Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) play a critical role in the health care system. They have may duties including recording vital signs (such as respiration, blood pressure, and pulse, recognizing changes in a patient's condition, administering medication as directed by a doctor or a nurse, preparing and administering catheters, bladder irrigations, enemas, and douches. They also prepare and give injections, alchohol rubs, apply dressings, collect samples, perform simple lab tests, and assist in monitoring the patient.
All states require licensed practical nurses to pass a licensing exam after completing a state-approved training program. Courses provide training in bedside care, preparing and giving injections, monitoring patients, collecting samples, providing medications (in states where this is allowed), reporting adverse reactions, and many other related nursing duties.
After completing your schoolwork you will be eligible to take a test known as the NCLEX-PN examination. One you have passed this test, you will officially be considered a licensed practical nurse. Jobs are found in hospitals, nursing care facilities, clinics, physician's offices, long term care facilities, nursing homes, and other health care facilities.