lpn licensed practical nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

lpn licensed practical nurseTo become a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN, you first must have a High School Diploma or equivalent. They then register in a Practical Nursing program. These programs may be comprised of both supervised clinical practice and classroom coaching in patient care.

LPNs used to be under the direction of registered nurses but are now directed by physicians, but they are supervised by Registered Nurses. They typically start work after only one year of study and work in general healthcare with no specialty. They can and often undergo specialized training in areas such as surgery and recovery, pediatrics, psychiatry and obstetrics.

LPNs assist in taking lab samples, general patient care and treatment. It is also the responsibility of the licensed practical nurses to observe the reactions of patients to treatments and medications and report the results to the physician in charge or the registered nurse.

LPNs typically get their schooling from Community or Vocational Colleges and after graduation they are also required to take the National Nursing License Exam, National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses or better known as the (NCLEX-PN).

LPNs usually are not degreed. They only have their Diploma / Certificate from the nursing school in which they graduated. Some however do have a degree.

LPN’s can enroll in an LPN to RN bridge course if they so choose, to advance to the next level in their Nursing career.


Some of the more common duties of an LPN are:

* Taking vital signs, such as temperature, weight and blood pressure.

* Giving the patient medication as prescribed by their physician, including injections.

* Basic wound care, which includes cleaning and bandaging the wound/wounds.

* Taking Medical histories and entering that information into the patients chart and into the computer system.

* Managing IV’s

* Supervising CNA’s (Certified Nursing Assistants)

* Safely moving patients

* Monitor and record food and fluid intake and output.

* Ensure patients and their families understand discharge & release instructions.

* Asses patient’s reactions to medications.

* Asses a patients Mental health.

* Provide emotional support.

* Assist with daily needs such as feeding, bathing and dressing.

* For long term patients, LPN’s monitor a patients skin for rashes and potential bed sores.


lpn programsIn addition to the above common and specific duties of an LPN, there are also Administrative Paperwork responsibilities that they also perform such as:

* Schedule patient appointments

* Keeping Medical records up to date.

* Patient billing

* Working with Insurance companies

* Writing prescriptions at the physicians request.

* Collect samples for testing and perform routine laboratory tests.

* Deliver, care for, and feed infants.

* Prepare and give injections and enemas.

* Monitor catheters.

* Give alcohol rubs and massages.


LPNs will also be trained in the use of Medical software as they will often use computers to input data on the patient. Some of the basic classes that potential LPNs should take while they are in High School are Biology, Advanced Math such as Algebra, Chemistry, and basic computer skills classes if their High School has those classes available as LPNs will use computers frequently on the job.

The median base salary for an LPN is around $40,000 p/year.

All Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse program graduates take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses/Practical Nurses (NCLEX-RN or PN). Obtaining this license is required in order to legally be eligible for employment as a nurse. NCLEX License renewal requirements vary by state and may include continuing education courses and a background check.


LPN Average Salaries by State:

State                                     Hourly Rate                                 Annual


Alabama                                    $13.82                                     $28760

Alaska                                       $18.01                                     $37990

Arizona                                     $16.60                                     $34920

Arkansas                                   $13.52                                     $28140

California                                   $18.84                                     $39570

Colorado                                   $17.27                                     $35990

Connecticut                               $22.58                                     $46890

Delaware                                   $19.89                                     $41460

District of Columbia                $21.85                                     $45450

Florida                                      $19.03                                     $39520

Georgia                                     $14.91                                     $24940

Hawaii                                       $17.35                                     $32590

Idaho                                        $15.50                                     $32160

Illinois                                       $16.90                                     $35010

Indiana                                      $15.89                                     $33020

Iowa                                         $14.66                                     $29890

Kansas                                     $14.71                                     $29870

Kentucky                                  $15.19                                     $31250

Louisiana                                   $13.68                                     $28120

Maine                                        $15.05                                     $31090

Maryland                                   $19.55                                     $40600

Massachusetts                           $22.80                                     $48180

Michigan                                   $17.11                                     $37100

Mississippi                                 $13.01                                     $27280

Missouri                                    $14.58                                     $30280

Montana                                    $13.54                                     $28120

Nebraska                                 $14.77                                     $30610

Nevada                                     $18.02                                     $37480

New Hampshire                        $16.72                                     $34850

New Jersey                               $19.98                                     $41240

New Mexico                             $15.86                                     $32890

New York                                 $16.78                                     $34380

North Carolina                        $15.72                                     $32830

North Dakota                           $13.87                                     $27900

Ohio                                          $16.28                                     $33860

Oklahoma                                 $13.67                                     $27880

Oregon                                      $17.27                                    $35900

Pennsylvania                              $16.91                                     $34950

Rhode Island                             $20.21                                     $43460

South Carolina                        $16.81                                     $34240

South Dakota                           $13.02                                   $27470

Tennessee                                 $14.49                                   $29810

Texas                                        $16.18                                   $34830

Utah                                          $15.18                                   $31330

Vermont                                    $15.02                                   $31440

Virginia                                     $15.66                                   $31990

Washington                               $17.92                                   $35680

West Virginia                             $12.93                                   $26050

Wisconsin                                  $16.78                                   $34120

Wyoming                                   $15.04                                   $32580

Guam                                       $18.89                                   $39230

Puerto Rico                               $7.68                                     $16160

Virgin Islands                             $12.11                                   $25170


Are you currently a LPN? Are you interested in becoming one? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.\


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George Tall

Author at Hug Your Nurse
George Tall works in the legal field, is a father of three, and a husband of a RN for 25 years. He enjoys writing about everything, especially nursing! He has been writing for a living, at least partially, since around 2000. As an author on dozens of websites, he enjoys being factual, while spinning a bit of humor where possible.
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