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Licensed Practical Nurse
A Michigan Jobs & Career Portal service.
Licensed Practical Nurses (or LPN's) care for ill, injured, convalescent, and handicapped persons in hospitals, clinics, private homes, doctors' offices and other settings. They work under the direction of a registered nurse, licensed physician, or dentist.
Licensed Practical Nurses may:
Assist in the development and modification of patient plans of care
Take and record temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiration rate, height, and weight
Dress wounds, draw blood samples, and give tube feedings
Give enemas, douches, irrigations and catheterizations
Apply compresses, ice bags, or hot water bottles
Observe patients and chart and report reactions to registered nurse or physician in charge
Sterilize equipment and supplies, using germicides, sterilizers, or autoclaves (a pressurized, steam-heated vessel)
Give prescribed medication or start intravenous fluids when authorized by a licensed physician, dentist or registered nurse
Assist patients in activities of daily living, such as eating, exercising, bathing, oral hygiene, and making beds
Assist with teaching patients good health habits
Perform simple diagnostic tests
Turn patients in bed, position, and help them walk
Record the intake and output of food and fluids
Care for mothers in labor and after childbirth
Feed infants and newborn babies
Provide emotional support for patients and families
Provide post-mortem care for patients who have died
Provide pre-operative and post-operative care
Care for patients in isolation, in casts, or in traction
Observe patient monitoring equipment
Supervise care delivered by nurse aides as delegated by a registered nurse
Click here to watch Licensed Practical Nurses at work!
The machines, equipment, and work aids used may include:
079.374-014 LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSES (or LPN's) care for ill, injured, convalescent, and handicapped persons in hospitals, clinics, private homes, doctors' offices, nursing homes, medical care facilities, and similar institutions. They work under the direction of a registered nurse, licensed physician, or dentist.
In addition to learning about these specialties, you may also find it helpful to explore the following Career Exploration scripts:
Licensed Practical Nurses work under the direction of physicians, dentists, or registered nurses. Some LPN's might supervise nursing assistants in patient care functions. They generally work in well equipped, health care facilities that are well lighted and well ventilated. However, those who care for patients in private homes and other locations may work under a variety of environmental conditions. Some of their work can be strenuous such as lifting patients and turning them in bed. They are in close contact with patients who are experiencing illness, pain, discomfort, and death as well as healing and recovery. LPN's may also face hazards from exposure to caustic chemicals, radiation, and infectious diseases. These hazards are greatly reduced by strict adherence to safety procedures.
Most LPN's are employed 40 hours per week. Since most patients in either nursing homes or hospitals require daily round-the-clock attention, LPN's may work any of three shifts, weekends, and holidays on a rotation basis. LPN's in patients' homes may work a longer day or more days a week. Others may work less than 40-hours per week or on a part-time basis. Flexible hours, for example, 10- or 12-hour shifts, are often available. Private duty Nurses choose their own jobs and hours.
Licensed Practical Nurses must usually furnish their own uniforms, shoes, watch with a second hand, and other miscellaneous equipment.
Licensed Practical Nurses, as well as students enrolled in practical nursing programs, may join professional associations such as The National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses , Inc., or The National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc . They may also join unions which represent the employees where they work. Association or union members must pay periodic membership fees.
You Should Prefer:
You Should Be Able To:
Math Problem You Should Be Able to Solve:
What is the flow rate of IV infusions if:
Reading Example You Should Be Able to Read and Comprehend:
If there is insufficient pressure of oxygen in the blood to load the hemoglobin molecules with oxygen, the content of oxygen falls.
Writing Example You Should Be Able to Produce:
Chart and record a patient's blood pressure.
Thinking Skill You Should Be Able to Demonstrate:
Must demonstrate analytical skills and be able to understand and carry out requests from physicians.
Licensed Practical Nurses must be licensed by the Michigan Department of Community Health .
NOTE: A High School Diploma with specific Vocational Education Classes or a Certificate (program of up to one year of study beyond high school) or an Associate Degree (two years of study beyond high school) or an Apprenticeship (usually three to four years of training beyond high school) may qualify a person for this occupation.
The following education and preparation opportunities are helpful in preparing for occupations in the Career Exploration script:
0700 CAREERS , 0900 COMMUNICATIONS , 1500 FOODS & NUTRITION , 1800 HEALTH & HEALTH CAREERS , 2000 LIFE MANAGEMENT , 2200 MATH , 2900 SCIENCE , 3000 SOCIAL STUDIES , 3100 STUDY & WORK OPTIONS , 3300 TECHNOLOGY
***VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS***
019 NURSING OCCUPATIONS CLUSTER
Approved vocational education programs in Nursing Occupations Cluster prepare students to give direct nursing care under the supervision of a nurse or physician. Instruction includes a combination of classroom and supervised clinical experiences.
The following courses may be required for completion of this program:
High school students should consult their guidance office for more information about the specific requirements of this program at their school or area vocational education center.
