Overview of an LPN Nursing Career
Most Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN's) are generalists who work in all areas of health care, although some LPN's specialize in a particular setting, such as home health care or long term care. LPN's work under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians. In some settings, such as long term care facilities, LPN's may supervise nursing assistants and patient care technicians.
In most settings, LPN jobs focus on basic bedside care. Common tasks include:
- Gathering patient health histories
- Measuring and recording vital signs
- Preparing and administering medications
- Assisting with bathing, dressing and personal hygiene
- Dressing wounds
- Collecting samples for testing
- Helping RNs and doctors perform tests
- Teaching family members how to care for a relative
Above all, a licensed practical nurse must have a caring, empathetic nature. LPN jobs are not always easy. A good LPN maintains a patient and professional attitude even when patients are confused, agitated or uncooperative.
If you are eager to jump into the booming health care field, an LPN career is a great way to get started. After completing an LPN program that can last up to 14 months (and are available at community colleges, vocational schools and private colleges), you can spend your days helping others. The work will sometimes be hard, but if you do it with compassion, you can be sure you are making a real difference in people's lives. There will always be a need for caring individuals to help the sick, elderly and disabled.