What Is an LPN?

When studying what an LPN is, you will see that it is one of the two very broad categories of nursing jobs in our country. Most people are more familiar with the RNs (Registered Nurses), but the role of the LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) is also a very important part of our healthcare system.

In some states, an LPN is sometimes referred to as an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse). There are hospitals with diploma programs for getting initial career training to break into the field of nursing. This on-the-job training is an excellent way to get started. At one time, this was much more widespread. But today, aspiring nurses are getting their Associate’s degree in Nursing or their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

An LPN performs a very broad range of tasks while being supervised by an RN or a doctor. Becoming an LPN requires completing either a one-year or a two-year training program. You could also opt for pursuing a certification in a specialization field like obstetrics or oncology. Vocational schools and many nursing schools offer these LPN programs and give practical experience to their students as well.

Duties and Work Environments for LPNs

Without a degree and armed with just a certificate, the duties of an LPN can consist of:

(1). Taking Vital Signs

(2). Passing Certain Medications

(3). Treating Bed Sores

(4). Changing Dressings

They will not have the same responsibilities as an RN, but their duties are still many and very important. They care for the disabled, the convalescent, or the injured in hospitals.

The work environments for an LPN can be in nursing homes, dental offices, private homes, group homes, public health departments, mental health institutions, and community health clinics.

They perform routine lab tests, record fluid intake and fluid output, feed the patients, and collect samples to be tested. This is done while being supervised by an RN.

Salary and Additional Opportunities

After getting the career training for becoming an LPN, you have the opportunity to continue your education and prepare yourself for a broader range of career options. This means furthering your education to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). There are LPN to BSN programs to help LPNs bridge that gap.

The admission requirements can vary but basically call for your high school diploma/GED or being already employed working as an LPN. Some will require your associate’s degree or passing one of the nursing entrance exams, a CPR certification, or even a thorough criminal background check. These programs can be finished in four years.

The salary for an LPN as of January 18th of 2012 has been expected to be around $47,000 a year. Of course, this depends on many factors such as: location, workplace, and experience. But getting your career training is the first thing to focus on. Get online and find some online programs and get enrolled today.