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Become A Licensed Practical Nurse

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Working As A Licensed Practical Nurse

  • 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

  • $42,455

    Average Salary

What Does A Licensed Practical Nurse 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 Practical Nurse

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 Practical Nurse Videos

Role of Licensed Practical Nurses in Alberta, Canada

LPN Salary Job Overview | Income of a Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Career Video from drkit.org

Licensed Practical Nurse Jobs

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Licensed Practical Nurse Career Paths

Licensed Practical Nurse
Registered Nurse Charge Nurse Staff Nurse
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Home Health Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Nurse Staff Nurse
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Nursing Director
Director Of Staff Development
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Director Of Social Services Assistant Systems Administrator
Executive Director/Administrator
10 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director Case Manager Medical Social Worker
Geriatric Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Clinician
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Instructor Analyst Medical Coder
Health Information Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Pediatric Nurse Nurse Occupational Health Nurse
Health Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Security Officer Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director Director Of Health Services
Home Service Director
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Nursing Director Clinical Services Director
Hospice Director
12 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Clinical Liaison Medical Science Liaison
Medical Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Education Coordinator Paramedic
Medical Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Charge Nurse Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Patient Care Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Nurse 5.9 years
Registered Nurse 5.2 years
Head Nurse 4.2 years
Nurse Coordinator 3.4 years
Field Nurse 3.1 years
Nurse 3.1 years
Practical Nurse 3.1 years
General Duty Nurse 3.1 years
Private Duty Nurse 2.9 years
PRN 2.6 years
Nurse Technician 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Licensed Practical Nurse
Nurse 7.0%
Cashier 3.3%
Top Careers After Licensed Practical Nurse
Staff Nurse 11.9%
Nurse 8.5%

Do you work as a Licensed Practical Nurse?

Licensed Practical Nurse Demographics

Gender

Female

87.4%

Male

11.0%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

63.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.1%

French

8.4%

Tagalog

3.9%

Portuguese

2.4%

Russian

2.1%

Hindi

1.6%

German

1.5%

Korean

1.2%

Chinese

0.9%

Dakota

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Italian

0.7%

Japanese

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Hmong

0.6%

Urdu

0.5%

Thai

0.5%

Filipino

0.5%

Mandarin

0.5%

Arabic

0.4%
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Licensed Practical Nurse Education

Schools

Excelsior College

14.9%

University of Phoenix

12.2%

Grand Canyon University

7.8%

ECPI University

6.7%

Walden University

5.6%

Indiana State University

5.2%

Galen College of Nursing

4.8%

Hinds Community College

4.7%

Kaplan University

4.6%

Chamberlain College of Nursing

4.4%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.7%

South Texas College

3.1%

Tyler Junior College

3.1%

Navarro College

3.0%

Rasmussen College

3.0%

Weber State University

2.9%

Indiana Wesleyan University

2.6%

Medical Career Institute

2.6%

South Plains College

2.5%

South University

2.4%
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Majors

Nursing

75.4%

Nursing Assistants

7.7%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.9%

Business

2.1%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Education

1.1%

General Studies

1.1%

Psychology

1.0%

Clinical Psychology

1.0%

Nursing Science

1.0%

Medical Assisting Services

0.9%

Liberal Arts

0.6%

Medical Technician

0.6%

Health Sciences And Services

0.6%

Management

0.5%

Biology

0.4%

Family Practice Nursing

0.4%

Criminal Justice

0.4%

Social Work

0.3%

Elementary Education

0.3%
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Degrees

Other

26.3%

Associate

19.9%

License

18.5%

Bachelors

12.8%

Diploma

8.7%

Certificate

8.0%

Masters

5.4%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Licensed Practical Nurse Videos

Role of Licensed Practical Nurses in Alberta, Canada

LPN Salary Job Overview | Income of a Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Career Video from drkit.org

