Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse

Alt Names:  LPN, Licensed Vocational Nurse, LVN

Career Description

LPNs are professionals who provide direct and basic nursing care to patients.They work alongside Doctors and Registered Nurses (RNs) while often managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

Job Responsibilities

  • Taking patient vital signs and record

  • Report information to appropriate personnel (i.e. RN or Doctor)

  • Monitor and record patients’ health for database

  • Comfort patient and family members. Discuss concerns.

  • Administer medication to patient as prescribed by physician

  • Provide basic wound care including cleaning, bandaging, and inserting catheters

  • Supervise CNAs

  • Help with transportation of patients

Education & Training  

  • Must complete accredited program and receive certificate (programs may be taken in some high schools, community colleges, technical schools, etc)

Important Courses & Info:

  • Certification program usually takes min. 1 year to complete

  • Person must be able to pass a drug test prior to entering in LPN program

License and/or Certification

  • Must pass NCLEX exam from accredited program in order to earn LPN/LVN license


2010 Median Pay: $40,380 per year [Source:BLS.Gov]

Valuable Skills & Qualities

This occupation is good for people who are:

  • Self-motivated

  • Quick thinkers

  • Organized

  • Flexible (may have to work later shifts then posted, or have to fill in for people last minute)

Work Environment/Setting  

Nursing homes, hospitals, physician offices, community elderly care facilities, private homes

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