Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide patient care in clinics, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, convalescent homes, and hospitals. Working under direct supervision of doctors and registered nurses, LVNs can update patient charts, take vital signs, and help patients clean or dress themselves as part of their generalized duties. LVNs with degrees, certificates, or other LVN qualifications can find the greatest number of new jobs at chronic illness, rehabilitation, or long-term care facilities.
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Preparing for an LVN Career
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), LVNs are required by all 50 states to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to be eligible to practice. You are also required to complete an LVN certificate or degree from an accredited medical technical school or college program. LVNs should have a strong desire to help others, solid communication skills, and knowledge of standard patient care. With experience, you may be able to move into a supervisory position. Many LVNs return to college to earn their registered nurse (RN) degree.
LVN Education Requirements
LVN training programs take about one year to complete. Typically, students take LVN classes in:
- First aid
- Medical terminology
You can combine classroom studies with hands-on patient care through internships or part-time work in extended care facilities.
LVN Salary Range and Job Outlook
According to the BLS, the 2008 salary for LVNs was $39,030, with the top-ten percent of professionals earning $53,580. Between 2008 and 2018, jobs for LVNs should grow by 21 percent.