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Licensed Practical Nurse Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
LVN Case Manager Intra Care Home Health Providers, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 16, 2013 $62,360
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses St. Jude Home Health Corporation Downey, CA Apr 07, 2010 $58,436 -
$66,784
Licensed Vocational Nurse St. Jude Home Health Corporation Downey, CA May 31, 2012 $58,240 -
$66,560
Licensed Vocational Nurse Oakgrove Spring Care Center Oakland, CA Sep 09, 2010 $57,205
Rn/Lvn Supervisor Trisun Healthcare LLC Austin, TX Oct 01, 2010 $54,554
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Edgewater Convalescent Hospital, Inc. Long Beach, CA Dec 17, 2010 $54,262
Licensed Practical & Licensed Vocational Nurse The Center at Parkwest CA Jan 27, 2011 $53,331
Licensed Practical Nurse United Staffing Registry DBA United Home Care NY Nov 27, 2009 $52,175
Licensed Practical & Licensed Vocational Nurses Young Tigers Inc. DBA Total Care Home Health Agenc Riverside, CA Dec 29, 2010 $52,000
Licensed Practical Nurse Oak Park LLC Perth Amboy, NJ Sep 15, 2012 $52,000
Licensed Practical Nurse Oak Park, LLC Perth Amboy, NJ Nov 17, 2011 $52,000
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Edna Rojas Inc. Anaheim, CA Mar 08, 2013 $51,132 -
$27
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Healthcare Staffing Consulting LLC DBA Cedar Hill Healthcare Center Cedar Grove, NJ Sep 02, 2011 $50,482
Licensed Practical Nurse Dependable Nursing Services LLC Baltimore, MD Mar 10, 2009 $43,597
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse Northern Manhattan Nursing Home New York, NY Oct 18, 2010 $43,577
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses National Mentor Management Inc. DBA Care Meridian Silverado Resort, CA Jul 12, 2010 $43,284
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Union Plaza Nursing Home, Inc. NY Aug 13, 2014 $43,000
Licensed Practical Nurse Hebrew Homes of South Beach, Inc. Miami Beach, FL Jan 11, 2010 $42,095
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Chandler Convalescent Hospital CA Nov 13, 2009 $41,740
Licensed Vocational Nurse Holiday Manor Care Center Parksdale, CA May 04, 2009 $41,740
Licensed Practical Vocational Nurses Pro Source Rehab, Inc. Rancho Palos Verdes, CA Jan 22, 2009 $41,740
Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Healthnet Home Care Services, Inc. Burbank, CA Sep 08, 2015 $38,230
Licensed Practical Nurse Rosdrio E. Magno Int'l Staffing, Inc. New York, NY Jun 20, 2011 $38,129
Licensed Vocational Nurse Ensign Montgomery LLC DBA Park View Gardens Santa Rosa, CA Feb 12, 2008 $38,088
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Professional Placement & Recruitment Inc. NY Dec 02, 2009 $37,963
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Community Extended Care Hospital Montclair, CA Jun 27, 2008 $37,566
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Regent Care Center of San Antonio III, LP DBA San Antonio, TX Nov 27, 2007 $36,941
Licensed Practical & Licensed Vocational Nurses United Care Provider, Incorporated Baldwin Park, CA Mar 01, 2010 $36,689
Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Annex Healthcare Providers, Inc. CA Mar 11, 2016 $36,566

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Top Skills for A Licensed Practical Nurse

  1. Wound Care
  2. Vital Signs
  3. Blood Pressure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided wound care and medication administration, assisted physician with minimally invasive procedures, prepared and conducted sick-call
  • Measured and recorded patient's vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration, height and weight.
  • Monitored patients glucose and blood pressure regularly.
  • Perform medication administration and CNA supervision.
  • Optimized wellness levels of medically fragile patients as an LPN within assisted living and skilled nursing environments

What is it like to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse

4.0

Pediatric

March 26, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Licensed Practical Nurse

What do you like the most about working as Licensed Practical Nurse?

Working with children and families most state regulations that inhibit the best care for patients from getting the least prohibitive care necessary for the best outcomes of treatment

How Would You Rate Working As a Licensed Practical Nurse?

Are you working as a Licensed Practical Nurse? Help us rate Licensed Practical Nurse as a Career.

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Top 10 Best States for Licensed Practical Nurses

  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Rhode Island
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Nevada
  6. Delaware
  7. Arizona
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Vermont
  10. New Jersey
  • (369 jobs)
  • (2,183 jobs)
  • (541 jobs)
  • (1,391 jobs)
  • (1,022 jobs)
  • (539 jobs)
  • (2,673 jobs)
  • (8,619 jobs)
  • (722 jobs)
  • (4,249 jobs)

Top Licensed Practical Nurse Employers

Jobs From Top Licensed Practical Nurse Employers

Licensed Practical Nurse Videos

Role of Licensed Practical Nurses in Alberta, Canada

LPN Salary Job Overview | Income of a Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Career Video from drkit.org

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