A Day In the Life of a LPN

  1. 1
    I'm a new lpn student and love hearing/reading what other ppl go through as a nurse and see what i have to look forward to good, bad, and ugly. Please describe a typical work day for you as an lpn. Feel free to add special experiences too. Please also include what setting you work in i.e. hospital, ltc, etc.. And if you don't mind salary and state.
    aTOMicTom likes this.
  2. 7,057 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 36 Comments so far...

  4. 9
    I come in, get an incomplete report from the 6-2 nurse who invariably "forgets" to take off orders/process labs. (I find those later in the shift.) My CNA's will tell me that so-and-so has been running a temp with emesis all day. (Funny, I didn't get THAT in report...) I feebly attempt to gather VS's for my MCR/focus charting residents only to be interrupted by the pharmacy calling incessantly asking questions like, "was that lisinopril order for Mr. X p.o.?". No. It's topical. Sheesh. Moving on, it seems the 6-2 people failed to report a skin tear on Mrs. Y, so I have to write the Incident Report, make the proper notifications, dress the wound, etc. Now, back to those VS's. But wait! There's a very angry family member who wants to know why her Mom, (Dx: Alzheimer's) is saying she hasn't eaten all day! I hunt for the never-can-be-found Meal Intake Book and point out that yes, "Mom" ate, very well in fact and has had snacks. Well, that's not good enough "cuz Mom said she hasn't eaten!" I try to explain for the millionth time that Alzheimer's resident's have a hard time remembering things...Now I'm behind. Naturally. I give up on VS's for the time being because I have meds and blood sugar checks to get done before supper. That being done, (not without another host of interruptions), I can finally sit and try to get some charting done. Oh! What's this? Well, I'll be! It's a stack of labs left over from...oh let's check the time stamp...1 p.m.! Perfect. So I call on the labs, get the orders, blah blah blah. Where was I? Oh! Charting! Oh well now look at the time. I have to take lunch. It's now or never. So then I take lunch in my car for the solitude where I quietly whimper to myself and attempt to regroup for the remainder of the shift. I steel myself as I head back in, with a "plan" to get the rest of my duties completed when I hear, "Oh! There you are! Mrs. Z fell out of bed a few minutes ago." The "plan" goes right out the window, another Incident Report to write, phone calls, etc. I blast through the HS med pass and scribble illegibly in the charts to finish those up hoping to get an "E" for effort. I give report at breakneck speed, barely pausing to take a breath. I count the carts and make a mad dash for the time clock then to my car, taking care not to look back as I fear I'll turn into a pillar of salt. I decompress on my commute home, attempt to shake the day so that I can relax and enjoy the company of my husband when I get home without visions of charts/meds/Incident Reports/angry people stealing my "happy thoughts".

    I work in Texas, LTC. $21.00/hr + $1.00 shift diff.

    (As a side note, it's not always bad. I have to find humor in my job, otherwise it will consume my soul. )
  5. 1
    Quote from bluegeegoo2
    I come in, get an incomplete report from the 6-2 nurse who invariably "forgets" to take off orders/process labs. (I find those later in the shift.) My CNA's will tell me that so-and-so has been running a temp with emesis all day. (Funny, I didn't get THAT in report...) I feebly attempt to gather VS's for my MCR/focus charting residents only to be interrupted by the pharmacy calling incessantly asking questions like, "was that lisinopril order for Mr. X p.o.?". No. It's topical. Sheesh. Moving on, it seems the 6-2 people failed to report a skin tear on Mrs. Y, so I have to write the Incident Report, make the proper notifications, dress the wound, etc. Now, back to those VS's. But wait! There's a very angry family member who wants to know why her Mom, (Dx: Alzheimer's) is saying she hasn't eaten all day! I hunt for the never-can-be-found Meal Intake Book and point out that yes, "Mom" ate, very well in fact and has had snacks. Well, that's not good enough "cuz Mom said she hasn't eaten!" I try to explain for the millionth time that Alzheimer's resident's have a hard time remembering things...Now I'm behind. Naturally. I give up on VS's for the time being because I have meds and blood sugar checks to get done before supper. That being done, (not without another host of interruptions), I can finally sit and try to get some charting done. Oh! What's this? Well, I'll be! It's a stack of labs left over from...oh let's check the time stamp...1 p.m.! Perfect. So I call on the labs, get the orders, blah blah blah. Where was I? Oh! Charting! Oh well now look at the time. I have to take lunch. It's now or never. So then I take lunch in my car for the solitude where I quietly whimper to myself and attempt to regroup for the remainder of the shift. I steel myself as I head back in, with a "plan" to get the rest of my duties completed when I hear, "Oh! There you are! Mrs. Z fell out of bed a few minutes ago." The "plan" goes right out the window, another Incident Report to write, phone calls, etc. I blast through the HS med pass and scribble illegibly in the charts to finish those up hoping to get an "E" for effort. I give report at breakneck speed, barely pausing to take a breath. I count the carts and make a mad dash for the time clock then to my car, taking care not to look back as I fear I'll turn into a pillar of salt. I decompress on my commute home, attempt to shake the day so that I can relax and enjoy the company of my husband when I get home without visions of charts/meds/Incident Reports/angry people stealing my "happy thoughts".

