Management: What Can the Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Do and Not Do?


  • CAN make focused assessments
  • CAN administer some IVPB, PO, IM, subcut, ID, suppository, eye/ear/nose medications
  • CAN perform dressing changes
  • CAN catheterize
  • CAN help with basic hygiene
  • CAN employ clinical problem solving
  • CAN observe a patient intervention (eg: pursed-lip breathing, incentive spirometer)
  • CAN teach standardized information (eg: how to apply a nicotine patch)
  • CAN collect data about a patient’s response to certain medications
  • CAN reinforce teaching


  • CANNOT make initial or comprehensive assessments
  • CANNOT administer IV push medications, antineoplastics, strong antibiotics, experimental medications
  • CANNOT hang blood
  • CANNOT do initial teaching

*** Please NOTE: the scope of practice for the LVN/LPN varies from state to state and also depends on their facility’s policies and procedures. Refer to your state’s Board of Nursing (BON) for a more detailed description of the scope of practice for licensed nurses. 

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