Health Career Center

Vocational/Licensed Practical Nurses

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide routine care for disabled, hospitalized, elderly, ill, and injured patients. They administer patient care under the direction of doctors or registered nurses.

LPNs usually administer bedside care. Additionally, they take blood pressure and other vital signs, prepare patients for intravenous injections, conduct basic laboratory tests, ask patients questions about medication reactions, and apply dressings.

In some states, LPNs are permitted to administer intravenous procedures and controlled mediations. LPNs working at labor and delivery units assist obstetricians with delivery and feed babies. LPNs with years of work experience supervise aides and assistants working under them.

Working Conditions
LPNs employed at assisted living facilities and hospitals usually work 40 hours every week; however, many work holidays, weekends, and nights since patients require 24 hour care. LPNs are on their feet for hours a day and frequently help move immobile patients.

Career Training and Education
LPNs nationwide are required to complete an accredited training program and pass an exam. To qualify for LPN training, you must hold a high school diploma or GED. Additional information about LPN careers can be obtained from these organizations:
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • American Nurses Association
  • National League for Nursing
  • National Student Nurses' Association
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