Job of a Licensed Practical Nurse

January 4, 2014

The job description of an LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse covers a number of everyday duties ranging from feeding infants to dressing wounds. LPNs receive overall training in all aspects of nursing and can attend to a range of problems, but they can also choose to do additional training to specialize in a particular area.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) are essentially the same. Only the terms are slightly different. The LVN title is used only in California and Texas.

Laura assisting her mentor in the obstetrics and gynaecology department in TanzaniaLicensed Practical Nurses work in medical settings such as clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and physicians’ offices. Some LPNs also work in patients’ homes. Though there is not much of a change in the role, there could be some variation in duties. For instance, LPNs who work in a doctor’s office might also handle some administrative tasks and handle making appointments. On the other hand, an LPN who works in a hospital might find themselves handling advanced nursing responsibilities in an emergency room, for instance.

As a Licensed Practical Nurse, some of the job functions you will perform include:

-Maintain patients’ history records

-Provide bathing /dressing assistance

-Update the doctors about the status of the patient

-Measure the vital signs of a patient

-Assist doctors/registered nurses with various procedures and tests

-Care for and feed infants

-Clean, assemble and use medical equipment

-Monitor a patience response and medication

-Administer and monitor the amount and frequency of medication

-Supervise nursing assistants 

State regulations might set some restrictions on the nature of duties that can be performed by an LPN/LVN or the amount of physician supervision that is required. Typically, licensed practical nurse training covers a wide range of topics, like emergency care and pediatric nursing.

Obtaining LPN Certification

Unlike many other nursing jobs, an LPN does not require a bachelor’s degree or any higher degree to practice bust formal training is still a prerequisite. Usually, Licensed Practical Nurse training programs take around one though there are some shorter programs as well.

Community colleges, trade schools and vocational colleges generally offer LPN/LVN educational programs and some also permit the students to takes online classes. Even if you have opted for flexible online classes, it is best to look for a program that also gives you a lot of hands-on clinical work experience. The school should also be approved and accredited by the board of nursing in the state.

Midwifery students on their work experience placement in the neonatal unit in Thailand. In addition to this, you are also required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination to be able to practice. It is best to check with the board in your state to ensure that the program or course you have opted for is suitable and will give you the necessary certification.

Career options

Once you have received all the required certification, decide which setting you would like to work in. You can opt to work in a hospital, at a physician’s office, at a nursing facility, in any home-health care service setting or even in military nursing. The options are numerous and you can decide which one suits your liking, circumstances and personality the best.