Leadership Opportunities for LPNs
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) perform task-based nursing care under the direction of a registered nurse. Specific tasks may include administering medications, taking vital signs, and wound care. While much of an LPNs duties are nursing tasks, there are leadership opportunities available in some organizations.
Some organizations offer "Senior LPN" or "Lead LPN" positions. LPNs in this role provide oversight and leadership to staff such as CNAs, medical assistants, and other ancillary staff. They help day-to-day operations run smoothly and report to RNs or managers. They serve as problem-solvers, liaisons, and advocates- all in addition to their clinical job duties.
Depending on a state’s nurse practice act, some organizations hire LPNs to act as charge nurses. LPNs in charge nurse roles are primarily seen in long-term care facilities or nursing homes. While they still must report to and work under the direction of an RN, they perform administrative duties such as:
- Making schedules
- Making assignments
- Monitoring and maintaining supplies
- Directing nurse’s aides or students
- Clerical duties
It’s important to recognize that while LPNs must work under the direction of an RN for patient care, they far have more independence as a leader with non-clinical duties, such as those listed above. However, this can be a slippery slope, and LPNs (as well as the RNs they work with) must ALWAYS be aware of their state’s nurse practice act as well as facility / organizational policies.