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Become A Licensed Nurse Practitioner

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Working As A Licensed Nurse Practitioner

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $71,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Licensed Nurse Practitioner Do

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic medical care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors.

Duties

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses typically do the following:

  • Monitor patients’ health—for example, by checking their blood pressure
  • Administer basic patient care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters
  • Provide for the basic comfort of patients, such as helping them bathe or dress
  • Discuss the care they are providing with patients and listen to their concerns
  • Report patients’ status and concerns to registered nurses and doctors
  • Keep records on patients’ health

Duties of LPNs and LVNs vary, depending on their work setting and the state in which they work. For example, they may reinforce teaching done by registered nurses regarding how family members should care for a relative; help to deliver, care for, and feed infants; collect samples for testing and do routine laboratory tests; or feed patients who need help eating.

LPNs and LVNs may be limited to doing certain tasks, depending on the state where they work. For example, in some states, LPNs with proper training can give medication or start intravenous (IV) drips, but in other states LPNs cannot perform these tasks. State regulations also govern the extent to which LPNs and LVNs must be directly supervised. For example, an LPN may provide certain forms of care only with instructions from a registered nurse.

In some states, experienced licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses oversee and direct other LPNs or LVNs and unlicensed medical staff.

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How To Become A Licensed Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse (LPN or LVN) requires completing an approved educational program. LPNs and LVNs also must have a license.

Education

LPNs and LVNs must complete an approved educational program. These programs award a certificate or diploma and typically take about 1 year to complete, but may take longer. They are commonly found in technical schools and community colleges, although some programs may be available in high schools or hospitals.

Practical nursing programs combine classroom learning in subjects such as nursing, biology, and pharmacology. All programs also include supervised clinical experience.

Contact state boards of nursing for lists of approved programs.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing a state-approved educational program, prospective LPNs and LVNs can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). In all states, they must pass the exam to get a license and work as an LPN or LVN. For more information on the NCLEX-PN examination and a list of state boards of nursing, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

LPNs and LVNs may choose to become certified through professional associations in areas such as gerontology and IV therapy. Certifications show that an LPN or LVN has an advanced level of knowledge about a specific subject.

In addition, employers may prefer to hire candidates who are trained to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Compassion. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses must be empathetic and caring toward the people they serve.

Detail oriented. LPNs and LVNs need to be responsible and detail oriented, because they must make sure that patients get the correct care at the right time.

Interpersonal skills. Interacting with patients and other healthcare providers is a big part of their jobs, so LPNs and LVNs need good interpersonal skills.

Patience. Dealing with sick and injured people may be stressful. LPNs and LVNs should be patient, so they can cope with any stress that stems from providing care to these patients.

Physical stamina. LPNs and LVNs should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as bending over patients for a long time.

Speaking skills. It is important that LPNs and LVNs be able to communicate effectively. For example, they may need to relay information about a patient’s current condition to a registered nurse.

Advancement

With experience, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses may advance to supervisory positions. Some LPNs and LVNs advance to other healthcare occupations. For example, an LPN may complete a LPN to RN education program to become a registered nurse.

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Licensed Nurse Practitioner Typical Career Paths

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Top Skills for A Licensed Nurse Practitioner

  1. Treatment Plans
  2. Medical Records
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assessed and wrote treatment plans and weekly progress note for each client assigned to caseload.
  • Collaborate with medical providers and mental health resources for client's continuity of care and assisting them to meet treatment goals.
  • Performed clinical duties including monitoring vital signs and specimen collection.
  • Provide medication management for adults and children with various mental health disorders.
  • Supervised, and perform various personal care for patient including; vent care, G-tube feeding, trach.

Licensed Nurse Practitioner Demographics

Gender

Female

76.0%

Unknown

14.0%

Male

10.0%
Ethnicity

White

59.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Asian

12.7%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

2.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Licensed Nurse Practitioner Education

Schools

University of Florida

8.7%

University of Illinois at Chicago

8.7%

Middle Tennessee State University

8.7%

Thomas Nelson Community College

4.3%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.3%

New York University

4.3%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.3%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.3%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

4.3%

Boston College

4.3%

Sonoma State University

4.3%

Galen College of Nursing

4.3%

University of Phoenix

4.3%

Spencerian College - Louisville

4.3%

New Horizons Medical Institute

4.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.3%

Hampton University

4.3%

Cardinal Stritch University

4.3%

University of Saint Francis

4.3%

Saint John's University - New York

4.3%
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Majors

Nursing

66.7%

Family Practice Nursing

11.1%

Electrical Engineering

4.4%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

2.2%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.2%

Health Sciences And Services

2.2%

Medical Assisting Services

2.2%

Nursing Science

2.2%

Medicine

2.2%

Law

2.2%

Health And Wellness

2.2%
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Degrees

Masters

55.6%

Bachelors

13.3%

Associate

8.9%

Other

8.9%

License

4.4%

Diploma

4.4%

Doctorate

4.4%
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