Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) have become a promising career in the growing health care industry. They provide the basic care to the patients as well as perform important tasks such as, taking blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and respiration under the guidance of physicians and registered nurses. In California and Texas, they are known as Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs).
Doing an LPN program opens a varied field of opportunities for employment if the person is hard working, aiding nature and dedicated to work with sick people. Being an LPN, one may practice at home health care services, nursing care facilities, offices of physicians or general medical and physical hospitals.
The completion of LPN training takes time duration between 9 months and 18 months. It requires one to pay heed to classroom studies and the extra clinical practices under supervised guidance. A good LPN program provides the candidate with all the required knowledge for the career.
After LPN training, it is required by the applicant to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). This examination is conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It is a computer based examination having changing length. On successfully passing through this examination, one obtains a licensure to work as an LPN.
LPN training is provided by the state approved training centers, such as high schools, vocational schools, technical schools, junior colleges, community colleges, and hospitals. The training curriculum of LPN programs changes from one program to the next program. But generally the following topics are covered in many programs:
- Nutrition and diet therapy
- Fundamentals of Nursing
- Medical surgical nursing
- Introduction to Pharmacology
- Growth and development
- Maternal and child health care
- Contemporary Health Issues & Vocational Adjustment
- Obstetrics nursing
- First Aid
The overall outlook of the job is very good and will stay the same in the upcoming years. The overall salary of a LPN varies according to different states, work environment and nature of job. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics the national mean annual wages of a LPN were $41,360 in May, 2010.
There is always an opportunity for advancement in this profession, such as, becoming a registered nurse, a occupational therapist assistant or a psychiatric technician, through different programs.
Duties of LPN
Some duties of LPN include the following:
- Proper assessment of patients
- Collecting patients’ health history
- Monitoring patients closely and keeping track of the patients’ conditions
- Collecting samples for various lab tests
- Following the rigid guidelines for controlling infection from spreading
- Preparing and giving injections and enemas to patients
- Providing assistance as and when needed
- Monitoring the medical equipments
- Providing a well-time and effective care to all the patients