If you have a passion for helping people and are matter to in a reward, challenging and exciting career in healthcare — a job as an LPN may be the proper place to start .
What is a Licensed Practical Nurse?
Licensed practical nurses (LPN) are sometimes called licensed vocational nurses (LVN), and they are in demand in the United States, along with many careers in healthcare. According to the BLS, employment of license practical and licensed vocational nurses ( LPNs and LVNs ) is projected to grow 9 percentage from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations .
LPNs or LVNs provide medical care to patients, under the supervision of senior nursing staff. The senior staff typically consists of RNs or nurses who hold advanced degrees, doctors, and other licensed healthcare professionals. As LPNs get more feel they may become supervisors and manage early LPNs or certified breastfeed assistants ( CNAs ).
How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse
- Obtain a high school diploma or an equivalent education.
- Complete a training program that prepares them to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs. Typically, the educational programs for LPNs take about one year to complete.
- In some states, you may need to pass a state-administered licensing test.
Nurses who hold LPN certifications have attained either an consort ’ randomness degree ( 16 % ), some college without a degree ( 38 % ), or a post-secondary certificate ( 35 % ), according to O*NET Online ’ s summary composition for license Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses. The average LPN has likely studied at a community college or technical school and completed practical train to earn a security as a license practical nurse .
If you’re wondering whether an LPN certification is right for you, consider soft skills that may help licensed practical nurses in their day-to-day work. Soft skills are skills that can ’ t inevitably be taught in a classroom, such as compassion, communication, and heed. According to the O*NET report card for LPNs and LVNs, soft skills that may benefit LPNs include :
- Service orientation — LPNs are driven to serve their communities
- Active listening — LPNs are good at listening — and hearing — what other people say
- Speaking — LPNs are good communicators, whether they’re talking to patients or doctors
- Time management — LPNs are good at prioritizing tasks and getting work done on time
- Critical thinking — LPNs must be able to use logic and reason to identify issues and solve problems
- Active learning — Healthcare providers must be eager and willing to continue their education throughout their careers
The career lookout for LPNs, like most healthcare professions, is greater than the national average for all occupations. For many nurses, becoming an LPN is just the beginning of a career path in nurse. Some accredited practical nurses go on to earn early degrees to possibly advance their careers, such as an LPN to RN degree .
What Do LPNs Do?
LPNs play important roles in healthcare settings. They provide supportive care to other healthcare providers, whether it is clinical, administrative or a combination of both. LPNs are much “ frontline ” healthcare providers who have direct contact with patients. The specific tasks that LPNs perform include :
- Checking vitals signs such as blood pressure and pulse rates
- Administering basic care such as changing bandages
- Helping patients bathe, dress, eat and perform other self-care tasks
- Recording and reporting patient histories and concerns to registered nurses, doctors and other practitioners
- Collecting samples for laboratory tests
- Inserting catheters and IVs (in some states, with specialized training)
- Administering medication (in some states) under the supervision of an RN, nurse practitioner or doctor
- Cleaning and sterilizing medical equipment and instruments
- Performing clerical work in a healthcare setting
- Training and educating patients and their families or caregivers
- Preparing medical supplies and equipment for doctors and other healthcare practitioners to use to diagnose and treat patients
- Preparing patients for medical procedures
- Ordering medical equipment and supplies
- Assisting nurses and doctors during patient exams
Your duties as an LPN will vary depending on the type of healthcare environment you work in. LPNs in hospitals may have very unlike roles from LPNs who work in private practice or home plate health agencies, which you ’ ll determine in the future section .
Where Do LPNs Work?
According to the BLS, most LPNs ( 38 % ) study in nursing and residential care facilities. Licensed virtual nurses besides work in hospitals ( 14 % ), doctor offices ( 13 % ), home healthcare agencies ( 12 % ) and in government facilities ( 7 % ) .
Nursing and residential care facilities: Licensed hardheaded nurses will have different duties according to the state they live in. Some states will require that LPNs start intravenous ( IV ) drips and give medications, while other states don ’ metric ton allow LPNs to perform these tasks. In some states, an experience license virtual nurse will supervise and lead a team of LVNs or LPNs.
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Hospitals: According to the BLS, hospitals hire a good fortune of LPNs to assist their daily work. Your title may be different, such as occupational health nurse, medical assistant or nurse assistant .
Private practice: While most LPNs employment in nursing homes and long-run concern facilities, they besides find rewarding careers in a variety of settings. If you earn certificates or train in a specialize field such as geriatrics, pediatrics, dermatology or any number of medical specialties, you may have an easier time finding a problem with a private practice. LPNs who work in doctor offices perform a combination of healthcare and administrative roles .
Home health agencies: LPNs who work for home health agencies travel to patients ’ homes to help with basic care such as administering medicine, delivering supplies, changing wounds, and providing care to patients in their homes .
Government: A small number of LPN jobs are through federal, express, and local anesthetic politics agencies, such as state-owned and operate hospitals and clinics. LPNs at these locations do similar jobs as they would at non-government hospitals, clinics and agencies. If you are fortunate enough to work for a government agency as an LPN, you ’ d likely earn a higher than average wage ; the BLS reports LPNs in politics average $ 48,050 per year as of 2018 .
Licensed Practical Nurse Salary
Licensed virtual nurses are in demand in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The more experience you have as an LPN, the higher your earning potential may be. LPNs reported an average annual wage in 2020 of $ 48,820 in the United States, according to O*NET ’ s drumhead for LPNs and LVNs .
Different skills can also influence how much licensed practical nurses make. LPNs in long-run wish, geriatrics, wreathe care, home health and hospice may earn different wages than LPNs who work in pediatrics, operating room and family practices.
While license practical nurses have less schooling than other nurses, they are hush critical to the wellbeing of their patients. If you ’ re tidal bore to begin working in the aesculapian discipline, this may be the right plaza for you to begin your career .
This foliate includes data from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration ( USDOL/ETA ). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a hallmark of USDOL/ETA .
Information last updated January 2022.