Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are an essential part of the modern healthcare industry. They provide nursing care under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians. They can take care of anyone from premature infants to the elderly. This article aims to cover all aspects of the LPN job description from typical responsibilities, required skills, mandated education, a typical day, and the salary and job outlook for these professionals.
What Does an LPN Professional Do?
LPNs review medical records, double check patient accuracy, monitor standard health indicators, bathe and clean patients, and communicate with other healthcare professionals in order to keep everyone current on patient needs. They will work in shifts depending on the work environment, require current training and continuing education.
LPN Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities
- Monitor health numbers such as blood pressure and record them accurately.
- Participate in professional development training in order to stay current in the field.
- Spend time with patients and answer their questions, as well as help them with whatever they need.
- Communicate all pertinent health information with other medical professionals.
- Follow HIPPA policy with an understanding of the intersection between patient confidentiality and mandated reporting.
- Assist patients with basic self-care such as bathing, cleaning, and changing bandages.
- Conduct entry admissions making sure to gather all accurate vital signs.
LPN Job Required Skills
Interpersonal skills. Nurses need to interact with colleagues and their patients, that is why it is important that they relate to them. Even routine medical care is nerve-wracking for many people. So empathy and compassion are critical skills for licensed practical nurses to exhibit.
Endurance skills. The LPN job description entails some physical work in order to perform the job. They have to be on their feet for much of the day, move patients, and stand in awkward positions for quite some time.
Detail oriented skills. Accurate records is an extremely important part of healthcare. LPNs are responsible for double checking patient accuracy and recording measurements properly. As well as making sure their patients always get correct care at the right time.
Communication skills. The LPN job description implies having to talk to patients and other medical professionals. This professional must be able to translate medical jargon into language that patients understand but converse in this jargon when talking to other professionals.
How to Become an LPN Professional
Licensed practical nurses must complete a formal education program that provides them with both the theory and practical clinical experience. Related certifications include first aid and CPR. These professionals can continue to earn specialized certificates that enable them to work in high-risk environments.
Education & Training Requirements
Required education programs for LPNs are offered at a variety of institutions including high schools, community colleges, vocational schools, and hospitals. For a full-time student, the average education duration is one year. However, many people take classes on a part-time basis. The curriculum in this program focuses on clinical experiences while at the same time teaching necessary theory and background information.
The clinical time is under supervision and allows nurses to rotate through a variety of possible jobs. For example, some nurses may work in pediatrics and need experience in making children comfortable while others will work with people who have a high risk of falling.
All licensed practical nurses are required to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination. These are state specific licenses but the education they got should allow a nurse to pass the test regardless of geographic area. There are additional optional certifications to show advanced knowledge such as obstetrics or pediatrics. All nurses should have CPR and First Aid certification. LPNs must engage in continuing education in order to stay current on the latest trends.
LPNs do not need any prior work experience in order to gain employment. For some positions, prior experience is better, particularly if they are a shift leader. These professionals will gain some experience through their clinical classroom time. In addition, students who are studying to become nurses can absolutely job shadow or become a certified nurse assistant (CNA) to gain hands-on experience.
Most LPN jobs will require a full-time schedule. However, it is possible to get part-time work because flexibility is the most important job quality. Unless the licensed practical nurses work exclusively in a doctor’s office, they will have to work in shifts. These shifts will rotate between three schedules and the nurses will switch. If an LPN works 12 hour days, they will work three days and if they work 10 hour days they will work four days a week. Overtime hours are absolutely possible for LPNs and they get overtime rates to work holidays.
The salary for LPNs will vary widely based on where and whom they work for. For example, traveling nurses who work for a firm that fills in at different hospitals will get a bigger salary than someone who works directly for the hospital. The median yearly salary of a licensed practical nurse stands at $41,646. While those that work in government, nursing homes, or home health care agencies can make more.
This is an excellent job choice for the future as the industry is projected to grow 16 percent through the year 2024. There are advancement opportunities that are dependent on continuing one’s education. For example, it is possible to move into a supervisory position but an RN degree is often necessary for this. Due to the short training, there is a low cost of tuition. This makes the salary beneficial for the educational investment.
There are several opportunities for these professionals with a year or two of formalized education and the passing of a licensed test to get a job as LPNs. Professionals with the LPN job description will work in a variety of healthcare settings including doctor’s offices and hospitals. Licensed practical nurses are an indispensable part of the healthcare field because of the wide variety of tasks they complete and their comparatively low labor costs.