Licensed Practical Nurse LPN jobs & specialties

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), also known as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in some states, provides basic nursing care under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians. LPNs work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and home healthcare.

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In-demand LPN specialties

Licensed Practical Nurses can pursue various specialties to provide specialized care and expertise in specific areas of healthcare. Some common LPN specialties include skilled nursing, behavioral health, and rehabilitation. Specializing as an LPN allows individuals to deepen their knowledge, enhance patient care, and work closely with healthcare teams to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve. Some in-demand LPN specialties include:
  • Assisted Living LPN / LVN
  • Behavioral Health LPN / LVN
  • Med Surg LPN / LVN
  • Rehab LPN / LVN
  • Skilled Nursing LPN / LVN
An LPN stands with arms crossed in a hospital room.

Working as an LPN

The responsibilities of a Licensed Practical Nurse may include:

  • Monitoring patient vital signs: LPNs measure and record patients' blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, and respiration.
  • Administering medications: LPNs may administer prescribed medications, including oral medications, injections, and intravenous fluids.
  • Assisting with patient care: LPNs help with patient hygiene, mobility, and activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and toileting.
  • Wound care: LPNs may clean and dress wounds, monitor healing progress, and provide basic wound care.
  • Collecting samples for testing: LPNs may collect specimens, such as blood or urine samples, for laboratory testing.
  • Performing basic medical procedures: LPNs may perform procedures such as inserting catheters, administering enemas, and changing simple dressings.
  • Providing patient education: LPNs educate patients and their families about healthcare procedures, medication instructions, and self-care techniques.
  • Recording patient information: LPNs maintain accurate and detailed records of patient symptoms, treatments, and progress.
  • Assisting in emergencies: LPNs are trained to respond to medical emergencies and provide immediate care until additional help arrives.

To become a Licensed Practical Nurse, individuals must complete a state-approved practical nursing program, which typically takes about one year to complete. These programs include both classroom instruction and supervised clinical practice. After completing the program, aspiring LPNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to obtain their nursing license.

LPNs work under the guidance and supervision of RNs or physicians. While their scope of practice is more limited compared to RNs, they play a crucial role in providing direct patient care and supporting the healthcare team. LPNs work closely with patients, providing compassionate care and ensuring their comfort and well-being.