Practical Nursing (LPN)

Licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, work under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses, assisting in patient care such as bedside care, checking vital signs, and administering injections. They also assist with hygienic and feeding tasks for disabled patients or those who can no longer have the ability to feed themselves. LPNs care for patients who are sick, convalescent, disabled, or who have suffered from an injury.

Some licensed practical nurses work in a specialized setting: a nursing home, physician's office, or in a home healthcare center. Most LPNs work a standard 40-hour week, but some may also work in home nursing facilities with round the clock care, working nights, weekends and holidays.

Licensed practical nurses will experience very good job growth; employment for LPNs is expected to grow much faster than average with 21 percent in growth over the next 10 years. Opportunities will be best for LPNs who work in nursing care facilities and home healthcare services. Licensed practical nurses can advance to the position of registered nurse, become credentialed in nursing specialties, or advance to charge nurse.

Key Facts About Licensed Practical Nurses:

  • The National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN, is required in order to obtain licensure as an LPN.
  • LPNs willing to locate in rural areas should have good job prospects.
  • The employment of LPNs is expected to grow by 21 percent over the next 10 years.
  • LPNs also monitor their patients and report adverse reactions to medications or treatments.
  • LPNs collect test samples, perform routine laboratory tests, record food and fluid intake and output, and maintain medical equipment.

Individuals interested in becoming a licensed practical nurse should contact schools for information on admission and course of study. Due to the increase in an older population and advances in medical technology, nursing, home, and healthcare facilities will experience very good employment opportunities. LPNs work under close supervision and must be able to follow orders. As part of their work, licensed practical nurses assist with all aspects of patient care, providing beside help and keeping patients comfortable.

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