As a licensed practical nurse, you get to perform some basic patient care activities similar to a registered nurse. LPNs have career options, too. You could work at a doctor's office, hospital or nursing home, for instance. Regular duties include checking blood pressure and vital signs, changing bandages and catheters, assisting patients with hygiene and grooming, updating patient health status records and communicating with doctors and nurses.
LPN Role Vs. RN
Your hands-on care responsibilities as an LPN include simpler tasks, such as changing bandage wraps, feeding patients and bathing them. A primary distinction between the LPN role and the RN role is that the LPN also assumes more patient advisory responsibilities. The LPN advises patients on self-care, which the RN has recommended. You would help a new mom feed her baby in the manner the RN suggested, for instance.
The education required to become an LPN is a bit shorter than that of an RN. You just need to complete a one-year nursing diploma that meets your state medical board's standards. Afterward, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted an average annual pay of $42,910 per year as of May 2013.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013: Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses: Work Environment
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Do
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