Licensed Practical Nurses Career

Licensed practical nurses take care of people who are injured, sick, disabled, or convalescent under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians. These nurses are also called licensed vocational nurses. The nature of supervision and direction may vary by job settings and state.

Job Prospect
The job of licensed practical nurses is to care for patients in various ways. These nurses measure and record patient's signs such as weight, height, blood pressure, temperature, respiration, and pulse. They may prepare and give enemas and injections, dress wounds, monitor catheters, and give alcohol massages and rubs. In order to keep patients comfortable, they help with dressing, bathing, moving in bed, walking, standing, and personal hygiene. Sometimes, they may feed patients who need help in having foods. A licensed practical nurse may administer nursing aides and assistants.

Licensed practical nurses are accountable to collect samples to perform everyday laboratory tests. They record food and fluid output and intake. They monitor and clean medical equipment. At times, they may help registered nurses and physicians to execute tests and procedures. Some of the licensed practical nurses may care, deliver, and fed infants.

Licensed practical nurses observe their patients and report undesirable reactions to treatments or medications. These nurses collect information from patients. They check patients and discuss with them to obtain health history and how they feel presently. Subsequently, they use this information to fill in insurance forms, referrals, and pre-authorizations. Consequently, they share this information with doctors and registered nurses to determine what course should be prescribed for the patient.

A licensed practical nurse teaches family members how to take care for patients. They also teach patients about good health habits. Many licensed practical nurses are generalists and serve in almost all sphere of health care. However, some of the nurses serve in specialized settings such as a doctor's office, nursing home, and in home health care.

A licensed practical nurse who serves in a nursing care facilities help to examine resident's needs, supervise, develop care plans, and provide nursing aides. Nurses who work in clinics and doctor's office may be accountable for keeping records, making appointments, and executing other clerical duties. Licensed practical nurses who serve in home health care may teach family members nursing tasks and sometime prepare meals. In many states, licensed practical nurses are allowed to examine prescribed medicine, take care of ventilator dependent patients, and start intravenous fluids.

Work Environment
Many licensed practical nurses in nursing care facilities and hospitals work forty hours a week. However, some of the nurses work on weekends, nights, and holidays because patients need to be cared throughout the day and night. Nurses may require standing long periods and help patients stand, walk, and move in bed.

Licensed practical nurses may face hazards from radiation, caustic chemicals, and infectious diseases. They often cope with the pressure of heavy workloads. Additionally, they may face patients who are agitated, confused, or uncooperative. Licensed practical nurses may need to carry out following responsibilities.


A licensed nurse's responsibility is to collect samples like urine, blood, and sputum from patients. Using these samples, they perform routine tasks in the laboratory. They prepare patients for examinations, treatments, tests, and explain procedures. These nurses prepare food and evaluate them for conformance to recommended diet. They apply compresses, hot water bottles, and ice bags. They make beds and clean rooms.

A licensed practical nurse deals with a number of job duties. They provide personal care and medical treatment to patients in private home settings. They keep rooms orderly, cook foods, and ensure patients are comfortable.

Educational Qualification
Many training programs are offered by community colleges, junior colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. A practical nurse should have license to practice in the states. Candidates who have completed a practical nurse program successfully and passed examination may get into this filed.

In 2006, there were over 1, 500 state approved training programs in the field of practical nursing. Various programs are available from vocational school, technical schools, junior colleges, and community colleges. Universities, colleges, hospitals, hospitals, and high schools offer training programs in this area.

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