Have you been wondering, "What is an LPN, and how do I become one?" If so, then you've come to the right place! LPN stands for a licensed practical nurse; LPNs are a vital component of any medical facility, taking care of patients in a unique way that is different than what registered nurses, or RNs, are expected to do. If you're the type of person who enjoys helping people and isn't squeamish, then a career as an LPN might be right for you.
What Does an LPN Do?
Specifically, an LPN assists in what's referred to as essential care. These duties can include anything from helping patients get dressed to assisting them in eating and just about everything in between. In some cases, they can also assist with basic medical duties, such as taking vital signs and the like.
Unlike an RN, however, an LPN generally does not have the ability to assist with surgeries or deliver anesthesia. Still, being an LPN can be a great career option for someone who wants to be involved in the medical field but doesn't necessarily want to become an RN.
How to Become an LPN
Now that you know the answer to the question, "What is an LPN?" you may very well be wondering how to become an LPN. These days, many schools (especially community colleges) provide degree and license programs for those who are interested in this career path. Generally, some level of higher education is required in order become an LPN, although technically, LPNs only need to pass a national licensure exam in addition to the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, to begin working in the field.
Once you become an LPN, it's time to start looking for jobs in the field. Most hospitals, doctor's offices and other medical offices hire LPNs on a fairly regular basis, so finding a position once licensed is typically not too difficult.
What Is an LPN's Salary?
Depending on where you live and your level of experience, you can generally expect to make between $28,000 and $40,000 per year as an LPN. Many LPNs work full-time and receive benefits, but part-time openings do become available on occasion, as well. The nice thing about becoming an LPN is that you can work toward your RN (if desired) while working and gaining experience as an LPN in the field, as well.
Overall, working as an LPN can be a great experience for those who have an interest in the medical field and helping others. Now that you know the answer to the questions, "What is an LPN?" and "What is an LPN's salary?" you can decide if this is the right career for you.
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