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Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) work in different types of settings and are an important part of the health care system.
Duties and Responsibilities of an LPN
A Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN performs a wide range of duties that include taking vital signs, giving injections, observing patients, performing diagnostic tests, administering medication and dressing wounds. Often, they provide bedside care. They also help patients undertake their day-to-day activities such as dressing, eating, bathing and exercising. The monitoring and cleaning of medical equipment also comes under their framework of responsibilities. They may educate patients regarding healthy habits or teach family members how to care for a relative. Experienced practical nurses may supervise nursing aides or assistants. In some states, LPN’s are allowed to start intravenous fluids or provide care to patients who are dependent on ventilators.
LPNs mostly works under the supervision of physicians, registered nurses or dentists. They can undergo specialized training in areas such as surgery/recovery, pediatrics, psychiatry and obstetrics. It is also the responsibility of the licensed practical nurses to observe the reactions of patients to treatments and medications and report the results to the physician in charge or the registered nurse.
High School Preparation
Those who are interested in LPN jobs can join an LPN program. Individuals interested in a career as a licensed practical nurse should choose subjects such as chemistry, biology, psychology, algebra, first aid, emergency medical technology, food and nutrition, physical education, English and computer skills.
Students having a high school diploma or the equivalent can register themselves in a practical nursing program. On completion of the accredited program, the student must pass the National Council Licensure Examination to become a full-fledged Licensed Practical Nurse. Programs may comprise of both supervised clinical practice and classroom coaching in patient care. Individuals interested in pursuing such a career can contact LPN schools to learn more about the nurse job description in their state.
Students can enroll for these programs in two ways. Firstly, they can signup for LPN related courses in a nursing college. The nursing colleges offering these programs are many and students can find one easily in their area. The Red Cross also offers LPN programs in more than 30 cities. The second method for enrolling involves getting admission in any nursing college online. These online colleges are affordable, flexible and enable students to pursue their studies within the confines of their own home. This method of admission also helps students to cut their transport expenses.
Once the training is over, students should appear in the NCLEX PN examination. They can get their license to kick-start their career as an Licensed Practical Nurse once they pass this exam. Several nursing associations conduct this examination. Although this license is not stipulated as being mandatory by the government, getting it is beneficial since employers prefer to appoint only those having proper certifications or licenses.
Individuals who are interested in working as LPN’s must have other pre-requisites such as a tactful and caring nature, above average levels of intelligence and sound judgmental skills; these along with physical stamina and good health are crucial in this field of work. The nurses should also be able to maintain good relationships with their colleagues as well as their patients.
To get more information on the reputable LPN program in a district, individuals can get in touch with the nearest community college or vocational school. Several Universities offer 3 year and four year nursing programs that are similar to the standard LPN programs. Students must verify in advance whether the program they are enrolling for is accredited and approved by their state’s Nursing Board. Since LPN programs involve a lot of clinical time, these are usually only available in person.
A Licensed Practical Nurse is required to work in different types of settings or health care facilities namely nursing homes, hospitals, mental health institutions, dental offices, community health clinics, private homes and others. A licensed practical nurse who is employed in a clinic or hospital has to work for five days every week. Since their work involves moving patients in and out of their rooms and standing for long hours, these nurses can experience backaches and viral diseases. On an average, these nurses can earn around 45,000 dollars annually. However, their exact LPN salary will depend on factors such as their certification, the place where they are employed, their years of experience and other similar factors.
Employment opportunities for an LPN are expected to be excellent in the future. More and more LPN schools are offering LPN programs to meet the growing demand for such nurses. The need to replace old employees will also create additional demand for LPNs in all types of health care facilities. The general growth of health care coupled with the growing senior population will also create an acute demand for these nurses all around the world.