Nurses provide health care services at hospitals under the guidance of doctors and physicians. After the post-war era, various developments were made in nursing education and it occurred as a different field. Mainly, there are two types of nurses – Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Let us know about LPN, their job description, salary, and duties. Let us know about “LPN Job”
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are professional nurses who work under the guidance and supervision of Registered Nurses (RNs) or doctors in hospitals and healthcare centers. LPNs take care of patients at a personal level and maintain direct contact with them. There are various certified courses for Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in the USA, that can earn a good amount of pennies to the personnel.
Job Description Of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed Practical Nurses in all the states of the USA work under the supervision of registered nurses and doctors at health care centers. There is little variation in their duties from state to state. Some states allow LPNs to do almost all the jobs a registered nurse is allowed to do. Whereas in some states there are strict restrictions for them. These nurses always assist registered nurses in their work and give reports of their jobs to them.
The LPNs take care of the patients at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and even personally at homes. They are the ones who have daily contact with patients. But all their duties are performed under the guidance of superiors like doctors, physicians, and registered nurses. They handle a lot of work at hospitals and have a very hectic day but like registered nurses, they are not allowed to assist in surgeries and give anesthesia.
Duties Of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) work to take good care of patients in public and private hospitals, physician offices, and health care centers. All their duties are guided by a doctor or Regular Nurses. The major duties of LPN are –
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) take care of the personal hygiene of patients.
They regularly make necessary checkups of the patients like – blood pressure, blood sugar level, pulse level, and respiratory functioning.
They communicate with patients and their families to record crucial information about the patient’s case.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) act as the link between patients and Registered Nurses and Doctors. They pass on vital information about a patient’s condition to the doctors and RNs.
Monitor patient’s health regularly.
LPNs insert a urinary catheter into the patients, who require it.
Do dressings of the wounds of the patients.
They give injections and oral medication to patients.
Maintain a medical record of patience with all the necessary details.
Help patients in taking care of hygiene.
Regularly monitor changes in patients and report Registered Nurses and Doctors.
Skills Required For Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) deals with patients every day. They need a variety of skills to perform efficiently in their work. Not everyone can perform the duties of an LPN. There are various hard and soft skills, LPNs have to deal with every kind of patient and follow the doctor’s instructions. The major skills are –
A licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) has to deal with various kinds of patients daily. Not all patients are cooperative. Patients with serious illnesses or serious injuries are tough to handle. They do not cooperate many times due to the pain and suffering they are bearing. Many patients even have the fear of medicines and injections. Handing such patients requires huge patience from the side of a nurse. She has to take patients under confidence and work on them.
Sometimes a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) has to take care of seriously ill patients with incurable diseases. She has to make efforts to make herself comfortable. Many times these LPNs work around patients who are dying. In such a case she has to show compassion towards that patient and take good care of him/her. Ignoring the physical condition of patients, an LPN has to work professionally.
Communication is a very important part of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) job. LPNs communicate with patients about their conditions, symptoms, and recovery to maintain the records. They also communicate with Registered Nurses and doctors to pass on the collected information from patients to them. Hence, they should be good communicators.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) have long working hours. Sometimes they had to work day and night. This job is not a desk job. An LPN has to stay available for patients whenever they call. They also have to help patients physically in dressing, using the bathroom, and taking the bath. This requires a lot of stamina to work continuously without any break.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) have an important responsibility. After the check-up of the doctor, the whole responsibility of patients is up to LPN. She takes care of regular medication and examination of patients, checking any symptoms of illness and managing their diets. Taking care of all the patients under her and keeping in mind all their requirements is a difficult task for which a person has to be a good record keeper and learner.
The Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) should have good observation skills. They have to keep a check on patients regularly. Any symptoms of a patient’s deteriorating condition should be understood by these nurses. Therefore, they can’t miss any single thing, otherwise, they may put the patient’s life into harm.
General knowledge Of Illness, Infection, And Cure
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) should know about general medication, illness, and instructions. So that in an emergency, she can handle the patient till the doctor or registered nurse arrives.
Salary Of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
In the USA a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) could earn a good salary. Their salary is less than Registered Nurses but it is more than the nurse’s aide. The median salary of an LPN in the USA is $47,840 annually. The salary differs from hospital to hospital and from state to state.
