Licensed Practical Nurses


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LPNs provide routine care for the sick or injured. They work in conjunction with RNs and physicians to adhere to a care plan for each patient. RNs typically have a wider scope of practice, such as interacting with doctors and administering medication through IVs.

While the details will depend on the setting they work in, LPNs typically care for several patients over the course of their shift and must manage their time well to ensure patient care plans stay on track.

Licensed Practical Nurse Job Duties and Responsibilities

While an LPN’s scope of practice may be smaller than that of a registered nurse, there are still plenty of important nursing duties on their plates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that LPNs are responsible for a range of patient care and administrative tasks, including:
LNP working responsibilities

  • Monitoring basic patient health such as vital signs and overall condition
  • Changing dressings or inserting catheters
  • Taking patient histories and maintaining documentation
  • Assisting with tests or procedures
  • Providing personal care, such as helping with bathing and toileting
  • Consulting with RNs on care plans


Common Work Settings for License Practical Nurses

While the word “nurse” might make some immediately think of hospitals, LPNs provide care in variety of settings—even including patients’ homes!

Here are a few of the most common places LPNs work and the basic duties they perform:

Nursing homes: According to the BLS, 38 percent of all LPNs work in a nursing care facility.1 In this setting, LPNs are responsible for the day-to-day care of patients. This includes monitoring medication, assisting with personal hygiene, feeding patients and watching for changes in overall health.
Home health care: LPNs work in home health settings under the direction of a physician or RN. They provide bedside care to sick, injured or disabled patients. This care includes monitoring vital signs, giving injections and dressing wounds.
Hospitals: Some LPNs do work in hospitals assisting RNs. They perform basic medical procedures such as checking vital signs, passing medication and may also supervise nursing assistants.
Physician offices: Depending on the type of clinic, LPN duties in outpatient doctor’s offices can include everything from wound care to giving immunizations. They work with all ages and report directly to a physician.
Military: For LPNs who want more excitement, joining the military provides the opportunity to gain experience in an extremely fast-paced setting. LPNs may enlist as medics and assist with emergency care on and off the battlefield.
Correctional facilities: This unique setting requires LPNs to understand the sociological and psychological aspects of treating incarcerated patients. These nurses typically provide both routine illness and emergency care.
Travel: Adventure-seeking LPNs who have more than a year of clinical experience have the option to become a travel nurse. This allows nurses to travel and work in different hospitals across the country for shorter periods of time. Travel LPN duties will be very similar to that of nurses in other settings.
Rehabilitation centers: In this setting, LPNs work on a team to provide therapeutic care to those recovering from trauma, injury, illness and more.

What’s the typical salary for LPNs

Daily roles and responsibilities aren’t the only things that can vary among licensed practical nurses, depending on location and work setting. Your salary will, too. The median per hour salary for licensed practical nurses was ($35-39/hr) in the US in 2022. But this pay can vary significantly depending on the specific region or state that you choose to work in.

Regardless of where you work, you can expect to enjoy quality salary and benefits as a licensed practical nurse.