what is vocational nursing?
licensed vocational nursing (lvn) is another title for licensed practical nurses (lpn). these individuals are trained in nursing techniques and are able to assist other nurses and doctors at hospitals or clinics. from bedside care to dressing wounds and providing personal hygiene to patients; or monitoring vitals and recommending courses of treatment, these nurses are at the frontline in a medical setting. the healthcare industry in the united states is growing at a rapid pace. however, given the time taken to become a doctor within the country, there is a significant need for qualified healthcare professionals who are able to bridge the gap while maintaining quality of treatment. vocational nurses are exactly the kind of individuals a hospital needs.
how to become a vocational nurse
if you are interested in entering this career, you will have to enroll in a state-accredited program which offers training. the nursing program will cover topics relevant to your field - operating hospital equipment and monitoring vital statistics - enabling you to become an effective licensed vocational nurse. the total duration for an associate's degree program is typically two years, but this may vary depending on your own status as a full-time or part-time student. in most cases, your state's board of nursing carries an extensive list of all programs which are approved to train students to become vocational nurses. it is highly recommended that you complete your training from one of these programs. failing to do so could make you ineligible to take the licensing exam at the end of your program. those who successfully complete their nursing program will have to take the national council licensure examination for practical nursing (nclex-pn). this will allow students to practice their profession legally within the us.
while becoming a lvn is easy, the position is an entry-level one. those wishing to assume more responsibility in the workplace or enhance their knowledge will have to complete additional qualifications to become registered nurses (rn). many schools offering lvn programs also offer what are called 'bridge' programs. if you are a lvn who wishes to become a rn, you could benefit from such programs. instead of enrolling in an undergraduate degree and spending an additional four years, students could enroll in these programs. the syllabus begins from where the lvn training ends, and covers those skills relevant to becoming a rn in a shorter time span. as a result, students are able to save time and money, but receive accreditation and knowledge which enhances their career.
the us bureau of labor statistics projects the growth in the nursing field to be 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. this means that there could be a high need for licensed vocational nurses. however, given the rapidly advancing nature of the medical world, it is recommended that professional lvns benefit from bridge programs and upgrade their qualifications. this will allow them to keep abreast with the complexities of the medical world, and could further their career.