8 Signs You Are a Licensed Practical Nurse

8 Signs You Are a Licensed Practical Nurse
Last Updated:  |   Staff Writers |   Basics

As a licensed professional nurse, or LPN, there is no doubt about your profession when you are on the clock. After all, the scrubs and stethoscope give it away every time. What about during your daily life? Can others tell that you work in nursing without asking? Chances are that they can. LPNs around the world endure many of the same experiences, so they tend to develop similar telltale signs of their profession. Read on to confirm that you are indeed a licensed practical nurse based on these signs.

Eight Signs That You are an LPN

You don't have to punch in to work every morning to know that you are a licensed practical nurse. The signs of your profession extend into all areas of your life, and they are probably even reflected by your very personality. You're sure to recognize many of the following eight signs of being an LPN:

  1. You Go Through Copious Amounts of Hand Sanitizer - As an LPN, you probably feel like you should buy stock in a hand sanitizer business since you buy so much of the stuff. During a typical shift, you find yourself reaching again and again for the bottle. In fact, you might even have a mini bottle that you keep clipped to your scrubs. Either way, this is a good habit to fall into as you come into contact with countless germs during the course of a single day. As long as you're not actually consuming the stuff, there's nothing wrong with using hand sanitizer liberally.
  2. You Own Shoes That You Only Wear at Work - Although this is true about many professions, including construction workers, it's especially relevant to LPNs and other nursing professionals. Since you're on your feet for anywhere from eight to 12 hours at a time during a typical shift, your concept of comfortable shoes has probably changed a lot. When it comes to footwear, LPNs care less about style and far more about comfort. As a result, most own a special pair of orthopedic shoes that they strictly wear while on the clock. Sound familiar?
  3. You're Used to Commotion - LPNs work in assisted living centers and other healthcare facilities that tend to have a lot going on at most times. If you have become immune to the sound of beeping IVs and other distractions, you are undoubtedly an LPN. During the course of a typical shift, you're apt to be exposed to shouting, beeping, loud machinery noises and much more. As a result, you have become adept at focusing even amid complete chaos. This characteristic will serve you well throughout your career.
  4. You Rarely Celebrate Holidays with Family - This one is a bit of a bummer, but it can't be avoided. Especially when you are still early in your career, you are likely to be stuck working on most major holidays. This is a rite of passage that most nursing professionals must endure. On the plus side, LPNs usually receive extra compensation for working on holidays. Some even prefer to work such shifts. If you don't tend to go all out for the holidays, you may enjoy picking up a little extra money by working a big holiday. Even if you dislike it, you should someday be able to enjoy a more normal schedule.
  5. You Can Be On Your Feet for Hours - Since becoming an LPN, you have probably become desensitized to being on your feet for hours on end. During the course of a typical shift, you are unlikely to have more than a few minutes here and there to sit and rest your feet. Your friends probably marvel at your ability to stand patiently in line without complaining about sore feet. The fact is that you are used to it. They still hurt, but you can handle it.
  6. You Can Eat a Meal with Amazing Speed - As an LPN, you are an expert in the art of eating on the go. Although you get breaks, they tend to be very abbreviated. You don't generally have the luxury of sitting down and savoring meals, so you often find yourself rapidly shoveling food into your mouth as you make your way around the facility. This is completely par for the course when it comes to being in the nursing profession. Consider packing some protein bars in your scrubs for emergencies.
  7. You Have to Be Selective About Sharing Stories - Most people enjoy regaling others with stories about things that happen to them while at work. As an LPN, though, you deal with things during the average shift that many people would never be able to handle doing. As a result, you probably find yourself censoring certain aspects of the stories that you tell. To you and your LPN friends, these things are normal; for those who don't work in nursing, they are off-putting and even sometimes shocking.
  8. You Live in Your Scrubs - You are probably an LPN if you don't just wear scrubs to work but find yourself lounging around in them at all hours of the day and night. With such demanding work, you tend to come home lacking the energy to change into different clothes. Scrubs are comfortable, and they stand up well to wear and tear. It is little wonder that many LPNs wear them frequently even when they are not on the clock. You're not alone, so don't feel weird about it.

Whether you just became a licensed practical nurse or have been working as an LPN for some time, you're sure to recognize all or most of the signs highlighted above. As you progress in your career, you're sure to become more and more familiar with these and other common LPN traits.

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