What Do LPNís or LVNís Do?

What are LPN jobs like? What an LPN or LVN does specifically depends on what state they are working in, and in what job setting. In all states, LPNs or LVNs work under the supervision of a doctor or registered nurse. Again, the amount and type of supervision will depend on the state directives and the position.

General Duties and Responsibilities

No matter in which state a nurse is working, there are similarities in all the job descriptions. An LPN cares for patients and provides patient services. They provide support for physicians, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals. LPNs document vital signs and procedures. They discuss health concerns with the patient and medical practitioners, perform tests, and sometimes administer injections. They assist in other procedures as well.

Depending on the work setting, additional duties may include calling pharmacies and ordering prescriptions. LPNs may prepare patient charts and have general office duties. Some jobs require stocking supplies in patient rooms and clinics. LPNs may teach families in home health care settings, evaluate needs in a nursing home facility, or develop health care plans for communities, among other possible duties.

Another element of the job is keeping patients comfortable. Often due to illness, patients need assistance from the LPN for bathing and dressing. In smaller facilities, LPNs help patients with eating or walking. They often help and address personal hygiene issues as well.

Other Considerations

Training for LPNs continues throughout the career. Medical procedures and knowledge are constantly being improved and changing, so nurses must continually update their knowledge and skills. Some states mandate continuing education credits and often employers require specific training to be updated annually.

There are some instances where LPNs can receive special certifications in pharmacology, care of the aging, or intravenous therapy in some states. As an LPN becomes more experienced, additional duties of supervising orderlies and aides may be added. Often in nursing home settings there are advancement opportunities for becoming charge nurses.

If variety is a prerequisite for considering a career, becoming an LPN may be a good choice for you.

Last Updated: 05/22/2014