A licensed practical nurse, or an LPN, is considered one of the most important members of the health care team. LPNs are health care professionals that are mainly responsible for providing bedside care to patients who are sick, injured, or disabled. They constantly monitor the patients' vital signs and their overall medical condition, noting abnormalities or significant changes, which are immediately reported to registered nurses or physicians. For these reasons, LPNs work closely and constantly communicate with other members of the health care team to ensure that the delivery of patient care is both consistent and continuous.

In addition, LPNs are tasked with performing some fundamental clinical procedures such as enema administration, collection of specimen, and laboratory testing. They are also responsible for assisting patients with the activities of daily living, like bathing and ambulating, especially if they are incapable of accomplishing these activities themselves because of physical limitations and fatigue.

LPNs can administer some prescribed medications, depending on the state where they work. Most, if not all, states do not allow LPNs to administer IV push and chemotherapeutic drugs. LPNs encourage wellness and health management by properly educating the patients and their families on how to assume responsibility for their health. Moreover, LPNs are also tasked to supervise nursing assistants.

The LPNs have a wide-ranging role in the field of health care, making them vital members of the health care team. It is not easy to work as an LPN, since it is a physically and emotionally demanding job, involving many hazards and stressors, but if helping the sick and making a difference is fulfilling to you, a career in LPN can be a rewarding job.

The most recent advances in medical sciences, combined with the latest developments in computers and information technology resulted in the creation of online LPN programs, which are offered by technical and vocational LPN schools, colleges and universities. Before registering for any of these online LPN courses, ensure that they are accredited by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission or NLNAC to ensure that one can sit in the licensure examinations given by the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing or NCSBN.

Completing an accredited online LPN course is recognized for continuation of education. The curriculum of online LPN programs are outlined after the curriculum used in LPN schools, thus, the standard of education is well-maintained.

The online LPN courses consist of modules, each with a corresponding number of credit hours. Some courses are entirely completed online, meaning, there is no need for the student to travel to a certain area. Some modules consist of supervised and hands-on clinical practicum set in health care facilities, which mainly develop and evaluate the technical skills of the students as they integrate their cognitive knowledge in practical nursing to actual patient management.

The prospective LPNs are supervised by experienced LPNs. Online modules are accessed through the internet at any time, whenever it fits your schedule. Thus, the students are given more time to concentrate on certain topics. Though online LPN classes are self-paced, the student is expected to complete modules within certain number of months. LPN programs consist of courses in fundamentals of practical nursing, obstetrics, pediatrics, nutrition and dietetics, medical-surgical nursing and psychiatric and mental health nursing.