Working long hours. Providing care to dying patients. Delegating tasks. Completing nursing school. Passing the NCLEX. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) work hard and they face complex challenges during their careers and the paths they took to become a nurse.
At NursaTM, we want to recognize the hard work that goes into being an LPN, (or sometimes referred to as an LVN which stands for “licensed vocational nurse”). In order to better comprehend how difficult or challenging it can be to work LPN jobs, we wanted to hear it from the mouth of clinicians. Here is a list of nine challenges faced by LPNs, according to nurses themselves.
9 LPNs Talk About the Challenges They've Faced
1. This LPN works in a specialty that is highly demanding and requires a specific skill set. He talks about his frustration working in this emergency room specialty at an LPN salary:
“I’m an LPN who works in the ER. I do just about the same job for half the pay. I’ll be going back this summer for my RN. When I graduate my RN program I’ll have a year and a half ED experience as a new grad which should land me a job where ever I want or I can continue at my current hospital which I very much enjoy.” - chrizbreck - Reddit
2. This mother became an LPN in order to help make ends meet financially in her home:
“I started working two jobs because one wasn't cutting it and I had no other help financially… As I was just about to give up…” -- Aliyah Jacobs, LPN, shown with her daughters Ava and Ariel Harris." Tweet by Wallace College
3. The following comment comes from a thread on Reddit where a charge LPN float nurse talks about the difficulty of workload:
“I work in a LTC/Rehab facility and my chief complaint is patient load. 2 med passes for 30 residents, assessments, treatments, charting on 25-30, being chastised by management for not dropping everything and coming running when a resident gets a minor skin tear. It's doable, but you have to cut corners (and I mean A LOT of corners) to get your workload done. It's a daily grind that burned me out. I went PRN a week and a half ago, not sure I'll go back to full-time. Two days a month seems about right to me.” - agent_of_entropy - Reddit
4. Nursing school is often the biggest challenge faced by many LPNs. The following LPN took to Facebook to talk about her struggle:
“Nursing School was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Long nights I cried wanting to give up because It was simply so hard, but I kept the faith and prayed so so much! I am overwhelmed with so many different emotions. I lost my grandmother in December of 2020 and it broke me, but I got back up and came even harder in my last semester of nursing school, if nobody else is proud of me I know she is
To my support system ( y’all know who y’all are ) thank y’all for encouraging me and pushing me to do my best in everything, my daughter for being my motivation and my Angel in heaven for making me a strong young woman. LPN
” Facebook user: Treyanna Robinson
5. A lot of times, nurses might feel the preceding shift left a lot on their plate. This LPN takes to TikTok to rant about such a situation:
@naynayreneenay When the blood order was put in at 1pm #nurse #travelnurse #nurselife #rn #nursetok #healthcare #lpn #rant #nursesoftiktok ♬ Lofi - Domknowz
6. Losing or retaining a job can be a struggle for LPNs, especially when they are new to the field. This is the story from a new LPN and the struggles they faced with employment:
“I am a new LPN grad; I graduated in September 2008. I have had some bad experiences. To make a long story short, I was forced to resign from the nursing home job after six weeks of employment. I never made a med error. They said I was too slow. I found out later that it was usual practice for the nurses to chart that meds were given when they were not. At my next job, I made a med error because a patient said he was someone he was not. I should have checked the patients armband. It was my fault, and I realize this. No harm was done to the patient, by the way. Now I’m having trouble finding a job. I feel that my resume is toxic.” - Joseph’s question on Nurse.com
7. A common complaint among LPNs is that people often think they are not actually nurses. One LPN made a Youtube video talking about this type of situation:
8. Delegation is a challenge often cited by LPNs. Sometimes the challenge is delegating tasks to CNAs, such as this nurse describes on Twitter:
“Rant. I’m an LPN. I’m 19 years old. I have CNAS that work under me. (I love my CNAS and I appreciate ALL the work that they do). BUT no matter how old I am. I AM in charge of them. And I hate when some act like I’m below them because of my age.” Posted by Mikayla Boone on Twitter.
9. Another challenge for LPNs is to be called “low-paid nurses”. This nurse on TikTok helps clear up the title and what it stands for:
@alicia_bobeesha (L)icensed (P)ractical (N)urse!!! #Nursesoftiktok #LPN #lpnlife #clinicnurse #nursehumor #lowpaidnurse #imanurse #nurselife #nursesbelike #bekind ♬ original sound - Alicia Salguero