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What Is an LPN?

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) work with patients at medical and health care facilities. They work as part of a health care team supervised by physicians and registered nurses, providing care for patients undergoing medical procedures. They may also help supervise a nursing staff and give injections if the state they are licensed in permits it. Depending on the type of medical facility they are working in, they may help prepare patients for treatment, take vital signs and attend to after-treatment care.

A Career as a LPN

Many licensed practical nurses start out as nursing assistants and attend LPN nursing schools. A typical LPN nursing program can last about a year and results in a certificate or diploma. Working as an LPN is often considered a useful step in many different nursing careers, such as that of a registered nurse (RN), as LPN work can be a great avenue for gaining practical knowledge of the nursing field.

After successfully completing an LPN nursing school program, you must pass a national exam prior to being able to work as an LPN. The examination is the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).

Projected Career Expansion and Salary for a LPN

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job outlook for the licensed practical nurse career field to expand by 12 percent between 2016 and 2026. This above average growth is partially due to an aging population that is living longer due to advances in health care. Salary can vary depending on experience and location, but the annual median pay for LPNs in 2016 was $44,090.

Sources:

1. Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accessed March 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm


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