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PN Responsibilities in Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Nurse Smiling In Scrubs

Practical Nurses (PNs) represent one of the most in-demand and rapidly growing healthcare professions in the United States. If you’re interested in pursuing this career, you may be curious about the PN responsibilities these professionals carry out each day. Here, Prism Career Institute takes a closer look at how our approved practical nursing program in Philadelphia, PA, West Atlantic City, NJ, and Cherry Hill, NJ can prepare you for this line of work.

PNs Wear Many Hats

It’s easy to assume that PNs simply assist physicians in doctor’s offices or hospitals. However, this is far from the case. PN career opportunities are available in a variety of settings, like rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, clinics, and more. As such, a PN in one practice may have a very different role than his or her peers.

The practical nursing program offered by Prism Career Institute prepares students for a multitude of roles, including:

  • Counseling: Many PNs take on the role of a counselor to help patients and their families understand a diagnosis and the treatments they will undergo.
  • Liaison: These professionals are often responsible for coordinating patient care with a healthcare team and collaborating to find solutions.
  • Clinical: This requires PNs to complete all primary duties relating to their patients, such as evaluating and monitoring their conditions, changing dressings, administering medications, and more.
  • Research: PNs must conduct research to analyze physicians’ plans objectively and resolve any issues or conflicts to provide the patient with the best treatment possible.
  • Advocate: A common responsibility in senior care or rehabilitation settings, PNs must advocate for the best interests of their patients when they are unable to do so themselves. From filing insurance claims to choosing a treatment option, it is their duty to protect patients’ rights and improve their situation however possible.
  • Education: PNs need to establish open communication with patients. Doing so calms fears and enables education on conditions, medications, and more. For instance, a patient who received stitches must be educated on proper wound care, while one prescribed medication must learn the side effects and any special instructions.

Universal PN Responsibilities

Regardless of the healthcare setting or their specific role, PNs share a host of responsibilities across the board. These include:

Administrative Duties

PNs may double as administrative staff. Their duties often include admitting patients, entering data into computer systems, billing, providing assistance with paperwork or insurance information, updating health records, and more.

Clinical Duties

During examinations, PNs will interview patients about their medical history, take vital signs, gather the equipment needed by physicians, and educate patients on best practices to ensure their overall health. In some settings, like hospitals, PNs will also monitor patients’ eating and bathroom habits, provide bedside care, and more.

Laboratory Duties

PNs are on the front lines when it comes to diagnostic testing. Aside from routine vaccinations and injections for certain conditions, they also assist with phlebotomy, visual acuity testing, and more. Once results are in, PNs will also deliver test results to patients — usually over the phone or by mail.

Prepare with Us

These PN responsibilities may sound extensive, but our programs will leave you prepared to tackle them all with confidence. Our practical nursing program in Philadelphia, PA, West Atlantic City, NJ, and Cherry Hill, NJ is approved by the PA State Board of Nursing and the NJ State Board of Nursing, respectively, to offer the curriculum and hands-on experience you need to succeed as a PN. To learn more, contact Prism Career Institute today.