Licensed Practical Nurse Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, cares for people who are injured, sick or have physical disabilities within a hospital setting. Their duties include monitoring patients’ progress, working with Doctors to decide what level of care is necessary and giving advice to patients and relatives. 

 

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Licensed Practical Nurse duties and responsibilities

A Licensed Practical Nurse must be able to perform a wide variety of tasks, often at the same time. They must be able to provide competent and safe care while completing these duties:

  • Administering medications and recording their effects
  • Taking vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure and pulse
  • Helping Doctors with physical examinations
  • Helping to train new staff members
  • Cleaning and dressing wounds
  • Setting up drips and transfusions
  • Preparing and administering injections
  • Updating patient records to give to colleagues at the end of a shift

 

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What does a Licensed Practical Nurse do?

A Licensed Practical Nurse provides healthcare to people who need it. They may be employed at an NHS or private hospital, at a health centre, at a hospice, in a prison, at an adult care home or in a patient’s home. They must have a licence to provide medical care and an understanding of how to work with patients who may be experiencing extreme discomfort, fear and confusion. They work with Doctors to decide on the best courses of action for their patients.

 

Licensed Practical Nurse skills and qualifications

Licensed Practical Nurses work in environments that can be physically and emotionally demanding. The following qualities can be beneficial for this type of work environment:

  • Compassion and a desire to help people
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Thorough attention to detail
  • The ability to work well with others
  • The ability to accept constructive criticism
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Excellent customer service skills

 

Licensed Practical Nurse experience requirements

Most employers will want applicants to have at least two years of work experience before applying to this position. However, many people complete advanced nursing apprenticeships after university that last for over two years and can be considered job experience. If an applicant is right out of university, look for voluntary experience in social care or healthcare along with extensive training in lieu of official job experience. Above all, applicants must have a desire to help their patients and a knowledge of how to provide care to those who need it most. 

 

Licensed Practical Nurse education and training requirements

Three years of university in one of the degrees approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council are necessary in order to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Some degree courses will allow people to study and specialise in an area related to nursing such as psychology, life sciences or social work. Many applicants will have completed an apprenticeship in a hospital, and all applicants must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and pass an enhanced background check in order to work. 

 

Licensed Practical Nurse salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Licensed Practical Nurse  is £9.28 per hour in the United Kingdom. Salary is usually dependent on experience, location and employer.

 

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Licensed Practical Nurse job description FAQs

 

What's the difference between a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Healthcare Assistant?

Both positions provide patient care in medical settings and have overlapping responsibilities. A Healthcare Assistant has a limited scope of tasks, which they can perform only under the supervision of a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Registered Nurse. A Licensed Practical nurse is able to perform more tasks than a Healthcare Assistant with minimal supervision from a Registered Nurse. More schooling is needed in order to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, and many people will transition from being a Healthcare Assistant to a Licensed Practical Nurse by taking extra college courses.

 

Who does a Licensed Practical Nurse report to?

It ultimately depends on the hierarchy of the organisation in which they are working, but in general, a Licensed Practical Nurse will report to a Registered Nurse or Doctor. There may also be a Head Licensed Practical Nurse who works as a Manager for all the Licensed Practical Nurses in the organisation. The organisation in which a Licensed Practical Nurse is employed will set the range of tasks assigned to a Licensed Practical Nurse and the medical procedures they are allowed to perform. They must be able to complete these tasks on their own and only report to Registered Nurses or Doctors when consulting on the progress of a patient. 

 

How can you make your License Practical Nurse job description stand out?

Focus on what makes your healthcare establishment an exceptional place to work. List competitive elements such as salary, flexible working hours, pensions, annual leave and family-friendly policies. Also, mention the continued professional development an employee will receive and possible areas for growth within the organisation. 

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