Licensed practical nurses (LPN) go under many names: licensed voluntary nurse, division 2 nurses, controlled nurses, registered practical nurse and others, all depending on the country where they activate. But no matter what they are called, they main goal is always the same: caring for sick people or injured people by their bedside.
The first thing that you need to know about becoming a LPN is that they are a part of a healthcare team, which means they have certain medical duties. For example, each time that a patient enters the healthcare institution where they work, a number of check-ups need to be performed: measuring the blood pressure, the pulse, the height and weight of that person, their rate of respiration and their temperature . All these tests are extremely helpful for doctor to give the right diagnosis. However, the number of tasks that LPNs have authorization to perform is limited depending on the specific employing unit and the state of activation. In some states, such a nurse is even allowed to prescribe medication and work on devices such as ventilators.
LPNs will often find work in long-term nursing facilities (nursing homes and skilled rehabilitation hospitals), but one could also find them in other healthcare institutions such as community health centers, medical offices and even in patient's homes. As far as nursing services are concerned, a licensed practical nurse needs to available even on weekends and holiday and is also required to do night shifts.
If you want to become a licensed nurse, you need to have either a GED or a high school diploma in order to apply for a specific LPN training which is often found in voluntary and technical school. Such a program normally lasts 1 year and at graduation, you are awarded a certificate or a diploma. Before applying for such a program, it is important to inquire if the educational facility has been accredited by a competent authority, in this case, the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission). Such an accreditation will certify that the education facility at stake has the proper curriculum required to teach people how to practice nursing properly and the faculty members are allowed to teach the student so the latter will pass the NCLEX-PN exam. Amongst the classes that one has to attend in order to get the nursing degree are also pharmacology, nursing theory and biology. The training of such a professional is handled through clinical rotation in the education program and supervision by an already-qualified LPN is also required.
Saleries vary dependent on the region. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data published in 2011 shows that an LPN can earn anything from $ 14.74 per hour (leading to a total of $ 30,650 per year) to $ 27.44 per hour (meaning a total of $ 57,080 per year).