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An Overview of a LPNs Job

Many people are interested in a career in nursing, particularly as a licensed practical nurse, but many are unsure what the job entails. If you have found yourself asking, "What is a LPN?" this article should make things a lot clearer.

What is a LPN? - Everything You Need to Know

A LPN program is simply a training program to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Students typically enroll in a LPN school where they can take various LPN classes. There are some schools that offer these classes online, while others require you to attend classes on site.

A licensed practical nurse, also known as a LPN or LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse), is an individual who works in the field of nursing. This individual is given the responsibility to perform a wide range of tasks under the supervision of either a doctor or a registered nurse. A LPN can work in a wide variety of healthcare facilities, including: hospitals, private homes and residential care facilities.


A student must enroll in a 1-2 year LPN training program in order to become a LPN. There are thousands of schools, both online and on-campus, that offer this type of program, and therefore the probability of an institution being near to where you reside is quite high. Many schools offer students the opportunity to pursue certification in their preferred specialization, such as obstetrics or oncology.

After having completed a LPN training program at an accredited institution, students are eligible to sit in for the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses). If this exam is passed, students can then apply to LPN positions and can start to practice nursing legally.

Many individuals interested in becoming a LPN give themselves a head start by doing their utmost to excel in biology in high school or by learning a foreign language so they can work in mixed population areas.

LPN Job Duties

LPN job duties consist of performing basic routine tasks such as: taking vital signs, helping patients bathe and go to the bathroom, monitor patients, collect specimens for testing and charting changes in patients' conditions. However, more complex tasks may also be carried out, although these tasks are usually carried out under the supervision of a doctor or registered nurse; such duties may include: performing minor procedures, giving injections, starting intravenous drips and changing dressings.

Employment Outlook

There are many job opportunities available for LPNs, and in fact, job opportunities are expected to increase by 21% up until 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is largely in part due to the increase of healthcare needed by an aging population and the constantly improving medical treatment options available.

What is a LPN's Salary?

As of 2010, the average salary for LPNs is $41,300. Those in the top 10th percentile, or in other words the highest earners, take home an average of $56,100 a year, and those in the bottom 10th percentile (lowest earners) earn an average of $29,700 a year.

You should now have a much better understanding of what a LPN is, including the duties an individual holding this position will be expected to undertake, the education required to become a LPN, the employment outlook and the salary that can be expected to be earned.

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