LVN Schools and Programs

A licensed vocational nurse (LVN) is also called a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in many states. LVNs are trained and certified nurses who may work directly with patients. Although LVNs are not registered nurses (RNs), they may perform many of the same duties as an RN.

How to Pursue an LVN Program

To enter an LVN program, you usually need a high school diploma. Traditional LVN schools are brick-and-mortar, with clinical experience in nearby facilities. If you want to work and take classes, you might choose an online nursing program. However, if you take LVN classes online, you may need to do in-person, on-site clinical practice before you graduate. And, as with any nursing program, make sure your state's board of nursing accepts the coursework in your state. After completing your LVN program, you may take the LVN licensing exam. If you pass the exam, you may provide basic patient care including the following:
  • Taking vital signs
  • Changing dressings
  • Giving medications
Depending on where you work, you might also take charge of other LVNs or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

Where LVNs Work

Once you pursue your LVN diploma, you might work in the following places:
  • An acute care hospital caring for acutely ill patients
  • A long-term care facility
  • Rehabilitation
  • A doctor's office
  • Home care
Many people who enter the licensed vocational nursing field upgrade their skills and education and attend LVN to RN or LVN to BSN programs. And, LVNs typically know what to expect if they become RNs. An LVN who returns to nursing school might move up to management or specialty roles.

The Future for LVNs

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 Data, demand for those who possess an LVN certificate may grow by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020. The average income for an LVN depends on the state and place of employment. Income ranges from the mid-$26,680s to the $56,010 range. Median salary is about $40,380.

Nursing and Health Care Schools

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