To 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.
* 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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