Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Career Video: Becoming an L.P.N.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Career Video: Becoming an L.P.N. Transcript

Within the field of nursing, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are employed by hospitals, clinics and long term care facilities. Their medical knowledge enables them to monitor vital signs and other activities that assist physicians and registered nurses in patient care.


Individuals who enjoy working with people and have an interest in the healthcare field may be perfect as licensed practical nurses. Licensed practical nurses, also known as LPNs, work under physicians and registered nurses to help monitor and care for patients.

Job Skills and Duties

Licensed practical nurses must know how to take basic measurements, such as blood pressure, pulse and breathing, and are trained to properly disinfect and dress wounds. Many LPNs spend a great deal of time monitoring patients by running laboratory tests on blood and stool or administering more delicate procedures, such as enemas and injections. The responsibilities of an LPN vary by employer. Some LPNs assist registered nurses and physicians in performing more complicated tests and procedures. In smaller practices, LPNs may also be responsible for scheduling appointments and performing other recordkeeping duties. A few states allow LPNs to administer medication and intravenous fluids.

Training Required

All licensed practical nurses must have between one and two years of postsecondary training and pass a National Council on Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Some community and technical colleges offer specific programs that prepare students for licensure as practical nurses. Many students in a registered nursing program will attain LPN status during their studies. All students must pass a state-approved practical nursing program before they qualify to take the NCLEX-PN.

Well Known Jobs within This Field of Expertise

Licensed practical nurses, have several options within the industry. Many nurses work in hospitals under the supervision of registered nurses and doctors. These positions often deal with a variety of patients. Some practical nurses work in private home health care. Long term health care facilities, such as those for the elderly, employ LPNs. Nurses in long-term facilities may be put in charge of a team of nurse's aides and orderlies. In all instances, however, the nurse maintains the title of licensed practical nurse.


A licensed practical nurse is trained to provide comfort and assistance, both to caregivers and patients. A successful entrant into the world of practical nursing must be ready to work evenings, weekends and holidays. If you enjoy working with people and working in an industry that changes people's lives, a career in licensed practical nursing may be right for you.


Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupation Outlook Handbook - LPNs

Wikipedia - Licensed Practical Nurse

Wikipedia - NCLEX-PN

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