Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

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Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (known as LPNs or LVNs, depending on the state in which they work) provide basic medical care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors.

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses typically do the following:

  • Monitor patients’ health — for example, by checking their blood pressure
  • Administer basic nursing care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters
  • Provide for the basic comfort of patients, such as helping them bathe or dress
  • Discuss health care with patients and listen to their concerns
  • Report patients’ status to registered nurses and doctors
  • Keep records on patients’ health

Duties of LPNs vary, depending on their work setting, For example, they may teach family members how to care for a relative; help to deliver, care for, and feed infants; collect samples for testing and do routine laboratory tests; or feed patients who need help eating.

Because medical care is regulated, LPNs and LVNs may be limited to doing certain tasks, depending on their state. In some states, for example, LPNs with proper training can give medication or start intravenous (IV) drips, while in other states they cannot. State regulations govern the extent to which LPNs and LVNs must be directly supervised; for example, an LPN may provide certain forms of care only with instructions from a registered nurse.

Experienced licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses oversee and direct other LPNs or LVNs and unlicensed medical staff.

Career Outlook: 
Career Outlook data is specific to New Hampshire State.
Number of Jobs 2010: 
2,663
Number of Projected Jobs 2020: 
3,187
Jobs Percentage Change: 
19.7%
Total Annual Openings: 
123
Growth Outlook: 
Very Favorable
June 2013 Entry Level Wage: 
$19.03
June 2013 Mean Wage: 
$22.63
June 2013 Experienced Wage: 
$24.42
Salary Range: 
$40,000 - $60,000
Education Requirements: 
Programs: 
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
License and Certification Requirements: 
Coding Certification Required: 
Yes
Coding License Required: 
Yes
Certification(s) Required: 
Yes
License Required: 
Yes
License Requirements: 
To be licensed you must: graduate from an approved program in practical nursing or demonstrate comparable education; submit a notarized criminal history record release form along with a complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency or authorized employee of the Department of Safety, and pass a written examination.
Career Categories: 

Types of Work:

Workplace Environment: 
Community-Based Setting or Patients' Homes
Hospital
Private Medical Practice or Private Company
Types of Interaction: 
Direct Patient Interaction
Integrated Team Member