Practical Nurse

Kindness is key
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses must be empathetic and caring toward the people they serve.
Physical Stamina
LPNs and LVNs should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as bending over patients for a long time.
Detail Oriented
The little things matter
LPNs and LVNs need to be responsible and detail-oriented, because they must make sure that patients get the correct care at the right time.

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 – $48,820
HS Diploma or Equivalent
No Related Work Experience
Moderate-term on-the-job training
Lowest 10%
Highest 10%
The industries that hired the most were:
Nursing and residential care facilities
Hospitals; state, local, and private
Offices of physicians



TN College of Applied Technology - Athens


  • Program Length – 1 Year (Certificate)
  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Cost – $7,500

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


  • Program Length – 1 year (diploma)
  • Job Placement – 95%
  • Average Pay – $41,920/yr
  • Cost – $7,105

The Practical Nursing (PN) program is designed to prepare its graduates to successfully pass the State Board of Nursing licensure exam. PN students will receive both the theoretical knowledge and the clinical experiences needed to give competent and safe bedside nursing care at the practical nursing level.

To be eligible for admissions to the PN program, students must complete Anatomy and Physiology I and II, with a “C” or better, and an overall score of 55% or better on the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) test, as pre-requisites to the program. A separate application process for admissions to the PN must be submitted. Each class size is limited and students are admitted based on a competitive point system. Please contact the PN office for additional information on the admissions process.

The PN program operates on approval status with the Tennessee Board of Nursing. PN classes start each May, August, and January.

Upon completion of the PN program (having passed the pre-NCLEX exam with a score of 850 or higher and having met all other program requirements) students are eligible to take the NCLEX license exam from the Tennessee Board of Nursing.


TN College of Applied Technology - Chattanooga