If you are interested in the field of nursing and do not have the time or finances to pursue a four-year nursing degree, a vocational nursing program in Texas may be just your match. Vocational nursing programs teach you how to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). These terms often vary depending on the state in which you live and work. While obtaining a licensed practical or vocational nursing degree, you will receive training in the classroom as well as completing clinicals. By combining these two experiences, vocational nursing programs and community colleges prepare you for the National Council Licensure Examination. Successfully passing this examination is a requirement to work in any state.
Licensed practical or vocational nurses work directly with registered nurses or physicians, and the work will vary depending on the setting. In an outpatient setting such as a physician's office or therapy center, the work will be centered on addressing the urgency of patients' wounds or illnesses as well as, keeping medication charts, laboratory results and other critical medical records up to date. The work may vary if you are in an inpatient setting such as a hospital, rehabilitation facility or nursing home. In these environments, you may have more contact with family members and care takers and be responsible for communicating how they can care for their loved one. Drawing blood for lab samples or helping patients feel comfortable during diagnostic or radiology studies are just a few examples.
A vocational nursing program will teach you how to monitor patients' vital signs such as blood pressure, weight and oxygen saturation levels. It will also teach you how to perform techniques and feel comfortable dealing with one of the most private areas of people's lives: their health. You should consider the type of qualities needed to succeed as a licensed practical or vocational nurse. Compassion, patience, strong listening skills, the ability to maintain accurate records and an understanding of news affecting the industry are simply a few examples.
The demand for LPNs and LVNs is growing faster than ever before. As changes in health care allow for more procedures and techniques to be completed in outpatient settings, people with degrees from a vocational nursing program will be in greater demand, which will hopefully lead to higher wages. As our population ages, health care will continue to be a growing need, and, with this growth, comes the need for compassionate and knowledgeable individuals with the appropriate credentials to care for the rising number of patients.
Photo Source: Flickr