Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) provide basic care to patients and people in need. They monitor patient health, perform care related work, update records and assist patients to improve their health conditions. They mostly focus on sick, injured and disabled patients at various health care settings. They work under the direct supervision of Registered Nurses (RNs) or Physicians.

The Licensed Practical Nurses are trained to handle blood pressure, temperature, pulse and respiration process of the patients. They also know how to help patients with bathing, give injections and fluids, apply ice packs and provide proper food and diet to them. Although their responsibilities are limited and depend on the instructions given by the registered nurses or physicians, they play a vital role in improving health conditions of the patients.

Education Requirements:

1. LPN Program: The aspiring Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) can opt for a one-year program that included a lot of experience in clinical setting. They can opt for coursework in basic nursing, medical terminology, infection control, pharmacology etc.

2. Licensure: The aspiring LPNs must register to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, this certification is must for them to become eligible to practice in the profession.

Licensed Practical Nurses work in many health care settings, including nursing homes, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and private homes. Most of them work full time and are required to show flexibility in timing etc.

Salary & Job Outlook: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses remains excellent and is expected to grow at 25% during the period of 2012-22. The annual average salary for LPNs was $41,920 in May 2013. Some of them earn $58,020 per year.