What Does LPN Stand For?
Over the last decade, nursing courses have become more popular than ever. With the size and age of the patient population in the United States continuing to rise, the demand for LPNs is also growing. But before enrolling in a class, you should first know the basics of the job and what you should be expecting. What does LPN stand for? And what are the requirements of the job? Read on to find out.
What Does LPN Stand For?
The first thing that a person interested in LPNs might ask is, what does LPN stand for? LPN basically stands for Licensed Practical Nurse. So what does a LPN do? A LPN (also called a Licensed Vocational Nurse or LVN in Texas and California) carries out treatment programs for patients with injuries or illnesses.
In a nutshell, a practical nurse has knowledge in the fundamentals of biology as well as pharmacology. In order to be a professional practical nurse, one must graduate from a LPN course that takes about year, and pass the National Council Licensure Examination – Practical Nurse or NCLEX-PN afterward.
A LPN’s duties are related to that of a nurse. However, a LPN’s responsibility – may it be in a nursing home, a long-term care facility, or a hospital – is much more limited compared to the tasks of a registered nurse.
A LPN is usually tasked with monitoring the developments in a patient’s health – which may include checking the temperature and blood pressure. A practical nurse also assists patients in walking or moving around, especially if they can’t freely do so because of an injury or an illness. A practical nurse carries out the treatment program under the supervision of a nurse or a physician to whom the LPN reports to about the patient’s current status.
Can a LPN Become a RN?
Now we’ve covered what does LPN stand for, now you might ask, what is a RN and how does it differ from a LPN?
A RN basically stands for Registered Nurse. To become a RN, you must study a nursing course that usually takes up to four years of school. Upon graduating, one must pass the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse or NCLEX-RN to be able to work professionally as a nurse.
Though most LPNs are comfortable and satisfied with their profession, many choose to widen their knowledge and skills by continuing their education to be full-fledged registered nurses. Local colleges offer a course on Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing. There are also bridge programs that could help a LPN earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
Aside from basic biology and pharmacology taught in LPN vocational schools, students in nursing schools are taught physiology, anatomy, and microbiology. There are also subjects in nutrition, chemistry, and psychology, as well as other sciences to make a nurse well rounded in the craft.
Not only are nurses trained in physical and behavioral sciences. They are also taught subjects in leadership and communication, as these skills are reportedly proving to be more and more useful in the medical field.