What Do Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Do?
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LPNs and LVNs) are important entry-level positions in the field of medical care today. Under the supervision of doctors or Registered Nurses (RNs), LPNs and LVNs are a part of the team seeing to a patient’s health and safety. They work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, hospices, private homes, and many other locations where medical care is given.There is no substantial difference between an LPN and an LVN – it is a matter of location. The title “Licensed Vocational Nurse” is used mainly in California and Texas, and “Licensed Practical Nurse” is used throughout the rest of the United States. The duties do not differ.LPNs and LVNs often specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology or gerontology.
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Skills and Abilities
Dealing with illness and injury can be very stressful. LPNs and LVNs need to be cool and level-headed under pressure, and at the same time, very sympathetic to the patients and their families. In addition, being a team player is vital; it is very important to have a thorough understand of your place on the medical team and what you are contributing to the patient’s health and well-being.
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Duties
The focus is always on patient care, and each state determines what LPNs and LVNs specifically can and cannot do medically. However, the duties usually include:
- Administering medications
- Giving injections
- Taking and recording vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate
- Changing dressings
- Feeding patients through tubes
- Caring for patients on ventilators
- Collecting specimens
- Performing CPR when necessary
- Monitoring overall patient health
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Tools and Technology
You will use many of the common medical tools and devices found at patients’ bedsides in your work as an LPN or LVN, such as hypodermic needles, intravenous lines and containers, nebulizers and spirometers. In addition, as the practice of medicine becomes increasingly supported by technology, you will need to be comfortable with a variety of technical tools, such as computerized patient records and medical software.
Education and Training for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
Many community colleges and vocational schools offer training programs to become an LPN or LVN. A high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED, is usually required to begin a training program, and you may also have to pass an entrance exam. Once you have taken the program (usually one to two years of classroom and supervised clinical work), you will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Passing this exam is required to get your license. LPN and LVN positions can be considered entry points into the nursing field, and becoming licensed can be used as a stepping stone to eventually becoming an RN.
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Salary
LPNs and LVNs can earn good wages. They are in demand everywhere, and as health care becomes more and more of a priority for people across the country, demand is expected to grow much faster than average demand across all job categories. In general, LPNs and LVNs earn in the range of $20.43 hourly, or $42,490 a year.
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Jobs by Geography
Health care is a wonderful field to be in, with many job opportunities for LPNs and LVNs in every state. In general, larger states will have more openings with higher-paying jobs, but this position is found everywhere, in all types of medical facilities, and earns good wages regardless of region.