Licensed practical nurses are needed in many industries throughout the workforce globally. Many of the practical nurses work in healthcare amenities like hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Some of their duties include providing care, monitoring patients’ health, helping doctors and registered nurses and interacting with patients.

There are also many nurses that do not work in the traditional healthcare facilities, some are hired by families to provide personal care for sick, elderly and injured people, while others may be employed by large businesses to assist the company with basic healthcare to employees and clients.

There are many colleges around the country that offer specialised training courses to get you prepared for practical nursing, such as North Shore College. However, before you decide on this career path, get familiar with the various roles, responsibilities and duties that you will be expected to play.

What are the roles played by a practical nurse?

Presently practical nurses have many roles in the United States of America. Some of the job roles that they meet include:

  1. Being a counsellor: practical nurses practicing as counsellors assist patients and their respective families with talking about illnesses and the healthcare services that are available to them.
  2. Researcher: practical nurses will try to find out if there are issues in the patients care plan and if they do find issues, they look for solutions to them. They take on the responsibility to find the best care plan or treatment option that is available to their patients.
  3. Collaborator: Practical nurses are encouraged to share problems that they face with other members in their team. They try to find the best solution by discussing pertinent issues together.
  4. Consultant: Many practical nurses work under the guidance of registered nurses or physicians and they need to communicate with their superior directly. Effective communication is imperative to providing the best care for their patients.
  5. Clinical: The practical nurse must take on the responsibility of all tasks relative the patient. They monitor and examine the patients and ensure that they have the correct medication, dressing is changed on time and all needs are met.
  6. Advocate: they have a responsibility to stand by the patient’s side and protect the patient’s rights.

What are the duties and responsibilities?


  1. Planning and managing each patient’s care depending on the needs of that patient
  2. Interviewing patients and recording their medical history
  3. Ensuring that patients get to their rooms and checking their vital signs
  4. Ensuring that patients take their medication and injections
  5. Ensuring that al records and charts are current
  6. Monitoring the patient’s condition, as well as the medication that is prescribed to them
  7. Taking calls or verbal orders from the doctor regarding the patient
  8. Creating a nursing care plan for the patient


  1. Admitting new patients
  2. Assisting the doctors during their routine rounds
  3. Delegating duties to nurses that are not licensed
  4. Monitoring how the patients are being treated and managing other nursing staff
  5. Providing explanations to patients on relevant treatments and procedures

Practical nursing is not for the faint hearted and is a career that requires dedication, passion and perseverance. If you would like to learn more about the courses we offer, please visit our website.