Healthcare Nurse - LPN / LVN
Salary Range Jobs Available
$42,000 - $69,500 61,300+

What Does a Licensed Practical Nurse Do?

If you’re a caretaker by nature and are interested in the medical field, this job could be a natural fit.

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide hands-on medical care to patients. They respond to requests, keep patients comfortable and provide basic bedside patient care.

They work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or a doctor. They are an essential link between patients, their families, RNs and the rest of the medical team. Good communication skills are crucial.

LPNs, also sometimes called practical nurses, have a wide variety of responsibilities. They prepare and give injections, apply dressings, monitor catheters and take vital signs.

An interesting, lesser-known detail: An LPN’s job responsibilities vary depending on the state and the setting where they work.

LPNs need patience, compassion, organization skills and a calm demeanor. Hospital rooms and doctors’ offices can be busy places, and these skills make a difference in that kind of environment.

Being an LPN is satisfying because you can make a difference every day through direct patient contact. LPNs are valuable members of the healthcare team, and yet you can train for this job in a relatively short period of time. The job is also a good stepping stone to other jobs in the medical community.

Keep reading to learn more about becoming an LPN. 

A licensed practical nurse tests a patient’s blood oxygen level with a pulse oximeter
A job as a licensed practical nurse offers a relatively fast track to making a difference in patients’ lives. (Credit: FamVeld/Shutterstock)


  • Measure and monitor vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration
  • Administer and monitor some medications
  • Assist doctors and nurses with tests and procedures
  • Maintain patient records
  • Help patients eat, dress and bathe
  • Update doctors and nurses on patient status

How To Become an LPN or LVN: FAQs

The bottom line:

Licensed practical nurses are needed now and they’ll be needed in the future. As with many other medical jobs, the increase in LPN jobs will be driven by an aging population as well as chronic conditions. It’s a smart, entry-level opportunity for someone who has a caring nature and wants to work with patients directly. If this sounds like you, check out SkillPointe’s training options near you and get started on your new career!

Why becoming an LPN is worthwhile

Tammy Ronstadt was in the 11th grade when she realized she wanted to be a nurse. She started nursing school at 17, and she hasn't looked back.

"I just feel that’s what I was called to do," she says. She encourages more people to seriously consider getting into nursing, especially those just coming out of high school.

"You will always have a job. There's never going to be a shortage [of jobs]. We are greatly in need."

Hear what else she has to say about why you should consider becoming a nurse.

Local Certifications and Requirements

You may need a state license or certificate before you can work in a specific career in your state. Different states may also have different education and experience requirements, fees and application forms. The good news - we make it super easy to find what you need to begin your new career. Just enter your zip code to get started.

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