How to Become a Licensed Vocational Nurse

NursingOctober 23, 2013


In Texas, Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), also known as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), are nurses that provide basic medical care. Certificates to become a licensed vocational nurse are the most flexible nursing certifications to obtain. These allow nurses to work under the supervision of registered nurses and doctors in a wide variety of settings. LVNs can work anywhere from rehabilitation centers to hospitals to nursing homes. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2010, the median salary for an LVN was $40,380 per year nationally. This is more than $6,500 higher than the average yearly salary across America, which may make this job a good choice for anyone interested in a career in nursing.

The work of a licensed vocational nurse is extremely rewarding and variable. Work consists of assisting patients with bathing, performing laboratory procedures, dressing and cleaning wounds, inserting catheters, administering vaccinations, and a variety of other tasks. People who choose to go into this field should be:

  • Comfortable and confident interacting and communicating with others
  • Compassionate
  • Detail oriented
  • Energetic, physically fit, and have good stamina
  • Patient and kind
  • Team players

If the work of a licensed vocational nurse sounds appealing to you, the easiest way to obtain the appropriate certification is to do the following:

1. Find out if you are eligible to complete a vocational nursing program. Many vocational nursing programs require GEDs or high school diplomas for enrollment; however, in some states, high schools offer programs that run in tandem with the award of the high school diploma.

2. Find the right accredited program for you. Most LVN accredited programs take one year to complete, but part-time programs also exist. You can find accredited programs in places such as technical schools, community colleges, hospitals, and private colleges.

3. Take the National Council Licensure Examination. Also known as the NCLEX-PN, passing this examination is what allows you to obtain the license that will allow you to work as an LVN.

Once you have obtained your license, you are free to find work anywhere in America. With experience, licensed vocational nurses are able to obtain a wide variety of supervisory roles. Alternatively, you may also have the option to enroll in a college or university in order to further your medical studies. LVNs have the option of pursing advanced training in a specialized clinical field, such as IV therapy or geriatric care, with the potential to obtain voluntary certifications through the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses. LVNs may also have the opportunity to complete accelerated registered nurse (RN) associate degrees and Bachelor of Science nursing (BSN) degrees, giving you a wide range of opportunities for your future.

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