LPN Job Description

Licensed practical nurses are in demand in several industries throughout the global workforce. Most LPN's work in healthcare facilities, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, and nursing homes. Their duties generally include providing routine care, observing patients’ health, assisting doctors and registered nurses, and communicating with patients and their families.

However, many LPN's also work outside of traditional healthcare settings. Some LPN's are hired by families to provide private care for sick or injured individuals, while others work for businesses and provide basic care and health consultations to employees and customers.

LPN's also have employment options that go beyond actually providing healthcare services. LPN's are often hired by state and federal government agencies to act as consultants regarding health-related issues, programs, and initiatives in cities and communities. Others may work directly in their communities to provide health education and basic awareness to under-served populations that are otherwise never exposed to personal healthcare concepts. There are many LPN career avenues to succeed. Please sure to review the potential LPN salary of this rewarding career as well.

Finally, LPN's can use their healthcare education and licensure to change or supplement their careers in other fields in the medical industry. Medical coding, medical billing, medical call centers and customer service, insurance sales and consulting, and medical transcription are all fields where LPN's can transfer their skills and quickly achieve success.

  • LPN to RN/BSN Online - Achieve Test Prep

    *Must Be a LPN/LVN

    LPNs earn your ADN or BSN degree online in up to 1/2 the time and cost of traditional programs. With No Waiting List to get started, Free Books, and Low Cost financing options available, this is the perfect way for LPNs, LVNs, and Paramedics to earn your Associates Degree in Nursing and your RN license. Our convenient, instructor led test-out program allows you to learn at an accelerated pace and earn college credit-by-examination which then is eligible to be transferred to an ACEN accredited nursing school or 100's of universities nationwide.

LPN Job Description

Licensed practical nurses (LPN's) fill an important role in modern healthcare practices. Their primary job duty is to provide routine care, observe patients’ health, assist doctors and registered nurses, and communicate instructions to patients regarding medication, home-based care, and preventative lifestyle changes.

Nursing Home LPNs

LPN's who work in nursing homes can expect to have responsibilities that include:

  • Admitting new residents
  • Assisting physicians during rounds of residents’ rooms
  • Assigning and delegating duties to non-licensed nursing staff
  • Monitoring resident care and supervising other nursing staff
  • Performing ongoing assessments of residents’ physical and mental health
  • Explaining procedures and treatment protocols to residents

Related Articles:

Hospital and Private Clinic LPNs

LPN's who work in hospitals and private clinics are typically required to perform the following job duties:

  • Planning and managing patient care according to each patient’s needs
  • Interviewing patients and recording their medical history
  • Obtaining patient vital signs and escorting patients to their rooms
  • Administering injections of medications
  • Verifying that patient charts are updated promptly and accurately
  • Observing and recording patients’ conditions and reactions to medications and treatments

Home Health LPNs

LPN's who work in private residences and homes may have different job duties than other LPN's. Their unique responsibilities include:

  • Helping patients bathe, get dressed, go to the bathroom, and eat
  • Monitoring patients’ overall health during every visit
  • Changing bandages, wound dressings, and catheters
  • Setting up exercise programs for patients
  • Verifying patients are taking the correct dosages of medications
  • Remaining on-call for patients who have healthcare emergencies

To learn more about the LPN's work day check out our piece on what LPN's do.

Career Outlook for LPN's

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the job outlook for LPN's will grow 25 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is considered much faster than the average of other occupations in the country.

In 2012, there were 738,400 LPN's working in the United States. The BLS projects that number to increase to 921,300 by 2022—an increase of 182,900 jobs.

A major factor for this growth is the overall aging of people in the Baby Boomer generation. With millions of people in this age range reaching retirement age, their need for routine healthcare will increase dramatically, which in turn will increase the demand for LPNs and other healthcare professionals.

In addition, the increasing numbers of people who are diagnosed with diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic-related conditions also reinforces the need for LPN's in all facets of the country’s workforce. LPN's will not only be in high demand in doctor’s offices and hospitals, but they will also see new opportunities to work privately in homes, as healthcare consultants, and as healthcare educators in their communities.

The BLS also projects that newly graduated LPN's will see increased job openings throughout the country due to older LPN's retiring from the workforce during the coming decade. Check out BSN Careers.

  • LPN to RN/BSN Online - Achieve Test Prep

    *Must Be a LPN/LVN

    LPNs earn your ADN or BSN degree online in up to 1/2 the time and cost of traditional programs. With No Waiting List to get started, Free Books, and Low Cost financing options available, this is the perfect way for LPNs, LVNs, and Paramedics to earn your Associates Degree in Nursing and your RN license. Our convenient, instructor led test-out program allows you to learn at an accelerated pace and earn college credit-by-examination which then is eligible to be transferred to an ACEN accredited nursing school or 100's of universities nationwide.

Need help with your LPN resume? Our experts give you insight into what you should be including and the appropriate formatting to help land your future LPN/LVN job.

Daniel Bair, LPN

Daniel Bair, LPN is a 2012 graduate of practical nursing school. Being relatively new to nursing he offers a different point of view and a fresh take on nursing and related topics. He likes to spread the word about issues pertinent to nursing. He loves to dispel myths and misinformation about healthcare and nurses through medical writing. Experience caring for geriatric populations in acute and long-term care settings has provided invaluable experiences and has increased his appreciation and fondness for the elderly population. In addition to geriatrics, patient advocacy and holistic nursing care are areas of special interest.