LPN Skills Checklist: Top skills to master as a practical nurse

lpn job skills

As a licensed practical nurse, also called a licensed vocational nurse in some states, your job is to provide quality care for patients under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. There are certain LPN skills that you will need to learn in training, or master through experience. You may work in a variety of settings, including long-term care facilities, home healthcare, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and schools.If you are looking for a career in nursing, you may be wondering if you have the necessary skills to succeed. We have outlined some of the stand-out skills needed for a career as a practical nurse.

Skills needed to be a LPN

Clinical Skills

Whether the LPN is administering medicine, completing I.V. infusions, removing or inserting a catheter or working with an NG Tube, students should spend time perfecting their craft. After graduating it is very important to stay up to date with clinical skills. This is because procedures may change and it is up to the LPN to stay up to date.

Data Collection

Perfecting the art of charting is very important as an LPN. Documenting is very important in the healthcare field, making it easier for other healthcare professionals to work effectively together. Effective charting is also a must to ensure patients receive safe and effective care.

Patient Education

A sick patient gets a lot of information thrown at them very quickly. It is the LPN’s responsibility to assist the patient with understanding this information. This means ensuring the patient understands the care plan that has been provided to them. It may also include instruction on cleaning wounds as well as personal rehab. The road to recovery does not just end when you leave the patient.

Soft Skills that can contribute to career success!


LPNs may work with a variety of providers. As such, they need to communicate effectively with those providers. In addition, LPNs must be able to communicate with the patient as well as their family. This is to ensure quality of care and safety of the patient. Communication does not just mean verbal cues. LPNs also need to be able to understand nonverbal cues. In fact, sometimes, nonverbal cues will even tell you more about the patient!

One statement that is often preached throughout the industry is Therapeutic Communication. This is the idea of building a relationship with your patients. You need to ensure that every patient feels comfortable and confident in whatever procedures you are performing.

Professional Behavior

Professional behavior encompasses various skills in itself. Some of these include a commitment to the profession of nursing as well as respecting the legal and ethical standards of practice that goes into being an LPN. In general, an LPN should make sure that their patient feels respected, cared for, and most importantly safe!

Organizational Skills

As an LPN, you will be responsible for managing your time effectively in order to provide care to patients in a timely manner. Good organizational skills are essential in order to succeed in this role. You will need to be able to juggle multiple tasks at once and keep track of important details.


Much like in any job, collaboration is very important for an LPN. In fact, as an LPN collaboration is one of the most important traits you must possess. Whether you are communicating with a doctor or the patient’s family, everyone needs to be on the same page. This includes other nurses, doctors, family members and the LPN to ensure a successful treatment and/or recovery for the patient.

Begin Your Practical Nurse Training at Dorsey College

Do you want to make a change in your life? Do you want to train for a rewarding new career? Practical nursing is a vital and rewarding profession that provides an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Dorsey College offers a comprehensive practical nurse training program. Through our hands-on approach to learning, you can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to provide quality care to patients. Get started today by learning more about Dorsey College’s practical nurse program. 


Ready to make a change? Take the first step!
Requesting information requires no obligation or commitments.


Dorsey College has determined that its Practical Nurse program curriculum is sufficient to fulfill educational requirements for licensure in the State of Michigan only. No educational determinations have been made for any other state, district, or US territory in regards to nursing licensure requirements.