Practical Nursing

Empathetic and caring
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses must be empathetic and caring toward the people they serve.
Interpersonal Skills
Patients and healthcare providers
Interacting with patients and other healthcare providers is a big part of their jobs, so LPNs and LVNs need good interpersonal skills.
Tennessee Strong
Dealing with sick and injured people may be stressful. LPNs and LVNs should be patient, so they can cope with any stress that stems from providing care to these patients.

Job Description

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic medical care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors.


Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses typically do the following:

  • Monitor patients’ health—for example, by checking their blood pressure
  • Administer basic patient care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters
  • Provide for the basic comfort of patients, such as helping them bathe or dress
  • Discuss the care they are providing with patients and listen to their concerns
  • Report patients’ status and concerns to registered nurses and doctors
  • Keep records on patients’ health

Duties of LPNs and LVNs vary, depending on their work setting and the state in which they work. For example, they may reinforce teaching done by registered nurses regarding how family members should care for a relative; help to deliver, care for, and feed infants; collect samples for testing and do routine laboratory tests; or feed patients who need help eating.

LPNs and LVNs may be limited to doing certain tasks, depending on the state where they work. For example, in some states, LPNs with proper training can give medication or start intravenous (IV) drips, but in other states LPNs cannot perform these tasks. State regulations also govern the extent to which LPNs and LVNs must be directly supervised. For example, an LPN may provide certain forms of care only with instructions from a registered nurse.

In some states, experienced licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses supervise and direct other LPNs or LVNs and unlicensed medical staff.

Job Outlook

Median Pay – $43,000
2 Year Associate’s Degree
No Related Work Experience
Moderate-term on-the-job training
Make $43,231
Make $53,200
The industries that hired the most were:
Nursing Care Facilities
Physician Offices



TN College of Applied Technology - Chattanooga


  • Program Length – 1 year (diploma)
  • Job Placement – 88%
  • Average Earnings – $38,910/ yr
  • Cost – $5,750

If you enjoy caring for people and are interested in a medical career, consider the high demand profession of Practical Nursing. Practical Nursing is a career with excellent earning potential and anticipated job growth. Practical Nurses play a vital role in patient care. Because they have daily interaction with patients, Practical Nurses provide medical care, patient teaching, and support from diagnosis to recovery.

Nursing classroom instruction and over 500 hours of hands-on clinical experience are provided under the supervision of the registered nurse faculty. In the TCAT Practical Nursing program, we demonstrate our commitment to our community through health fairs, blood drives, and school screens.

Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to write the State Board of Nursing Examination (NCLEX-PN) to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Licensed Practical Nurses may find employment in Private Hospitals, Physician


  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Program Length – 2 Years
  • Average Pay – $36,000 / yr

Advance, Cleveland State’s block scheduling format, offers working adults a convenient way to obtain a college certificate or degree taking classes with the same core group of students.  Cleveland State is now offering a block schedule for Technical Certificates in Electrical Maintenance, Mechanical Maintenance and Process Control.  If your time is limited but you are committed to attending college to increase your technical skills, the Advance Technical Certificate Program is for you!


  • Students will be in class with “like-minded” people, who are focused, self-disciplined, and want to earn their certificate.
  • Networking Opportunities—students form strong connections with other working students/professionals.
  • Students know upfront their scheduling for the entire program.


  • Working toward a certificate or degree as a group has been proven to dramatically  improve retention and graduation rates.
  • Faculty are committed to helping students achieve their individual goals.
  • Earning your technical certificate opens doors for promotion within your organization or a new career.
  • The courses in this certificate program will apply to an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Technology.

Cleveland State

Cleveland State Community College