If you have considered different nursing jobs, you may have wondered, what is an LPN? A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is responsible for working with and interacting with patients on a daily basis. They typically work as a nurse's aide or assistant, and are trained to address the common needs of a patient before, during or after treatment or surgery. When you're researching nursing careers and trying to find out which career path will be the best match for you, take a close look at the licensed practical nurse job description to find out what the main LPN duties and responsibilities are. Reviewing a job description sample can give you a better idea of what to expect from this type of position, and may include some information about LPN salary ranges and earnings potential.

What is an LPN?

An LPN, or licensed practical nurse, works under the direction and supervision of nurses and physicians to provide basic bedside care to patients. LPNs must complete at least an LPN certification program in order to get their license. LPN training programs can range from up to one year or up to three years in length, and individuals who choose to further their careers may choose to enroll in an LPN to RN bridge program, or complete an four-year BSN degree.

If you've wondered, what is an LPN?, you can take a look at a licensed practical nurse job description or explore career sites that list LPN jobs. In most cases, you'll find a detailed list of key LPN duties and educational requirements for each position.

Licensed Practical Nurse Job Description

The typical licensed practical nurse job description includes information about educational requirements, key roles and responsibilities, number of hours per week required, and who the LPN will report to if employed. If you've recently finished an LPN training or certification program and are looking for your first job, take some time to review the licensed practical nurse job description and job requirements from hospitals, medical clinics and physician's offices in your area. Many of these medical centers and organizations post this type of information online, and also within job listings on major job search sites.

Key LPN Duties

Some of the key LPN duties you will find listed in an licensed practical nurse job description include:

  • Checking vital signs
  • Preparing patients for their visit to the hospital or clinic
  • Preparing patient medical files
  • Reviewing medication charts
  • Administering first aid
  • IV maintenance procedures
  • Overseeing patient hygiene
  • Giving patient massages to bedridden patients
  • Basic home care duties
  • Following physicians orders
  • Caring and dressing wounds
  • Preparing and administering injections
  • Conducting lab tests
  • Managing and monitoring a patient's food and water supply
  • Providing emotional support to patients
  • Educating patients how to take care of themselves after their hospital stay

Since many LPNs work in hospitals, nursing homes, government facilities, private clinics, military facilities and home health care offices, their primary roles and responsibilities may vary slightly by position. They licensed practical nurse job description for each of these positions may also be different, and most positions require a significant amount of multi-tasking. Educating yourself on the different types of LPN duties and expectations for each position can help you better prepare for the job application and interview process.