    I work in Texas, LTC. $21.00/hr + $1.00 shift diff.

    (As a side note, it's not always bad. I have to find humor in my job, otherwise it will consume my soul. )
    Thanks for responding (thanks to poster for asking this question) I found it interesting what its like for lpn's day.
    bluegeegoo2 likes this.
  6. 0
    I'm a new grad. Don't start until Tuesday so I don't know how much help my input will be but I'll contribute if u like.

    Finally a nurse...All for my three♡♡♡
  7. 1
    Quote from bluegeegoo2
    I come in, get an incomplete report from the 6-2 nurse who invariably "forgets" to take off orders/process labs. (I find those later in the shift.) My CNA's will tell me that so-and-so has been running a temp with emesis all day. (Funny, I didn't get THAT in report...) I feebly attempt to gather VS's for my MCR/focus charting residents only to be interrupted by the pharmacy calling incessantly asking questions like, "was that lisinopril order for Mr. X p.o.?". No. It's topical. Sheesh. Moving on, it seems the 6-2 people failed to report a skin tear on Mrs. Y, so I have to write the Incident Report, make the proper notifications, dress the wound, etc. Now, back to those VS's. But wait! There's a very angry family member who wants to know why her Mom, (Dx: Alzheimer's) is saying she hasn't eaten all day! I hunt for the never-can-be-found Meal Intake Book and point out that yes, "Mom" ate, very well in fact and has had snacks. Well, that's not good enough "cuz Mom said she hasn't eaten!" I try to explain for the millionth time that Alzheimer's resident's have a hard time remembering things...Now I'm behind. Naturally. I give up on VS's for the time being because I have meds and blood sugar checks to get done before supper. That being done, (not without another host of interruptions), I can finally sit and try to get some charting done. Oh! What's this? Well, I'll be! It's a stack of labs left over from...oh let's check the time stamp...1 p.m.! Perfect. So I call on the labs, get the orders, blah blah blah. Where was I? Oh! Charting! Oh well now look at the time. I have to take lunch. It's now or never. So then I take lunch in my car for the solitude where I quietly whimper to myself and attempt to regroup for the remainder of the shift. I steel myself as I head back in, with a "plan" to get the rest of my duties completed when I hear, "Oh! There you are! Mrs. Z fell out of bed a few minutes ago." The "plan" goes right out the window, another Incident Report to write, phone calls, etc. I blast through the HS med pass and scribble illegibly in the charts to finish those up hoping to get an "E" for effort. I give report at breakneck speed, barely pausing to take a breath. I count the carts and make a mad dash for the time clock then to my car, taking care not to look back as I fear I'll turn into a pillar of salt. I decompress on my commute home, attempt to shake the day so that I can relax and enjoy the company of my husband when I get home without visions of charts/meds/Incident Reports/angry people stealing my "happy thoughts".

    I work in Texas, LTC. $21.00/hr + $1.00 shift diff.

    (As a side note, it's not always bad. I have to find humor in my job, otherwise it will consume my soul. )
    You made me laugh out loud with this post. This was my work life when i was a LPN.
    bluegeegoo2 likes this.
  8. 1
    I feel as though we work at the same place!!!!!! Thanks I needed to read your post
    bluegeegoo2 likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from futurenurseOB
    I'm a new grad. Don't start until Tuesday so I don't know how much help my input will be but I'll contribute if u like.

