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Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, are an essential part of the nursing team in a variety of healthcare facilities. LPNs provide basic care to patients and monitor their conditions. They also can collect data from physicians, report this information to registered nurses and give medications as directed by a physician or nurse practitioner. LPNs work with patients who have a variety of medical conditions, ranging from common colds to potentially life-threatening injuries. LPNs also can work in the community providing preventative healthcare screenings and teaching patients about wellness.

LPN programs are available through vocational or technical schools, and the training usually takes around 12 to 16 months. LPNs may receive additional training in order to work in a specialty area, such as long-term care or pediatrics.

After completing a training program, each licensed practical nurse must be licensed by the state where they wish to practice in order to legally give patient care. As part of the licensing requirement, LPNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination-PN (NCLEX-PN). The LPN’s license must then be renewed every two years, typically by completing continuing education courses or working during this period. LPNs should pass a criminal background check with no felony convictions on their records before they can receive a license from the state.

If an LPN wants to work in long-term care, they may need to undergo additional training to work with dementia patients or with bedridden individuals. Likewise, LPNs also may need additional training to work with other types of patients, such as children, the elderly or individuals with mental disabilities. LPN salaries vary widely depending on their location, facility and level of experience.

LPN Frequently Asked Questions

Are LPNs nurses?
A licensed vocational nurse (LVN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a licensed nurse that has completed abbreviated education and clinical hours of instruction. The LVN/LPN works under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse.

The word "nurse" should be used only to refer to an educated, qualified and licensed person in the field of nursing. So yes, LPNs are nurses.

What does an LPN do?
LPNs are licensed to undertake a range of tasks that help patients, including recording patients' vitals, reporting patient status to RNs and doctors, and adding it to patient charts. LPNs also change wound dressings, feed and bathe patients, and follow healthcare plans developed by an RN or a doctor.

What's most difficult about being an LPN?
The most difficult thing about being an LPN can vary depending on the individual, but some of the most common challenges include managing patient care, handling paperwork, and communicating with doctors and other medical professionals. It can be difficult to balance the many different responsibilities that come with the role, and it's important to stay organized and manage your time wisely in order to be effective.

How much do LPNs make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) was $50,090 in 2020 ($24.08 hourly based on a 40-hour workweek). The top 10% of LPN’s earned more than $65,000 per year ($31.50 hourly).

Can an LPN draw blood?
The most important day-to-day responsibilities for LPNs include collecting patient samples for routine laboratory testing, such as urine, feces, saliva, and other bodily fluids. Some LPNs are trained to draw blood to test for certain diseases and infections.

What is the difference between an RN and LPN?
LPNs typically have less training and responsibility than RNs. They usually work under the supervision of registered nurses and are responsible for tasks such as taking vital signs, giving medication, and changing dressings. Some LPNs may also be responsible for teaching patients about their care or providing discharge instructions.

RNs, on the other hand, have more training and are responsible for more complex tasks, such as administering IV therapy or caring for patients in critical care units. They also often provide leadership and direction to LPNs and other nurses on the floor.

So in summary, LPNs are generally responsible for routine tasks whereas RNs have a wider range of responsibilities and more extensive training.

What are the educational requirements to become an LPN?
To become an LPN, you will need to complete a diploma or associate's degree program in nursing from an accredited school. The programs typically last two years and include both classroom instruction and practical training in a healthcare setting.

After completing your education, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). This exam is administered by the National Board of Nursing.

How long does it take to become a LPN?
It typically takes about one year to become a LPN. There are a variety of schools that offer LPN programs, both online and on-campus.

Is becoming an LPN difficult?
It can be difficult if you don't have the right resources. However, there are many great programs out there that can help you prepare for the exam and get started in your new career.

After graduation from an accredited program, candidates must register with the NCLEX and then schedule an appointment to take the test. The NCLEX is a computerized exam that is given in most states throughout the country. Successful completion of the NCLEX allows nurses to practice as licensed practical nurses in all 50 states.

Difference between LPN and LVN?
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are both healthcare professionals who provide basic nursing care. They both work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and doctors.

The main difference between LPNs and LVNs is that LPNs are granted more autonomy in their practice than LVNs. LPNs can perform more tasks independently, such as taking patients' vital signs and recording their intake and output. LVNs, on the other hand, are typically limited to performing basic nursing tasks such as changing bed sheets or giving patients injections.

RNs, CNAs, and LPNs connect to local facilities that are ready to fill nursing jobs immediately through the Nursa app.
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