What is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)?

What is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)?

What is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)? Do you want to learn about it?

If you answered YES to the above question, you are at the right place!

In this blog, I have explained about Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in detail, starting from their definition to the amount of money they make.

Topics to be covered in this blog: 

       Definition of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

       Responsibilities of a licensed practical nurse

       Education required to become a licensed practical nurse

       Where does a licensed practical nurse work?

       What are the requirements that a licensed practical nurse should fulfill?

       How much money do licensed practical nurses earn?

       Conclusion

Definition of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) assist physicians and Registered Nurses (RNs) in performing various activities. LPNs perform multiple duties such as caring for the patients, comforting them, and communicating the necessary information.

Now, some people confuse Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) with Registered Nurse (RN). But there are pretty significant differences between them.

Licensed practical nurses perform basic nursing tasks. In contrast, registered nurses have much more authority than the licensed practical nurses. They are allowed to administer medications, offer treatment to patients, etc. Also, in many places, the licensed practical nurses work under the supervision of registered nurses.

Note: In Texas and California, people describe Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) as Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).

Responsibilities of a licensed practical nurse

Licensed practical nurses usually perform basic activities. And, in many cases, LPNs will be beginners who are starting their nursing careers.

The following are the responsibilities of a licensed practical nurse:

       Observe the patient’s health.

       Assist physicians and registered nurses.

       Provide care for wounds and other minor issues.

       Interact with the physician, registered nurse, patient, and the patient’s family members. They interact to convey the patient’s health.

       Checks for the patient’s blood pressure, temperature, etc.

       In some places, licensed practical nurses are allowed to administer injections.

Education required to become a licensed practical nurse

To become a licensed practical nurse, you should first complete and acquire a high school degree.

Next, you should enroll in a practical nursing program and acquire a practical nursing certificate. Make sure that the program is accredited. Also, be noted that, in many cases, to get into a nursing program, you have to appear and clear the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam.

Now talking about the program duration, the practical nursing programs usually last for a year. However, the program will only last for around nine months if you opt for the accelerated practical nursing program.

Once you complete the nursing program, you should pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses NCLEX exam to practice as a nurse.

Yeyyy!!! Now you can seek a job and practice as a licensed practical nurse.

Where does a licensed practical nurse work?

Licensed practical nurses work in various places. Some of them include:

       Hospitals

       Nursing homes

       Clinics

       Physician’s office

       Schools, and many more healthcare centers…

Hospitals

Do you know? Fifteen percent of the licensed practical nurses work in hospitals. This statistics is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Isn’t it shocking?

As you all know, in hospitals, many healthcare-related tasks take place. So, there is no doubt that licensed practical nurses are seen in a good number in hospitals.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes are usually utilized by old age people (above 65); also, patients who have long-term illness use them.

In nursing homes, licensed practical nurses take care of patients, satisfy their medical needs, and assist other healthcare professionals in medicating them.

Clinics

Clinics are places where non-emergency outpatient treatment is provided. Licensed practical nurses will provide nursing care to the patients regardless of their age and illness.

Also, the licensed practical nurses assist doctors in treating patients.

Physician’s office

As you all have guessed, a licensed practical nurse’s duty in a physician’s office to assist the physician in treating the patient.

Moreover, by working in a physician’s office, there is a chance of gaining higher experience because you will be working closely with the physician.

Schools

Firstly, in many places, the school nurses have to be Registered Nurses (RNs). However, in some areas, the licensed practical nurses are allowed to work as school nurses.

In places where the licensed practical nurses are not allowed to work as school nurses, you can work under a registered nurse’s supervision.

As a licensed practical nurse of a school, you should provide essential healthcare services to both the students and the staff. This includes first-aid, treating minor wounds, etc.

What are the requirements that a licensed practical nurse should fulfill?

The following are the requirements that a licensed practical nurse should fulfill.

       They should have excellent communication skills as they need to interact with various people.

       They should possess excellent organizational skills.

       They should be kind to the patients. So, patience is a requirement to be a licensed practical nurse.

       They should be able to multi-task.

        Lastly, they should have completed the education required to become a licensed practical nurse.

How much money do licensed practical nurses earn?

Licensed practical nurses make a pretty good amount of money.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), licensed practical nurses earn on average $48,500/year. Sure, the salary is a lot less than registered nurses, but it is pretty good for a beginner.

Moreover, the salary is sufficient to live an average life in the United States.

However, if you are a licensed practical nurse, I highly recommend putting in the effort to become a registered nurse. You may need to spend additional two to three years, but it is worth it!

As a registered nurse, you can make a better income, and there is a high chance that you will have better opportunities.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this content, and I hope that this blog gave you a detailed explanation of the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

If you plan to choose nursing as your career and want a job immediately, becoming a licensed practical nurse is an excellent choice. If you are going to pursue your career as a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, becoming a licensed practical nurse can give you practical experience on how nurses and other healthcare professionals function.

However, if you have the extra time and resources to complete your education and get the license to become a registered nurse, I highly recommend doing so as it is worth it! 

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