The qualifications and requirements to be a licensed practical nurse include obtaining a diploma by completing a state-approved training program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing administers the test, which contains written and practical questions.
Hospitals, community colleges and technical schools offer training programs that generally last for a year. The programs require plenty of practical experience in clinical settings. Students can also opt to take courses in pharmacology, life span health care, infection control, medical terminology or basic nursing.
After passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, new nurses can start practicing in a variety of health care settings, such as home health care firms, hospice facilities, nursing homes or private doctors' offices. Nursing care facilities employ the highest number of licensed practical hospices, as of 2015. Practical nurses usually work up to 40 hours each week. Some prefer to work in several locations, while others focus all of their working hours in a single setting. Some practical nurses also travel to different states.
The work of licensed practical nurses involves providing basic care to various types of patients. They are responsible for taking vital signs, updating records, caring for wounds, monitoring the condition of patients and helping them maintain proper hygiene.