    Finally a nurse...All for my three♡♡♡
    Please do respond, give us the experience of a new nurse. Congrats and good luck on the next phase.
  10. 1
    Quote from bluegeegoo2
    I come in, get an incomplete report from the 6-2 nurse who invariably "forgets" to take off orders/process labs. (I find those later in the shift.) My CNA's will tell me that so-and-so has been running a temp with emesis all day. (Funny, I didn't get THAT in report...) I feebly attempt to gather VS's for my MCR/focus charting residents only to be interrupted by the pharmacy calling incessantly asking questions like, "was that lisinopril order for Mr. X p.o.?". No. It's topical. Sheesh. Moving on, it seems the 6-2 people failed to report a skin tear on Mrs. Y, so I have to write the Incident Report, make the proper notifications, dress the wound, etc. Now, back to those VS's. But wait! There's a very angry family member who wants to know why her Mom, (Dx: Alzheimer's) is saying she hasn't eaten all day! I hunt for the never-can-be-found Meal Intake Book and point out that yes, "Mom" ate, very well in fact and has had snacks. Well, that's not good enough "cuz Mom said she hasn't eaten!" I try to explain for the millionth time that Alzheimer's resident's have a hard time remembering things...Now I'm behind. Naturally. I give up on VS's for the time being because I have meds and blood sugar checks to get done before supper. That being done, (not without another host of interruptions), I can finally sit and try to get some charting done. Oh! What's this? Well, I'll be! It's a stack of labs left over from...oh let's check the time stamp...1 p.m.! Perfect. So I call on the labs, get the orders, blah blah blah. Where was I? Oh! Charting! Oh well now look at the time. I have to take lunch. It's now or never. So then I take lunch in my car for the solitude where I quietly whimper to myself and attempt to regroup for the remainder of the shift. I steel myself as I head back in, with a "plan" to get the rest of my duties completed when I hear, "Oh! There you are! Mrs. Z fell out of bed a few minutes ago." The "plan" goes right out the window, another Incident Report to write, phone calls, etc. I blast through the HS med pass and scribble illegibly in the charts to finish those up hoping to get an "E" for effort. I give report at breakneck speed, barely pausing to take a breath. I count the carts and make a mad dash for the time clock then to my car, taking care not to look back as I fear I'll turn into a pillar of salt. I decompress on my commute home, attempt to shake the day so that I can relax and enjoy the company of my husband when I get home without visions of charts/meds/Incident Reports/angry people stealing my "happy thoughts".

    I work in Texas, LTC. $21.00/hr + $1.00 shift diff.

    (As a side note, it's not always bad. I have to find humor in my job, otherwise it will consume my soul. )
    Thank you for the insight lol I appreciate it.
    bluegeegoo2 likes this.
  11. 2
    Quote from bluegeegoo2
    I come in, get an incomplete report from the 6-2 nurse who invariably "forgets" to take off orders/process labs. (I find those later in the shift.) My CNA's will tell me that so-and-so has been running a temp with emesis all day. (Funny, I didn't get THAT in report...) I feebly attempt to gather VS's for my MCR/focus charting residents only to be interrupted by the pharmacy calling incessantly asking questions like, "was that lisinopril order for Mr. X p.o.?". No. It's topical. Sheesh. Moving on, it seems the 6-2 people failed to report a skin tear on Mrs. Y, so I have to write the Incident Report, make the proper notifications, dress the wound, etc. Now, back to those VS's. But wait! There's a very angry family member who wants to know why her Mom, (Dx: Alzheimer's) is saying she hasn't eaten all day! I hunt for the never-can-be-found Meal Intake Book and point out that yes, "Mom" ate, very well in fact and has had snacks. Well, that's not good enough "cuz Mom said she hasn't eaten!" I try to explain for the millionth time that Alzheimer's resident's have a hard time remembering things...Now I'm behind. Naturally. I give up on VS's for the time being because I have meds and blood sugar checks to get done before supper. That being done, (not without another host of interruptions), I can finally sit and try to get some charting done. Oh! What's this? Well, I'll be! It's a stack of labs left over from...oh let's check the time stamp...1 p.m.! Perfect. So I call on the labs, get the orders, blah blah blah. Where was I? Oh! Charting! Oh well now look at the time. I have to take lunch. It's now or never. So then I take lunch in my car for the solitude where I quietly whimper to myself and attempt to regroup for the remainder of the shift. I steel myself as I head back in, with a "plan" to get the rest of my duties completed when I hear, "Oh! There you are! Mrs. Z fell out of bed a few minutes ago." The "plan" goes right out the window, another Incident Report to write, phone calls, etc. I blast through the HS med pass and scribble illegibly in the charts to finish those up hoping to get an "E" for effort. I give report at breakneck speed, barely pausing to take a breath. I count the carts and make a mad dash for the time clock then to my car, taking care not to look back as I fear I'll turn into a pillar of salt. I decompress on my commute home, attempt to shake the day so that I can relax and enjoy the company of my husband when I get home without visions of charts/meds/Incident Reports/angry people stealing my "happy thoughts".

