licensed Practical Nurse (TRIAGE LPN)
Description

Provide a wide-range of basic patient medical care and treatment for ill, injured, recovering, or disabled persons under the direction of nursing supervisors and doctors.

Care and treatment includes taking temperatures and blood pressures, dressing wounds and treating bedsores, collecting samples for lab analysis, and more. Also answer patients' calls and determine how to assist them and as well as observe, chart, and report changes in patients' conditions while working as part of a team to assess patient needs and develop plans for modified medical care.as well as

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (LPNs) are mainly employed by hospitals, outpatient clinics and treatment centers, and other medical specialty treatment facilities. Yet because they are generalists, they can be found working in many other healthcare settings where basic nursing services are needed.

For example, some LPNs work in nursing homes, doctor's offices, or in-home health care. LPNs in nursing care and hospice (i.e., end-of- life) facilities help to evaluate the needs of residents, develop care plans, and help supervise care provided by other staff, such as nursing aides. In doctors' offices, they may be responsible for making appointments, keeping records, and performing other clerical duties. LPNs who work in home health care may be involved in preparing meals and teaching family members simple nursing tasks.

The majority of LPNs work for private employers, but a number also are employed by local, state, and federal public health agencies, such as local community offices of public health, state health departments, and federal facilities such as U.S. Public Health Service hospitals and clinics or veterans hospitals administered by the Veterans Administration (VA).

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses usually work under the direction of one or more physicians, who are in charge of the overall medical care and treatment being given to patients, or registered nurses (RNs) who have day-to-day responsibilities. In some settings, such as hospitals that treat larger numbers of patients, they also may be under the immediate supervision of a senior LPN. Experienced licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses also may have a role in managing nursing assistants, aides, and orderlies. Exact lines of direction and supervision will vary by job setting and practice as determined by state laws and regulations.

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses provide care for patients in many ways. They provide basic bedside care including measuring and recording patients' vital signs (e.g., height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration). They collect samples such as blood, urine, and sputum from patients and may perform routine tests on these samples. They help prepare patients for examinations (e.g., x-ray), tests (e.g., biopsy), or treatments (e.g. radiation therapy) as well as answer questions about these procedures.

As part of their work, LPNs help keep patients comfortable by assisting them with bathing, dressing and personal hygiene; in standing and walking; and by moving them in the bed to prevent cramps and bed sores. They also may assist in feeding patients who need help eating their meals. Often, they will work with registered nurses to help teach family members how to care for a family member or instruct the patient themselves about self-care activities.

Sometimes LPNs will help physicians and registered nurses perform more complex clinical tests and procedures. In some states, LPNs may be permitted to administer prescribed medicines, start intravenous fluids, and offer care to ventilator-dependent patients. More generally, they also help clean and monitor medical equipment and pass on information about needed supplies.

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses need to be well-organized and able to read and understand written orders and instructions - as well as verbal communications - so that they can correctly carry out patient treatments. Furthermore, they need to be able to build and maintain good personal relationships with their co-workers, including supervisors, doctors, diagnostic and treatment technicians, and other medical staff. Like the registered nurses with whom they work, LPNs need to have a genuine concern for the health and welfare of each of their patients and a sympathetic understanding of the needs and feelings of their families and friends.

The career pathway for LPNs can involve supervisory positions based on experience and training. With more formal education and training, the career pathway also may lead to becoming a registered nurse (RN), an acute or critical care registered nurse, or to further advanced levels of nursing and medical practice.

Credentials Needed: All 50 states and the District of Columbia (plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) require that LPNs be licensed by the state in which they intend to practice. To become licensed, LPN candidates must graduate from an accredited nursing program and pass a national licensure examination.

This national exam is the National Council Licensure Examination - Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). It was developed and is maintained by National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) for use by state boards to test the entry-level nursing competence of candidates for state licensure as licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses. The exam is a computer-based test that covers four major categories: safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity.

After passing the national exam, candidates are ready to complete the licensure process. To see what other requirements your state may have for attaining LPN licensure, such as a criminal background check and application fees, check with your State Board of Nursing. Information links to the various State Boards of Nursing are provided under "Find Programs" for this career as well as from the AboutNursing.com website.

Some Key Things to Remember: Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses provide a wide-range of basic patient medical care and treatment for ill, injured, recovering, or disabled persons under the direction of nursing supervisors and doctors. They are generalists who can be found working in hospitals and other healthcare settings where basic nursing services are needed. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require that LPNs be licensed in the state in which they practice. To become licensed, LPN candidates must graduate from an accredited nursing program, pass a national licensure examination, and meet other state requirements such as a criminal background check and payment of application fees.

More Details
Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
16% - Faster than average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $37,040 - $51,220    Hourly: $18 - $25
Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

No specifc requirement is identified at this time.

Legal Requirements
General/Nationwide
State-Specific
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(Data Drawn from O*NET)
 
      

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

Certificate (High School + 0-4 years, Certificate awarded)
Find Programs

Percent Job Growth:

16% - Faster than average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $37,040 - $51,220

Hourly: $18 - $25