Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

What is a licensed practical nurse (LPN)?

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a healthcare provider that delivers healthcare services under the direction of registered nurses (RNs) and physicians. LPNs take samples, give medications, collect vitals and offer support as part of daily tasks. LPNs work at facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals and long-term care facilities.  

To practice as an LPN, individuals must have an associate degree or certificate from a state-accepted program. LPNs must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). 

Compared to RNs, LPNs are more focused on care delivery than plan development and management.  

Why are licensed practical nurses (LPNs) important to healthcare?

Licensed practical nurses are important because they provide a range of critical healthcare services to patients, educate patients and their families and advocate for patients and their families.