A Day in the Life of an LPN

Amy (not her real name) is a licensed practical nurse in California. She got her LPN five years ago. Her first job was in an extended care facility (nursing home), the graveyard shift in the middle of the night. Amy did well working at the nursing home. Within a couple of years she was the supervisor of the aides on the graveyard shift. She had 70 patients under her care. It was hard work, which she didn't mind.

Lpn Lvn Licensed Practical Nursing Licensed Vocational Nursing

But after four years at the nursing home, Amy felt the need for a change. She wanted to work days so she could have a more normal social life. She applied for a job with an employment agency that places practical nurses into homes where care is needed. This agency pays almost as much money as her night supervisor job did. She is now working in the home of an elderly couple. The husband, who is 84, is in pretty good shape and doesn't need nursing care. The wife, who is 80, has advanced Alzheimer's disease. She has already lost essentially all her short-term memory, so she never remembers Amy from one day to the next. Amy doesn't mind, because, although she is confused, Mrs. Johnson (not her real name) is pretty happy and easy to take care of.

The biggest challenge for Amy is to try and keep Mrs. Johnson relatively quiet, and make sure she takes her medications, as well as trying to get her to eat.

Amy begins her day talking to Mr. Johnson. Of course they have to be in the same room as Mrs. Johnson, who will wander away and get into trouble if they take their eyes off of her. Usually Mr. Johnson says, "I think she's a little better today." Amy knows he is just saying what he wishes were true. Then he will tell her if Mrs. Johnson ate any breakfast. Since Mr. Johnson is his wife's main caretaker, his only time for himself is when Amy is taking care of her. He uses this time to do errands and to get an emotional break.

The biggest challenge for Amy is to try and keep Mrs. Johnson relatively quiet, and make sure she takes her medications, as well as trying to get her to eat. She has high blood pressure as well as osteoporosis, thin bones. She needs to take two pills a day, plus a once-a-week medicine for her thin bones. She also has to take calcium and vitamin D to strengthen her bones. She has fallen and broken her hip in the past. That was before Amy's time. The surgery she had, and time in the hospital, was followed by a tremendous worsening of her memory, which is why Amy is there now.

Amy gives Mrs. Johnson her medicines in the morning after breakfast. Breakfast is a challenge. Mrs. Johnson does not want to eat. She has lost quite a bit of weight. Amy will give her Ensure to drink during the day as much as she can. Some days are better than others.

Amy has found a number of ways to keep Mrs. Johnson quiet and happy. She does like watching television, cartoons actually, although she won't hold still for an entire 30 minutes. Amy turns on the television whenever they are in the living room, and puts on the Cartoon Network. Mrs. Johnson also likes having her hair brushed and braided. Amy does that every morning. Sometimes she can read children's books to Mrs. Johnson, sometimes not.

One of the hardest things for Amy is to try and keep Mrs. Johnson clean. Sometimes she can get her to sit in the shower on a special chair, and she can use the hand nozzle to gently spray her. Amy uses a little liquid soap that Mrs. Johnson likes because it smells like lavender. Then Amy sprays the soap off, dries her and puts her in clean clothes. Some days, she can't get Mrs. Johnson anywhere near the shower.

By the end of the eight-hour day, Amy is ready to go home. Mr. Johnson takes over his wife's care. Amy knows that this can't go on forever, but for now she is happy to help him. That is why she trained as an LPN.

Schools offering LPN Programs

Refine School Matches
Hide filters

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Grand Canyon University - Where a Quality Education and Faith Coexist
            • Recognized as offering some of the best online education programs in the nation.
            • We support students through their academic and spiritual journey.
            • GCU offers the convenience of online, on-campus, or evening programs.
            • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
            • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
            • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
            • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            Lincoln Tech , Philadelphia
            • Encompasses the Lincoln Tech, Lincoln Culinary Institute, and Lincoln College of New England brands.
            • Lincoln schools made more than $15 million available nationally through scholarships to qualified students in 2015.
            • Designated a Military Friendly School for the 6th year in a row by Victory Media; offers exclusive scholarship for servicemen and women and their families.
            • First Lincoln Tech campus opened in 1946; now 30 campuses in 15 states across the United States.
            • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Accrediting Commission of Career Schools (ACCSC), Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), and New England Association of Schools and Colleges – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC)
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            Fortis Institute , Online (campus option available)
            • Provides a 24/7 myCampusLink system that lets students access their records, e-mail, communicate with faculty, and more.
            • Designated a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Offers career education in nursing, dental, business, information technology, and more. 
            • Has 44 campus locations across 15 states, with online options as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media
            • Students who qualify may earn credits from relevant work, military service training, or life experience through Credit by Examination Program (CLEP)
            • Offers 5 term start dates throughout the year
            • Class sizes are small, with an average 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council or Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)