Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), work
under the direction and supervision of physicians and registered nurses.
Training lasting about 1 year is available in about 1,200 State-approved
programs, mostly in vocational or technical schools.
Applicants for jobs in hospitals may face competition as the number of hospital
jobs for licensed practical nurses declines; however, rapid employment growth is
projected in other health care industries, with the best job opportunities
occurring in nursing care facilities and in home health care services.
Replacement needs will be a major source of job openings, as many workers leave
the occupation permanently.
LPN /LVN - nature of nursing Work
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), care
for the sick, injured, convalescent, and disabled under the direction of
physicians and registered nurses. (The work of physicians and surgeons and of
registered nurses is described elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Most LPNs provide basic bedside care, taking vital signs such as temperature,
blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. They also prepare and give injections
and enemas, monitor catheters, apply dressings, treat bedsores, and give alcohol
rubs and massages. LPNs monitor their patients and report adverse reactions to
medications or treatments. They collect samples for testing, perform routine
laboratory tests, feed patients, and record food and fluid intake and output. To
help keep patients comfortable, LPNs assist with bathing, dressing, and personal
hygiene. In States where the law allows, they may administer prescribed
medicines or start intravenous fluids. Some LPNs help to deliver, care for, and
feed infants. Experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides.
In addition to providing routine bedside care, LPNs in nursing care
facilities help to evaluate residents’ needs, develop care plans, and supervise
the care provided by nursing aides. In doctors’ offices and clinics, they also
may make appointments, keep records, and perform other clerical duties. LPNs who
work in private homes may prepare meals and teach family members simple nursing
Information on Registered Nurses in America:
Information on Licensed Vocational and Practical Nurses in America: