Licensed Vocational (or Practical) Nurse Career Profile

Salary: $40,380 / year or $19.42/ hr*
Job Outlook: 22% (The average growth rate for all occupations is 14%.)
Education Requirement: 1 year

Working under the direction of nurses and physicians, Licensed Vocational Nurses provide basic bedside treatment to patients. An LVN is an incredibly important link between the doctor, clinical nurse and the patient offering ongoing communication and constant awareness of comfort and reaction to treatment plans. This job requires both physical and mental endurance as much of the day is spent on foot, actively caring for patients and being completely alert ready to assist physicians with patient data on the fly.

Duties may include:

  • Recording vital signs
  • Assisting with patient hygiene
  • Administering medication
  • Observe and assist with feedings
  • Communicate treatment plan details to patient and their family
  • Supervise nursing aides

Once an LVN gains experience, they can choose to work in a specialty field such and work in medical units such as the ICU or neonatal care.

Where to work
The employment options for LVN’s are broad making it important for job seekers to fully research each type of facility before applying as the hours required and intensity level can vary dramatically between facilities. Some of the top employment choices  include hospitals, private medical offices, long-term care locations, local health departments, U.S. military or in schools.

Education Requirements
To become a vocational nurse, a one-year course at a community college or technical school is required followed by passing a state-issued exam to obtain a license. Once the classroom portion is completed, local hospitals offer approved clinical training. Once an LVN begins work, many choose to progress to become a Registered Nurse through an LVN-to-RN bridge program. This transition allows the nurse new opportunities for career choices and increased salary.

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