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.
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.