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Emerging Demographic Factors Indicate Increasing Need for LVNs

A variety of factors are now influencing the supply and demand for well-trained nurses in the state of California. This trend is one that is occurring throughout the nation, and the state of California is also by it.

More Nurses Retiring

One of the reasons the demand for nursing is increasing in California is that the supply of trained nurses has not yet met the continually rising demand for nurses throughout the state. Numerous factors have contributed to the increasing need for nurses. For instance, a large percentage of nursing professionals are now reaching retirement age. In fact, findings released from a report from the Nursing Management Aging Workforce Survey in 2006 found that 55% of nurses surveyed had intentions of retiring between the years 2011 and 2020*.

Increasing Elderly Population

While this large number of nurses leaving the field will leave a glut in the industry, the future demand for qualified nurses is expected to continue rising significantly as Baby Boomers reach retirement age and beyond. Per a nursing report released on caregivers, the ratio of prospective caregivers to the individuals who will be more likely to require care, which is the elderly population, is expected to decline by as much as 40% by the year 2030*.

In 2008, the Council on Physician and Nurse Supply found that an additional 30,000 nurses would need to be graduated each year simply to meet the healthcare needs of the country. This number represents an increase of 30% over the current number of nurse graduates each year*.

The increasing demand for nurses cannot be ignored. The need for qualified nurses is present at all levels of the industry, including at the vocational nurse level.  A LVN is a Licensed Vocational Nurse; a designation used in California as well as the state of Texas. LVNs work under the direct supervision of registered nurses (RN) or physicians. Vocational Nursing training provides nursing candidates with the practice and knowledge they need to embark upon a vocational nursing career. This scope of instruction and practice may include amongst other tasks, such things as checking the vital signs of patients, administering medications and treatments, hanging IVs, performing dressing changes and daily living activities.

A vocational nurse may be employed in a hospital or in one of many other types of facilities, such as a skilled nursing facility, home health care agency, physician’s office, correctional facility, school or clinic.

The decision to become a licensed vocational nurse is one that can lead to a rewarding and satisfying career. Many people also decide to support themselves working as a LVN while pursuing advanced healthcare training, such as RN qualification.

Vocational Nursing training course lasts about one year and provides students with the experience and instruction they need to achieve their goal of entering the rewarding and exciting world of licensed vocational nursing.

*According to a report from the Nursing Management Aging Workforce Survey in 2006 55% of nurses surveyed had intentions of retiring between the years 2011 and 2020. [Source: www.NursingCenter.com, 02/2012]

*According to the Nursing Institute at the University of Illinois College of Nursing, the ratio of potential caregivers to the people most likely to need care, the elderly population, will decrease by 40% between 2010 and 2030. [Source: www.NursingPower.net, 02/2012]

* In March 2008, The Council on Physician and Nurse Supply, an independent group of health care leaders based at the University of Pennsylvania, determined that 30,000 additional nurses should be graduated annually to meet the nation’s healthcare needs, an expansion of 30% over the current number of annual nurse graduates [Source: www.AllNurses.com, 02/2012]


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Unitek College reports great NCLEX passing scores for 2011

Unitek College is delighted to announce that all three of our campuses reported outstanding NCLEX test passing performance for 2011, for our largest program, the Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN). The NCLEX test is the ultimate quality and performance benchmark for a nursing school, and our campuses broke several records.

1. For the second year running, the LVN Fremont campus had the *highest aggregate NCLEX test passing score of any private for-profit school in the bay area, with a passing rate of 92% for 2011. The Fremont campus has won this honor two successive years (2010 and 2011), and it capped a great year with a perfect 100% NCLEX aggregate score in the last quarter of 2011.

2. Our Santa Clara campus had the *highest aggregate NCLEX test passing score of any private for-profit school in the *south bay, with an aggregate first-time passing rate of 75% for 2011, topped off with a delightful 90% pass rate in the final quarter of 2011. Even in 2010, the Santa Clara campus was second only to Fremont, amongst private schools in the bay area.

3. Our Sacramento campus, which hosts the largest LVN program of any school in its metro, reported that it had closed out 2011 with a delightful 88% NCLEX passing ratio for 2011, up from 74% in 2010. The passing ratio for the last quarter of 2011 was a perfect 100% !!

Navraj Bawa, COO, Unitek College commented, “We are thrilled to see that our nursing school is achieving such stratospheric heights. Under the visionary leadership of our Chief Academic Officer, Margarita Valdes, the nursing program has grown to be the largest in both the Bay Area and Sacramento. The growth can be fully attributed to the incredibly high standards of excellence set by our faculty and administrative staff. Kudos to all on this momentous achievement.”

So, here is a big thank you to our hard working student body and our accomplished faculty. THANK YOU. This fantastic achievement is a testament to your diligence and skill.

*Source: The numbers reported above are published by the Bureau of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) and sent to vocational schools each quarter. Please access the report from this link NCLEX Pass Rate.

*South Bay is a reference to the area, which includes counties of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale.

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Vocational Nursing Programs: An Exciting Career Choice

LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) programs prepare a practical nursing student to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The Board of Nurse Examiners in each state certifies lvn schools that meet the national standards. In order to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse, you must graduate from one of these programs.

To be accepted into an approved program you must:

  • Be a high school graduate or have an equivalent diploma
  • Be 18 years old
  • Be current with vaccinations including Hepatitis
  • Have a TB test
  • Have no drug convictions
  • Have no felony record
  • Be of sound mind

If you believe you might have a background problem, check with the nursing board before you spend the time and money for the educational program. Acceptance into and graduation from an LVN program is no guarantee that the State Nursing Board will allow you to become a nurse. 

LVN Program Studies

An LVN school will prepare you for responsibilities related to patient care in hospitals, long term care facilities, home health, assisted living centers, physician’s offices, and community health centers.

  • Your studies will include subject content such as Anatomy and physiology, Disease processes, Ethics as related to Health Care, Physical assessment of adults, elderly, and children, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Pharmacology, Task and Time Management, personal care and patient ADL to name just a few.

You will be required to have classroom instruction and clinical labs for hands on practice. Once you are proficient when practicing your skills in a setting with mannequins and other students, you will move on to a clinical area with real patients as a student nurse. You will be supervised by a licensed staff nurse and your clinical nursing instructor during these clinicals so you’re your skills are honed to handle real patients.

After Graduation

Once you complete the LVN program course of study, you must apply to take the State Board examination. A background check will be performed by the Board of Nurse Examiners, and the following factors will be determined:

  • You must have good morals and a professional conduct.
  • You must be free of drug abuse, alcoholism and mental incompetence.
  • Be truthful. Falsification of facts on your application for a nursing license can get you banned for life from your career choice.

After passing your examination, or “sitting for the boards” as it is sometimes called, you will receive your nursing license. Until you have the license in your hand, you cannot work as a licensed vocational nurse. You may work as a nurse tech, or graduate nurse in some locations.

Entering an LVN school is a great start to a career in healthcare. The field is exciting and ever expanding. Layoffs and cutbacks on nurses have not, and probably never will happen. The job outlook grows every year with increasing wages and excellent benefits with most companies. Many nurses continue their education and climb the corporate healthcare ladder. If you love helping people, are compassionate and yet strong under pressure, then an LVN program may provide the career you’ve been looking for.