142 PRACTICAL NURSING
Programs in Practical Nursing provide opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills needed for employment giving limited nursing care to patients in homes, doctors' offices, hospitals, and institutions.
Courses vary from school to school but may include:
Although individuals might enter this occupation through apprenticeship training, currently no apprenticeship programs for this occupation are available in Michigan. For more information, contact the Bureau or Apprenticeship and Training found in the Sources of More Information below.
***MILITARY TRAINING PROGRAMS***
Please check the Military web site at http://www.myfuture.com .
MEDICAL CARE TECHNICIANS
The military provides medical care to all men and women in the services. Medical care technicians work with teams of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to provide treatment to patients. They help give patients the care and treatment required to help them recover from illness or injury. They also prepare rooms, equipment, and supplies in hospitals and medical clinics.
What They Do
Medical care technicians in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
Some specialties in this area require sufficient strength to lift and move patients, and some require a normal skin condition to guard against infection.
Helpful school subjects include general science, biology, and psychology. Helpful attributes include:
Medical care technicians work in hospitals and clinics on land or aboard ships. In combat situations, they may work in mobile field hospitals.
Job training consists of 7 to 52 weeks of classroom instruction, in patient care. Training length varies depending on specialty. Course content typically includes:
Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses.
Civilian medical care technicians work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric hospitals, or doctors' offices. Their work is similar to duties performed in the military. Those with less than a year of formal training may be called nurses aides, orderlies, or psychiatric aides. Those who have completed practical nurse training are called practical nurses or licensed practical nurses.
The military provides medical care to all men and women in the services. Medical care technicians work with teams of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to provide treatment to patients. They help give patients the care and treatment required to help them recover from illness or injury. They also prepare rooms, equipment and supplies in hospitals and medical clinics. E-Learning Courses and Programs
Secondary vocational education programs in nursing occupations cluster and postsecondary practical nursing programs may offer opportunities for experience. Related military training is also available. Other opportunities are: helping ill persons at home, serving as a volunteer or paid worker with health organizations, and working as a nurse's aide. Some high schools have Future Nurses clubs.
School-to-Work opportunities include:
job shadowing experiences
touring a local Licensed Practical Nurse employer
volunteer work with a Licensed Practical Nurse employer
community service work with an agency
After obtaining a license, Licensed Practical Nurses can find employment by contacting employers directly. Assistance is available through school placement offices and the local Michigan Works!offices. Jobs may also be found in newspaper want ads or nursing journals. LPN's who would like private duty work may register their availability with hospitals and doctors' offices. In addition, you should access and search the Internet's on-line employment services sites such as:
You should also enter an electronic resume on these on-line services.
Earnings for LPN's vary with employer, shift worked, geographic location, and training and experience. Licensed Practical Nurses employed in large hospitals in well populated areas or LPN's certified to give medications tend to receive higher than average wages.
Nationally, the annual salaries (early 2009) of LPN's employed by hospitals and related institutions ranged between $34,800 and $42,000, with an average of $37,600.
In Michigan hospitals, annual salaries for Licensed Practical Nurses qualified to pass medications to patients were (late 2008):
Licensed Practical Nurses employed by the State of Michigan earned between $36,816 and $50,731 per year in mid 2009. LPN supervisors earned from $38,792 to $56,992. Some Nurses may also receive extra pay for evening, night, and weekend work.
Depending on the employer, most LPN's have paid vacations and holidays; life, accident, disability, and hospitalization insurance; retirement plans; and sick pay. LPN's employed in hospitals may also receive optical and dental insurance. Some LPN's may receive tuition reimbursement for professional advancement.
Opportunities are limited without additional training. Some Licensed Practical Nurses work while training to become a registered nurse. Promotions for LPN's usually consist of salary increases for longevity and good job performance. Some individuals also obtain higher pay by completing courses which prepare them for work with patients requiring specialized care such as rehabilitation.
Nationally, in 2006, about 748,600 Licensed Practical Nurses were employed. Their employment is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2016. The industry distribution for Licensed Practical Nurses looked like this:
To find employers, click Employer/Business Locator.
The effort to restrain the increase in health care costs and the widespread use of advanced medical equipment and procedures may adversely affect employment. The best opportunities will be in nursing homes, home health agencies, and in private duty nursing. About 26% of all LPN's work part.
In early 2009, there were approximately 26,200 Licensed Practical Nurses employed in Michigan. Employment of Licensed Practical Nurses is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2014. An average of 490 annual openings is expected, with 120 due to growth and 370 due to replacement of those who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons. Additional openings will occur as LPN's transfer to other jobs or occupations.
The employment outlook is expected to improve in the long run in response to the needs of a growing and aging population; broadened public and private health insurance plans; and expanded programs for the elderly, particularly in geriatric and acute-care health facilities. However, as hospitals continue to reduce the number of beds and take other steps to keep costs from increasing, employment opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses will be more favorable in nursing homes and home health-care agencies.
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