Powerful Geography
Nurse: Licensed Practical (LPN) and Licensed Vocational (LVN)

Nurse: Licensed Practical (LPN) and Licensed Vocational (LVN)

Nurse: Licensed Practical (LPN) and Licensed Vocational (LVN)

Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview: Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic medical care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors.  Duties of LPNs and LVNs vary, depending on their work setting and the state in which they work. For example, they may reinforce teaching done by registered nurses regarding how family members should care for a relative; help to deliver, care for, and feed infants; collect samples for testing and do routine laboratory tests; or feed patients who need help eating.  LPNs and LVNs may be limited to doing certain tasks, depending on the state where they work. For example, in some states, LPNs with proper training can give medication or start intravenous (IV) drips, but in other states LPNs cannot perform these tasks. State regulations also govern the extent to which LPNs and LVNs must be directly supervised. For example, an LPN may provide certain forms of care only with instructions from a registered nurse. In some states, experienced licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses supervise and direct other LPNs or LVNs and unlicensed medical staff.

Geographic skills and knowledge are important for the nursing field, as the prevalence of many diseases, the spread of certain diseases, and health care issues are related to location.  For example, some areas may have a high cancer rate, perhaps because of industrial pollution.  Understanding that link between health issues and place is important in the health care profession for disease prevention, treatment, and advising patients.

Geographers at work:  Health geographers, medical geographers, human geographers, cultural geographers

Recommended College Courses:  Human geography, physical geography, cultural geography, environmental geography, political geography; geographic information systems

Skills:  Web-based mapping applications; map reading and interpretation; geographic information systems; computer and database systems; geographic thinking; problem-based learning models

Occupation Group: Healthcare

Learn more about LPNs and LVNs from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm#tab-1


Written by Chris Anderson