Occ. Code 5500200





New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




            Licensed Practical Nurses work in hospital or clinical settings where, using detailed standard procedures and as directed by physicians or registered nurses, they treat patients for a variety of physical maladies in order to assist in maintaining patient health, preventing and curing illness and injury and alleviating suffering.  They also observe patients through the duration of their treatment in order to obtain information on the physical conditions of such patients.




            Incumbents of Licensed Practical Nurse positions are assigned to hospital or clinical settings where they perform duties in service to patients in the following four main areas:  observing patients for symptoms and reactions to treatments; treating patients for physical maladies as directed and under close supervision; attending to patients’ personal needs; and a small amount of housekeeping.  It is the assignment of tasks in the first two of these areas as described below that is characteristic of Licensed Practical Nurse positions.  In order to be properly classified as Licensed Practical Nurse, positions must be assigned patient observation and treatment duties relating to physical care of patients for at least 70% of their working time.


            Licensed Practical Nurse positions are frequently assigned to institutions and facilities where incumbents may perform some tasks involving observation of patients’ behavior and performance of simple psychotherapeutic treatment procedures.  While such assignments are not inappropriate for Licensed Practical Nurses, they are not characteristic of the class and do not contribute to the classification of positions as such.  In view of this, it is stressed that positions which are significantly involved in the observation of behavior and the performance of simple psychotherapeutic treatment procedures (30% or more of the incumbent’s work time) are not properly classified as Licensed Practical Nurse. 


            A Licensed Practical Nurse may be assigned to perform a variety of general and specialized nursing care procedures.  In this regard, incumbents may be required to participate in some specific short term in-service classroom and on-the-job training covering those procedures and the use of equipment in which the employee has had no previous training or experience.


            Licensed Practical Nurses, Nurses 1, and Nurses 2 perform, in many cases, identical patient observation and treatment procedures; they are distinguished by the different degrees of discretion they are allowed in administering treatments and the different abilities they are required to employ in performing treatment tasks.  Whereas a Licensed Practical Nurse provides direct nursing care in support of and under close supervision of a registered professional nurse, a Nurse 1 and Nurse 2 bear the primary responsibility and accountability for the nursing care which patients receive.  Furthermore, whereas the Licensed Practical Nurse involved in patient observation and treatment activities employees ability to identify changes in symptoms and conditions manifested by patients, the Nurse 1 or Nurse 2, employs abilities to apply knowledges of symptoms and disease process by assessing the significance of observed changes, and independently administering treatments in some circumstances.


            Positions which are primarily involved in observing and attending to hospital patients and perform some routine treatment tasks in one of several areas of clinical specialty are classified as Hospital Clinical Assistant 2, Grade 7.  Hospital Clinical Assistant 2 positions are restricted to such simple treatment tasks as changing simple dressings, splints and prostheses and distributing oral medications.




Monitors the conditions of patients in a designated area of responsibility in order to detect indications of changes in condition or untoward responses to medication or therapy.


·        Observes patients throughout their stay in the treatment facility, identifies symptoms of maladies and changes in conditions manifested by patients, and reports such symptoms or changes to a physician or registered nurse in order to provide information useful in diagnosis and treatment planning.


·        Takes temperatures, pulse rates, blood pressures and respiration rates using thermometers, manometers, stethoscopes and knowledge of standard procedures in order to provide registered nurses and physicians with data for interpretation.


·        Requests patients to provide and assists patients in collecting urine, stool and other specimens in order to obtain such samples for analysis.


·        Measures fluid intake and output.


·        Prepares and maintains charts and other records of patients’ conditions and treatments administered in order to document such conditions and activities.


·        Talks to patients, listens to their replies and reports their responses in order to obtain and provide information useful in diagnosis and treatment.


Treats patients for a variety of physical maladies under the close and continuing supervision of a physician or registered nurse in order to maintain health, prevent and cure illness and injury, and alleviate suffering using practical knowledges of disease process and hospital procedures.


·        Changes dressings on wounds and other injuries as prescribed in order to keep such injuries clean and protected.


·        Gives enemas and douches as directed.


·        Administers medications to patients, including intramuscular and subcutaneous injections and oral and topical medications as prescribed.


·        Manipulates I.V. bottles and tubing in order to change I.V. bottles for patients being treated with I.V. medications.


·        Sets up and operates equipment and apparatus including Intermittent Positive Pressure Breathing Machines in the administration of inhalation therapy treatments as prescribed by a physician.


Attends to the patients’ daily living, personal hygienic and simple human needs in order to maintain in the clinical facility an atmosphere conducive to treatment and comfortable to patients.


·        Feeds patients requiring assistance in order to insure such patients receive appropriate nourishment.


·        Bathes and dresses patients, brushes teeth, and trims finger and toenails in order to make patients more comfortable.


·        Moves, positions, lifts and transports patients in order to make them more comfortable and to deliver them to appropriate treatment facilities.


·        Serves disabled patients by bringing bedpans and urinals in order to assist such patients.


·        Talks to patients, listens to their complaints and responds by encouraging them to cooperate with and participate in treatment and therapeutic activities in order to help patients achieve attitudes conducive to treatment and rehabilitation.


May perform a variety of housekeeping duties in order to insure that the clinical facility is clean, sanitary, orderly and properly supplied.


·        Inventories current supplies to determine the need for ordering new supplies.


·        Fills out requisition forms and forwards to appropriate points in the organization in order to maintain supplies at appropriate levels.


·        Changes bed linens and other hospital linens to insure that clean linens are always provided.


·        May assist other ward personnel in performing a variety of cleaning tasks in order to maintain the clinical facility in a clean and sanitary state.


May wash and dress corpses using standard procedures in order to prepare corpses for delivery to mortuary facilities.




            Licensed Practical Nurses must continually relate to patients who may be apprehensive, despondent, mentally ill or retarded, both in one-to-one situations and in groups.  In all such dealings, they strive to give support to patients by encouraging them to cooperate and participate in treatment and therapy.  They also speak with patients to gather information on the patients’ symptoms.




            Licensed Practical Nurse encompasses many different jobs which vary widely in the nature and extent of supervision received and the nature and extent of procedural guidelines available.  However, with regard to tasks involving direct physical treatment of patients, Licensed Practical Nurses always work under the close supervision of a registered nurse or a physician; that is, a registered nurse or physician is always available at the treatment site to provide guidance in the performance of what may be for the Licensed Practical Nurse difficult or unusual treatment procedures.


            Licensed Practical Nurses may supervise Hospital Clinical Assistants 1, in the provision of housekeeping and daily living services to patients.




            Licensed Practical Nurses with specific training in their respective organizational units may tend and operate a variety of medical equipment, including dialysis machines, respirators and other inhalation equipment, suction machines, and cardiac monitors.  In addition, they regularly handle and manipulate syringes, needles, I.V. bottles and tubes, catheters and other treatment aids.




·        Good knowledge of specific symptoms of diseases and conditions commonly encountered in the treatment facility.


·        Good knowledge of some simple and common nursing care and treatment procedures.


·        Good knowledge of specific treatment procedures employed by Licensed Practical Nurses in the treatment facility.


·        Ability to read and comprehend simple treatment instructions and to write simple reports of clinical conditions and treatments administered.


·        Ability to observe and report on changes in symptoms manifested by patients.


·        Ability to relate to and encourage patients who may be despondent, apprehensive, mentally ill or retarded.


·        Skill in administering intramuscular and subcutaneous injections with minimal discomfort to patients.




            Candidates must possess or be eligible to obtain a license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse in New York State.



Reviewed:  2/03


NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.