Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are healthcare professionals who provide basic nursing care to patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and private homes. LPNs work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and physicians and may perform the following duties:
- Administering medication: LPNs may be responsible for administering prescribed medications to patients, including oral, injectable, and topical medications. They must follow the physician’s orders and be aware of any potential side effects or interactions.
- Taking vital signs: LPNs may be responsible for monitoring patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiratory rate. They may use this information to identify changes in a patient’s condition and report any concerns to the RN or physician.
- Providing basic patient care: LPNs may assist patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. They may also help patients move around and perform exercises to maintain mobility and strength.
- Assisting with medical procedures: LPNs may assist RNs and physicians with various medical procedures, such as wound care, catheterization, and injections. They must follow proper infection control protocols and be aware of any potential risks or complications.
- Providing emotional support: LPNs often spend a lot of time with patients and may provide emotional support and companionship to those who are feeling isolated or distressed. They may also provide patient education and help patients and families understand their health conditions and treatment options.
How much money does a LPN make?
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for LPNs was $48,500 as of May 2020. However, LPNs working in certain industries or regions may earn more or less than this amount. Additionally, the BLS reports that there were approximately 740,000 LPNs employed in the United States as of the same timeframe. Most analysts predict the demand for LPNs to increase in coming years, making the decision to pursue a career as an LPN nurse a strong choice.
How do I become a LPN?
To become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you will need to complete a program of study that is approved by your state’s board of nursing. These programs are typically offered at vocational schools, community colleges, and some universities.
The education requirements for LPN programs vary by state, but most programs take about one year to complete and result in a certificate or diploma. Some states may also require LPNs to have an associate degree in nursing (ADN).
To enroll in an LPN program, you will generally need to have a high school diploma or a GED. Some programs may also have additional admission requirements, such as a minimum GPA or prerequisites in subjects such as biology and chemistry.
Once you have completed an LPN program, you will need to pass a licensing exam to become a licensed practical nurse. This exam, known as the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). To be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, you must apply for licensure with your state’s board of nursing and meet any other requirements set by the board.
It is important to note that the education and licensing requirements for LPNs can vary by state, so you should check with your state’s board of nursing for specific information.
If you are a CNA nurse and looking to become a LPN nurse, see our guide here.