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What Is Practical Nursing?

Picture this…

You’re recovering from surgery, feeling like a slightly deflated balloon animal…
Suddenly, a friendly face appears, checking your vitals with expert efficiency and a reassuring smile….
They administer meds like a magician pulling rabbits from hats (minus the bunny ears, thankfully)…
All of this while answering your endless questions with soothing patience.

This, my friend…

is the magic of a practical nurse “PN”…

But before you start picturing yourself in crisp scrubs, dispensing wisdom alongside thermometers, let’s unravel the mystery of “What is practical nursing?”

Before I jump into details…

Let me clear this up for you

As I’m talking about PNs but sometimes you will see LPNs!

So, the letter “L” will be added to the “PN” to become a Licensed Practical Nurse “LPN” upon necessary licensure.

So let me…

Break Down the Basics

practical nurse training

Nurses and LPNs

Imagine nurses as the superheroes of healthcare, and LPNs (Licensed Practical Nursing) are their trusty sidekicks.

They focus on the hands-on, day-to-day care of patients, working closely with Registered Nurses (RNs) to ensure everyone gets the TLC they need.

Just in case you don’t know TLC means “Tender Loving Care” … cool right?

Anyways, …

Think of it like teamwork at its finest, with LPNs who may be handling tasks like:

Monitoring Vital Signs
Temperature, pulse, blood pressure – LPNs may help track patient health, by keeping tabs and reporting to others on those fluctuating numbers.

Administering Medications
From administering pills to perhaps giving injections, LPNs ensure the right meds reach the right people at the right time, like a conductor, guiding the harmonizing of musical notes in an orchestra.

Patient Care & Comfort
Wound care, changing bandages, and ensuring hygiene are all part of an LPN’s day, helping patients stay clean and comfortable, even when things get a little messy.

Daily Support
Feeding, bathing, and assisting with daily activities are crucial parts of patient care, and LPNs are the pros at making sure everyone gets the support they need, from breakfast trays to bedtime stories (okay, maybe not the stories, but you get the picture).

OK let me give you a quick side by side comparison between LPN and RN…

lpn and rn super heroes

LPNs vs. RNs

Partners in Care … Not Identical Twins

While both LPNs and RNs are vital parts of the healthcare team…

There are some key differences. Think of it like Batman and Robin – both crime-fighting legends, but with different skillsets.

RNs typically have more education and may handle more complex tasks, like managing patient care, monitoring lab results, and greater involvement with procedures.

LPNs, on the other hand, excel at providing the essential, supportive care that keeps patients comfortable and on track to recovery. They work under the supervision of RNs (or other healthcare professionals as required by their state’s scope of practice), collaborating, and communicating to ensure seamless patient care.

A Day in the Life…Beyond the Bandages

Being an LPN isn’t just about technical skills; it’s about being a master of human connection. It’s about easing anxieties, cracking jokes that actually land (most of the time).

Offering a comforting hand to hold. Your day might involve checking in on a newborn in the nursery, offering a kind word to a nervous pre-surgery patient, or simply sharing a cup of coffee with an elderly resident who just wants someone to listen.

It’s about being the bridge between patients and the rest of the medical team

Ensuring everyone feels heard and cared for.

So, you might ask …

Why Choose Practical Nursing?

A Job with Heart and Hustle!

Well, for starters, it’s fast-paced.

Hands-on career that can get you right into the heart of healthcare action.

An opportunity to “give back” through imparting your care and compassion to another human being.

Plus, PN programs may be shorter and may cost less than programs preparing one as a RN.

Making it a great option for career changers or those seeking a quick entry into the medical field.

But most importantly, being a practical nurse is about making a tangible difference in people’s lives.

A privilege that doesn’t come with every job title.

nursing iceberg


Ready to Unravel the Mystery Further?

This is just the tip of the LPN iceberg!

If this glimpse into the world of practical nursing has sparked your curiosity, stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll shadow an LPN through a typical day…

Giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and rewards of this remarkable career.

And before you Google “LPN programs near me” or “PN programs near me” check out the helpful resources below.

Or check out our PN program at Beckfield College and let us answer all your questions!

So, remember, the next time you’re wondering “What is practical nursing?”

Just think of them as the unsung heroes of healthcare…

Superheroes without capes


The compassionate companions who can make every hospital stay a little brighter.

And who knows, maybe one day you’ll….be one of those superheroes.


National Council of Licensed Practical Nurses (NCLPN):

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN):

National League for Nursing (NLN):


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