Licensed Practical Nurse

Help hospital patients with daily needs, both medical and non-medical.

Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$30,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Licensed Practical Nurses do?

Licensed Practical Nurses provide basic care to people who are sick, injured or disabled.

As an Licensed Practical Nurse (also known as LPNs or Licensed Vocational Nurses, depending on the state) , you work under the supervision of a Doctor or a Registered Nurse. This is because you have less medical training than a Registered Nurse (LPN training usually takes around a year), but that doesn’t mean your job is less important.

You might work in a hospital, nursing home, extended care facilities, doctor’s offices, or private home. No matter where you’re employed, your duties are generally similar: patients rely on you, the Licensed Practical Nurse, to help them complete daily functions –like standing, walking, showering and going to the restroom.

LPNs also monitor vital signs, change dressings, and give injections. You’ll be the first person to notice when a patient has a bad reaction to a treatment or if their condition changes. It’s critical that you notice these details in a patient’s health and know when to report issues to Doctors or Nurses. Your eagle eye will help keep patients healthy and strong.

When you’re not working with patients, you can be found in the lab conducting routine tests or cleaning lab equipment. You also provide administrative support, and complete insurance and referral forms.

You have much more direct, intimate contact with patients than anyone else at the hospital, so it’s important to be both emotionally sensitive and physically strong. Lifting patients with mobility issues out of beds and into wheelchairs can take a toll on your body. Seeing patients under your care die can take a toll on your heart. But the rewards—like seeing a patient recover—can be high.

Should I be a Licensed Practical Nurse?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Clinic Nurse, Home Health Nurse, Home Health Nurse, Licensed Practical See More

    How to become a Licensed Practical Nurse

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