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Licensed Practical Nurse Schools and Programs

Licensed Practical Nurse Overview

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) works under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses to provide health care to patients with a variety of medical needs. LPNs collect information regarding a patient's symptoms or medical history, and check vital signs like temperature, height , weight, and blood pressure. It is also typical for a LPN to perform routine lab tests, administer injections, and provide bedside patient care like dressing or cleaning wounds or maintaining catheters. Some LPNs also assist with basic newborns care such as bathing and feeding.

LPN Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for an LPN is slightly higher than the average for all occupations. LPNs who work in home health care services and nursing care facilties are expected to have an even higher rate of employment. Between 2006-2016, employment of LPNs is projected to increase by 14 percent.

LPN Salary Information

In 2008, annual salaries for LPNs ranged from $28,000 to $53,000 with a median salary at approximately $40,000. Salary is mostly dependent on the type of employment facility and its location. In some cases, an LPN can choose to continue his/her education and become a registered nurse, which significanty increases the salary range.

How to Become an LPN

A high school diploma is required to enter a training program to become an LPN, however, some high schools offer LPN programs as part of their curriculum. A typical training programs lasts around 1 year. Most LPN training programs are offered at vocational schools or community colleges and combine both classroom work and on-the-job training, often in a hospital or clinic. Upon completion of the nursing program, a student must pass the licensing exam known as the NCLEX-PN to begin a career as an LPN.