What Are LPNs Not Allowed To Do?

Here is what LPNs are not allowed to do.

In many states, licensed practical nurses are also called licensed vocational nurses. They study from the same corpus of nursing knowledge as RNs and RPNs, making them experts.

They work with physicians and RNs to deliver primary medical care. A few include cleaning equipment, helping with operations, and preparing patients for surgery.

What LPNs Cannot Do?

But are LPNs’ roles limited in any way?

This is an excellent question to ask because it’s not clear what an LPN can and cannot do. We want you to know a few things before we enlighten you on this subject matter.

First, it’s important to note that each state in the US varies in what it allows an LPN to do. Second, some states may require the LPN to take a class and pass an exam before they can perform a particular skill.

Having taken this into account, let’s digest the question at hand.

The Core Responsibilities of LPNs

LPNs play various roles in the medical field. However, it is vital to remember that duties differ by state and medical facility.

While this is true, most clinical facilities in the nation share specific general roles.

For example, LPNs are responsible for checking vital signs and providing primary nursing care, including inserting catheters or changing bandages.

Additionally, they assist patients with personal hygiene and dressing. Other tasks include reporting patient status to RNs and doctors, tracking patient health details, and talking with patients to determine their needs.

Due to time constraints, we can only address some of the jobs in this section. Now, let’s respond to the previous query.

What Can An LPN Not Do?

Experts in this sector aren’t allowed to play specific roles. Only doctors and RNs with more excellent training are eligible to perform those duties.

If LPNs are required to carry out particular duties, such as giving medication, they must do so directly under an RN’s or physician’s supervision. In other states, an LPN’s duties are restricted to patient support alone.

LPNs are forbidden from doing some tasks, such as giving IV medicines, completing a diagnosis, and developing nursing plans of care.

They are also prohibited from verbally ordering medical procedures, giving blood products, and declaring the time of death with a physician’s order.

  • Can LPNs Give Insulin?

No, these specialists aren’t allowed to access or flush central lines of any kind, including PICC lines and SUBQ ports, in several states. They are not to provide dialysis, chemotherapy drugs, insulin cardiac drips, or complete parental nourishment.

You should be aware of a few minor restrictions besides these major ones. LPNs are forbidden from using electricity to cause tissue damage or to interfere with the heart or neurological system.

They should also refrain from using lasers that cause tissue tearing or damage and from using them for allergy challenge testing or desensitization procedures.

Restricted LPN Activities Without Orders​

Similarly, these experts cannot perform some jobs without a license.

For instance, LPNs must avoid associating a patient’s symptoms with a particular disease. They also shouldn’t perform surgery on tissue on the mucous membrane surface or beneath the dermis.

Other prohibited roles include not conducting any form of sharps debridement, including conservative​e-sharps wound debridement (CSWD), administering purified protein derivative injections, or putting an instrument, device, or finger beyond the anal verge.

In most states, an LPN cannot insert a tool, gadget, hand, or finger past the labia majora up to the cervix.

A wearable hearing device, or any part or accessory for one, should not be inserted into the external ear canal up to the eardrum. Lastly, they must not go up to the eardrum in the external ear canal.

Restricted LPN Roles with Order

Specialists in this sector may not be allowed to carry out specific tasks due to a standing order based on their work state. A couple of these limited roles were treating bone fractures and giving injections or inhalations of medications.

Moreover, LPNs aren’t allowed to administer medication by irrigation or mechanical ventilation. Their areas of expertise do not include irrigation of ostomies, LMA insertion, or inserting any tool, device, hand, or finger past the throat.

To ice the cake more, LPNs aren’t allowed to put an instrument, device, hand, or finger beyond the point in the nasal passages where they usually narrow.

Then placing an instrument or a device, hand, or finger beyond the opening of the urethra, the labia majora, anal verge, ear canal, and eardrum are wholly prohibited for LPNs.

​​​Depending on the state in which you work, you may not be allowed to insert or advance scopes fractal examinations. Moreover, LPNs are restricted from carrying out fetal heart monitoring in any relativities, including palpation and auscultation of the fetal heart.

A licensed practical nurse can only carry out a few additional duties. The law will punish anyone found in violation of these rules.

Therefore, you must educate yourself on their scope of practice before entering this field of expertise. You should also examine your state’s prohibited duties. Doing this will keep you out of trouble.

​Work Environments and Pay for Licensed Practical Nurses

Experts in this area have the skills to work in various settings.

These include hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab facilities, where LPNs work the most frequently. Medical clinics and doctor’s offices may also contain some.

There are significant demands and expectations regarding their pay and professional growth. According to BLS statistics, as of May 2019, LPNs were paid a median income of $47,480 annually.

However, you may make as much as $63,360 or as little as $34,560.

While true, you should know that several vital aspects affect these practitioners’ salaries. These include your work environment, education level, experience level, and location.

Consider these factors carefully before accepting a job offer in this industry.

​Final Words

There are many limits to the tasks that an LPN can complete. However, these limitations rely on whether the expert underwent further training beyond what was necessary for licensure.

For example, LPNs are not permitted to administer some drugs in New Jersey. Nevertheless, the limitations will be removed after the practitioner completes further coursework and earns certification.