I work as an LPN in a hospital. We pretty much do everything the nurses do except for the IV pushes. When we get a new admit, we do the initial assessment, then the RN that we are working with will sign off on it. We also start IV's and hang fluids. All IV hung meds also have to be signed of by an RN. It's great experience!
As far as the hospital setting is concerned, there is a large difference between what LPN's can do at different facilities. I have a friend that works at another hospital, and she had to be IV certified before she could start IV's or hand fluids.
IMHO, if you go the LPN schooling route first, be certain to focus on assessment skills. A co-worker (tech) is in an LPN only program and he is continually telling me that LPN's never assess or come up with care plans
. As an LPN in the hospital you will be expected to perform full head to toe assessments and create nursing diagnosis and care plans. An RN will sign off on them, of course, but these will be necessary skills.
Hopefully this helps!