LPNs, or Licensed Practical Nurse are responsible for a variety of tasks underneath the direction of registered nurses and physicians. They are primarily in charge of caring for sick patients and work in environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, doctors' offices and private homes. Depending on where LPNs work, their job description varies.
Daily Tasks of Licensed Practical Nurses include:
Recording patient history
Take vital signs
Giving medication and immunizations
Supervising Certified Nursing Assistants
Assessing patient reaction to medication
Interacting with family members to understand legal and medical matters
Many LPNs that excel in their work often choose to attend extended education to become Registered Nurses.
LPN Job Education Requirements
Candidates who wish to become LPNs must have a high school diploma or GED. This enables potential LPNs to apply for certification, which is usually a 2 or 3 semester program. Vocation schools or community colleges offer these programs either in person or online. The most reputable programs are certified by the National League for Nursing Accredited Commission. These same schools also offer additional certifications on top of the general LPN, including an IV specialty course and an Immunization specialty course. In all 50 states and Canadian provinces, LPNs must be licensed by state or provincial government and be able to pass a background check.
LPNs looking to seek higher roles typically acquire an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree to eventually become a Register Nurse. Management roles, such as Nurse Manager, require master's or doctoral degrees.
LPN Job Market
Employment for LPNs is projected to grow over 25 percent in the next ten years, which is over double any other non-healthcare related job sector. The increase in elderly patients, preventative healthcare, and diseases such as diabetes and obesity also factor in to the high demand. While LPNs are licensed in general nursing practices, specializations are beneficial and highly sought by employers.
The most highly sought after is the geriatric branch, which provides a higher starting salary than the others.
LPN Job Salary Information
Starting median salaries for LPNs are usually around $43,087 a year. The amount of money increases with specialization, demand, and experience. If LPNs obtain a bachelor's degree to become a registered nurse, the salary balloons to $63,000 a year. Because most LPN programs are the same, the salary wavers very little from the median value.