Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), also called Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) in California and Texas, are responsible for providing basic nursing care under the supervision of registered nurses and doctors. LPNs play an integral role within a team of healthcare professionals. Some of their more specific duties include administering medication, observing and charting patient conditions, giving injections, taking vital signs, and interacting with a diverse healthcare team to provide patient care. LPNs must be detail-oriented and conscientious, with the ability to communicate with patients in a customer service capacity.
LPNs must graduate from an accredited LPN program and pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-PN) before practicing. Most LPN programs require a high school diploma or GED. LPN programs generally involve one year of coursework combined with practical training in a hospital or clinic environment. Many LPNs later transition into registering nursing, which requires additional education and a subsequent licensing exam. LPNs can expect to make an average of $42,490 per year, and substantial growth is expected for LPN jobs, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating a 25% increase in LPN jobs from 2012 to 2022.
Because LPNs must care for patients in a medical environment, they must be able to understand and respond to patient needs. Employers looking to hire LPNs often administer the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), which assesses basic math, grammar, spelling, communication, and attention to detail. The CBST measures job readiness and general trainability, and provides a good metric for how capable an applicant will be to suit the demands of the position. Another test commonly administered to LPNs is the Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP), a personality test that determines how suited an applicant is to a job that requires frequent interaction with customers. For LPNs, the CSAP can determine how patient and cooperative a job candidate is to predict how well they will interact with both patients and other medical staff.
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Rank in HireSelect:
138 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 695,610
Education level of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN):