What Do Licensed Practical Nurses Do?

NursingOctober 03, 2016

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), or as they’re known in some states, Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), are one of the most important and prominent careers in the nursing field. While there’s no “One-Size-Fits-All” description of an LPN’s duties because each’s state’s “scope of practice” laws may differ, with an LPN certification, you can expect to perform hands-on medical tasks under direction from a doctor and under the supervision of an RN (registered nurse).

Duties of an LPN

The  day-to-day duties of an LPN include a variety of exciting, hands-on nursing tasks, including:

  • Starting, monitoring and/or discontinuing intravenous fluids or catheters
  • Dispensing and/or changing medications that stabilize the heart or blood pressure
  • Administering intravenous medication that are given “push” (i.e., administered very quickly)
  • Caring for central intravenous lines that go to, or near, a patient’s heart

LPNs also may give oral medications to patients, chart their medical records, take vital signs, change would dressings, collect specimens (including blood, urine and sputum), give feedings through nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes, and perform CPR in emergency situations.

Benefits of Becoming an LPN

As an LPN, you might end up working in a wide variety of places—basically anywhere you can expect medical care to be provided—from a hospital to a home-care facility. The hours will vary according to when the organization or place of business is open, or if it operates on shifts (i.e., day, night, overnight). The average salary for LPNs ranges from $33,300 in West Virginia to $51,900 in Rhode Island.


Becoming a licensed practical nurse or vocational nurse will expose you to the professional and provide invaluable experience is you chose to advance your career as a registered nurse (RN) or earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in order to fill an administrative position.

How To Become an LPN

Fortis is part of one of the largest nursing education providers in America, and is uniquely qualified to help you start your LPN career. Fortis has received international recognition for their leadership in using nursing simulation technology to educate nursing students and prepare them for working in the profession.


To get your start your nursing education, contact Fortis today to learn about their LPN programs today! 

Tags: nursing, Empower, LPN