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LPN Licensed Practical (Vocational) Nurses

Career Overview

LPNs provide basic nursing care for patients in hospitals, doctor's offices, in home health settings, and in skilled nursing facilities as well as schools and many other areas of health care. They work under the direct supervision of physicians and RNs, and provide all aspects of nursing care that RNs do, other than some of the more complex procedures performed in intensive care and trauma situations.


LPNs must complete a state approved practical nursing program which generally lasts approximately one year preparing them to pass a state licensing examination called the NCLEX-PN. These year-long programs are conducted at technical schools, colleges, junior colleges and hospitals; sometimes they are even part of vocational high school curricula.


LPNs work in hospitals, doctor's offices, schools, and skilled nursing facilities. They can also be found at corporations as part of their health programs, summer camps and many other places in the community. They held @ 749,000 jobs in 2006.

Job Outlook

The field is expected to grow much faster than the projected average growth rate of all job categories.  LPN positions will have increased at the rate of 14% by 2016. Job prospects are excellent with an abundance of opportunities expected over the next few years as some currently employed LPNs retire or move into other positions.


Lowest 10% $13.16 $27,370

Median 50% $18.24 $37,940

Highest 10% $28.08 $52,160

Source:   U.S. Department of Labor

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