Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse Career
Median Salary $40,380/year or $19.42/hour
Education Requirements Postsecondary non-degree award
Professionals Employed 752,300
10 Years Job Outlook 22%
10 Years Job Growth 168,500

Licensed practical nurses can work in hospitals, nursing facilities, physician’s office, dental offices, community health clinics, mental health institutions, elderly care facilities, nursing care facilities and other health care agencies. More than 50% of LPNs work in hospitals and nursing care facilities. According to the statics of U.S Bureau of Labor, the demand for licensed practical nurses is increasing day by day. Diverse career opportunities exist for licensed practical nurses.

What is a Licensed Practical Nurse?

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are allowed to pursue their career in various work settings in the health care field. They have to work under the guidance of physicians or registered nurse. They have to perform different duties like taking vital signs, administering medication, giving injections, dressing wounds, performing basic diagnostic tests and observing patients. They have to monitor and record patient progress.

Other job responsibilities of licensed practical nurses include conducting routine laboratory tests, giving massages and rubs, cleaning medical equipment etc. Licensed practical nurse career description illustrates that the candidates in this field should be tactful, caring, and intelligent. The candidates also need to possess good physical stamina and health. They must also own sound judgment and able to maintain good interpersonal relationships, especially with the patients.

Licensed Practical Nurse Salary

If the work has a great influence on the salary of Licensed practical nurse. The average annual salary of a Licensed practical nurse is between $34,260 and $40,400. Nursing care facilities, home health care centers and elderly care facilities provide highest salary to the Licensed practical nurses. Nurses working in physician’s office generally receive low salary.

How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse

Those who interested in this career should take initial preparations in the high school. Such students should start taking courses such as biology, geometry, chemistry, English, algebra, foods and nutrition, psychology, physical education, emergency medical technology, and first aid in their high school education. Many technical schools, junior colleges, vocational schools and community colleges offer training programs in practical nursing. Some universities and hospitals also help to generate skilled Licensed practical nurses.

A high school diploma is the minimum eligibility criteria for entering a practical nursing program. Various programs in practical nursing include theoretical classes and clinical practice. Clinical practice should be conducted under the supervision of physicians or registered nurses. After completing the course, the students have to sit for the licensure exam. This computer based licensure exam is often administrated by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The training program must be state approved.

Advanced Career Opportunities

After earning sufficient experience, licensed practical nurses can work as nursing supervisor. LPNs can enroll in Registered Nursing training programs and which can result in a higher salary improvement for them. An associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a baccalaureate program in nursing will help Licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses. They can also acquire training in specialty areas like pharmacology, gerontology, IV therapy, and long term care. They can make career advancements by completing additional training in specialized areas.