    I work in Texas, LTC. $21.00/hr + $1.00 shift diff.

    (As a side note, it's not always bad. I have to find humor in my job, otherwise it will consume my soul. )


    This a day in the life of a Lpn
    But that truly depends on where u work
    I love the residents at the LTC I work at but everything else is terrible
    We have a charge lpn that is as lazy and good for nothing as pie
    Suppose to do the first three admits of every day but never does
    We are understaffed
    I currently have 31 residents
    Alot of times with 3+ ivs goin on
    Draw blood if its not lab day
    Do all mds snf notes
    All body audits
    All orders
    All filing in the charts
    And give meds / treatments (nonwoundcare)
    Our ward clerk doesn't file anything
    We have been running more like an LTAC since administration loves $$ so gets ppl that are bad off
    Hospice patients
    Snf patients
    Psych partients
    Point is staff lpns are overworked
    Fiona59 and bluegeegoo2 like this.
  12. 4
    I work in a residential group home. I have 3 patients/clients that I take care of in their home. I partner with a dsp (direct support professional), like a cna but they aren't licensed, some have med aide training. My night starts at 9pm, my patients only have a nurse when they are getting their tube feedings. I count meds with outgoing staff, get vital signs and a blood sugar, I prime the pumps and start each tube feeding, I mix up the meds and give them and do any treatments, topicals, breathing treatments, insulin shots, peg tube changes etc. It's usually 11pm when I'm done with all that. We do dry rounds every two hours and change briefs and reposition. We do a lot of charting and paperwork at my job (although it's basically the same entry night unless some one is sick or something unusual happens) and I'll usually do my first entry at midnight and then every 4 hours after. We do dry rounds and various things throughout the night but, we do have a lot of downtime. If someone is sick the night can stay pretty busy though. After my 7am dry round I'll get vital signs and then start mixing up meds and do my 8am med pass, I'll disconnect their the feedings, flush their tubes and do any topicals or treatments. I'll count meds with oncoming staff and then finish up any charting I have left. I leave at 9am or 9:30 at the latest if it's been a busy night. $17ish an hour.

    When I was in ltc I came in at 10:45 pm, counted meds and got report, made a vital signs sheet for the people I needed to chart on, test the glucometer, stock both med carts, the treatment cart and the crash cart. I'd get my insulin from the fridge, fill my water pitcher up and start my 12am med pass. I'd do my blood sugars as I'd go. I'd also changed out tube feeding bags, tubing, flushed tubes, changed o2 tubing and did any bolus feedings on my pass. If I had a chance I'd take a quick pee break at this time. I'd then start doing my treatments, I'd change dressings, change Foley's, iv tubing, do trach care. I'd draw blood for labs and get any urine or stool samples that were needed. After all that I'd try and chart if I could, although some nights it wouldn't get done till my shift was over. I'd usually eat my lunch while I was charting, I never really had time to take an actual lunch break. Plus I'd have to attend to any meds, falls, injuries, illness, hospital visits that pop up (There will be more paper work than you imagined) and deal with any drs orders and things that were "hidden" or "forgotten" from other shifts. Around 4am I'd start getting ready for my am med pass, I usually had between 25-55 patients on this med pass so, it took a while. I had 18 finger sticks and at least 12 insulin shots on the unit with 55 people. I'd finish my pass around 7am, sometimes later and gave report and counted meds. I'd finish up any paper work I had left. My shift ended at 7:15am but, I'd usually leave around 8-8:30am. I've stayed as late as 10:30am finishing up. $14.25 an hour after differential (almost 10 years ago)

    I also worked at a clinic for a bit, it was a never ending cycle of, vitals, blood draws, giving shots, calling patients, insurance referrals, making appointments and trying to get the Dr in and out of a room in 15 mins flat to get to the next patient. $12 an hr, years ago.
    Fiona59, genaluvya, ASPIRING2BGREAT, and 1 other like this.


Top