The average of 10% highest salaries of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is $63,360 annually. Whereas, the average of bottom 10% salaries is also no less. It is $34,560 annually.
Licensed Practical Nurses work in a health caring environment. At hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics they work under registered nurses or doctors. They also provide services to patients at the personal level by assisting them in their homes. They had to help patients physically, take care of their medicine dosage and healthy conditions. They work continuously during their shifts. Dealing with several patients in a day, reporting everything to the superior became very hectic for the LPN.
The working days of Licensed Practical Nurses have no limit. They have to be ready to work every single day and at any hour of the day. Many times their shifts also exceed for more than 8 hours. In emergency conditions, they can’t move themselves back from performing their duties for any reason.
Scope Of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) In Future
The scope of Licensed Practical Nurses is the work they are allowed to perform. These individuals work at hospitals, health care centers, nursing homes, and clinics. Some LPNs also aid patients personally at their homes. But what tasks they can perform depends on the state policy. After getting some specialized education their scope of operation can also increase in the hospital. On the normal course of business, they assist patients in their routine care like medication and physical aid. Additionally, they also perform the task of record-keeping, from the time a patient comes to the hospital till he/ she recovers fully.
Educational Qualifications Required For Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Job
The educational qualifications of LPN vary from state to state in the USA. But the common requirement in every state is the license. For that, a certificate, degree, or diploma is required. There are so many courses in the USA that have the scope to become an LPN. You have to apply for these courses if you want to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Apart from these, some institutions also ask for a letter of recommendation to admit you to this course.
The applicants who are above the age of 18, have a high school diploma certificate, and have no criminal records can apply for the certificate and diploma courses of LPN.
From the various nursing courses options available in the USA, choose the one with National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) accretion. The NLNAC accretion institutes, colleges, and universities provide training according to standards set by the state nursing body. The type of education they provide is also better than the other institutions that do not have NLNAC accretion. Students of these institutions also have better success rates in the license examinations.
Additionally, the students who want to become Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), should possess an associate degree. This degree could be obtained from a one-year course from any authorized college, institution, university, or hospital. This course includes classroom studies and practical learning through live interactions in hospitals.
Subjects like pharmacy, biology, and nursing are taught in classroom sessions. Whereas hospital experience is also given to students regularly. After which a certificate of practical nursing is provided to the students.
Nowadays, online courses are also available to get an associate degree from reputed institutions. Additionally, the courses are cheap for online learning. The average fee for online tuition is between $1,000 to $2,000. Whereas, the same course at campus costs $1,000 to $15,000.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Training
To get a license to practice as an LPN in the USA, a training program at a hospital or clinic is also necessary with your assistance degree. This is for the practical knowledge of the job of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). This is required to receive before completion of an associate degree. The training could be done as a part of an internship during the associate degree course at any hospital or clinic.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Certificate
After all the degrees and training, finally, a student can apply to get a license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). In the USA, you can receive this certificate by passing the exam conducted by National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). After passing this exam they can get their license according to the state policy. For this, they have to apply to the state board of nursing.
After getting the license, some nurses opt to do certain specialized courses like hospice care, IV therapy, or nephrology. Additionally, to become a registered nurse, there are options of taking a graduate or postgraduate degree in nursing.
The Licensed Practical Nurses works under RNs or doctors. They have crucial responsibilities like taking care of medication, health, and basic needs of patients. To become well versed in their duties, LPNs require skills like patience, compassion, and stamina. To learn these skills and other aspects of their job as an LPN at reputed hospitals there are certified courses available for the students. On completion of various courses and training programs, a student becomes eligible to appear for the license exam. On passing the exams, they can get jobs as LPNs in hospitals or clinics at a good pay scale.
- Do the regulations for Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) vary from state to state in the USA?
Answer: Yes, the medication Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) provides varies from state to state. Hence, it is advisable to check the regulations of the state before applying for the LPN post.
- From where students can receive their license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in hospitals or clinics?
Answer: After passing the exam conducted by National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN), one can receive their practice license from the state nursing body.
- Which Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) job pays the highest salary?
Answer: Rehabilitation LPNs, who work under registered nurses (RNs) and physicians receive the highest salary. Their average annual salary is $50,000.