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What Is Vocational Nursing and Is It a Good Career Choice?

Nursing is a growing industry in the US, and there is an incredible demand for trained, licensed professionals in a range of different medical facilities. While there are many different nursing designations, a career in vocational nursing might be the best thing for your immediate needs. Becoming a licensed vocational nurse  (LVN) allows you to start a rewarding healthcare career, in a variety of different medical institutions.

What Is a Licensed Vocational Nurse?

An LVN is a nursing professional trained to assist other nurses and doctors within medical institutions. You might be more familiar with this occupation as a licensed practical nurse, rather than a licensed vocational nurse, but the two designations are identical. Licensed vocational nurses provide a range of different services for patients, other nurses, doctors and surgeons. For instance, you might be responsible for providing bedside care for patients, or for monitoring and recording vital signs. An LVN might be responsible for dressing wounds, for updating patient charts correctly and for providing proper personal hygiene for patients. An LVN might also assist patients who have difficulty eating, sitting up or provide aid during physical therapy or rehabilitation.

Occupational Settings for a Licensed Vocational Nurse

A vocational nurse can work in any of a number of medical institutions. These medical professionals might work in a hospital, a nursing home or permanent care facility, or within a private doctor’s office. Surgical centers also employ LVNs, while some professionals find the home healthcare field very rewarding. Travel nursing positions are also available for LVNs.

How Do I Become a Licensed Vocational Nurse?

Becoming an LVN requires completing a state-licensed education program and then passing the NCLEX-PN exam to get your license. Most LVN courses offered by vocational colleges can be completed in about one year, but the exact program tenure may vary from one college to another. Even though you may find a number of LVN courses available, but you must find a program that fits your budget, your needs and provides a quality education that will prepare you to pass your licensing examination.

When choosing an LVN school, accreditation is one of the most important considerations. It is also good practice to check the percentage of graduating students from the school who have gone on to pass the state licensing examination. This will help you determine if the course is a good fit for your needs or if you need to continue searching for another education provider. Finally, make sure you understand all the fees involved. Double-check the tuition payment schedule, application fees and other charges that will be applied, and don’t forget the cost of any study materials and medical equipment you will have to purchase.

It is obvious that nurses will be in-demand for a long time to come. Students enrolled in a vocational nursing college are poised to take advantage of the high employment growth rate for licensed vocational nurses.*


*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Licensed Vocational Nurse employment is projected to grow 25% from 2012 to 2022.  http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm.