Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), also known as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in some states, are healthcare professionals who work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or physicians. Their primary role is to provide basic nursing care to patients in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and private homes.
Some of the tasks that LVNs may perform include:
LVNs work as part of a healthcare team and collaborate with RNs, physicians, and other healthcare professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for their patients. They may work varying shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays, and may be required to work in high-stress environments.
The job outlook for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) is generally positive. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of LVNs is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
The demand for LVNs is expected to increase due to several factors, including an aging population that requires more healthcare services, advances in medical technology that enable more complex care to be delivered outside of hospitals, and an increasing emphasis on preventive care and wellness programs.
In addition, LVNs may be needed to replace retiring nurses or to fill positions in areas with a shortage of healthcare workers. LVNs with specialized training in areas such as geriatrics, pediatrics, and home health care may have particularly strong job prospects.
However, the demand for LVNs may vary by region and industry. For example, rural areas or areas with fewer healthcare facilities may have fewer job opportunities for LVNs compared to urban areas. Additionally, some healthcare organizations may prefer to hire Registered Nurses (RNs) instead of LVNs for certain positions.
Overall, LVNs who stay up to date with advances in medical technology and expand their skill sets through continuing education may have the best job prospects.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses held about 657,200 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses were as follows:
|Nursing and residential care facilities||35%|
|Hospitals; state, local, and private||15|
|Home healthcare services||14|
|Offices of physicians||12|
Nurses must often be on their feet for much of the day. They are vulnerable to back injuries, because they may have to lift patients who have trouble moving in bed, standing, or walking. These duties can be stressful, as can dealing with ill and injured people.
The salary expectations for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) can vary depending on several factors, including their experience, education, location, and the healthcare setting in which they work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for LVNs/LPNs in May 2020 was $48,820, which is equivalent to $23.47 per hour.
The lowest 10 percent of LVNs/LPNs earned less than $35,970 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,360 per year. The BLS also reported that the highest paying industries for LVNs/LPNs in May 2020 were the federal government, followed by nursing care facilities, home healthcare services, and hospitals.
LVNs/LPNs may also receive additional benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, depending on their employer. It’s important to note that salaries can vary widely based on geographic location, as some areas may have higher demand for LVNs/LPNs than others.
The education requirements for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) vary depending on the state, but typically include completing a state-approved educational program in practical nursing and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
The educational programs for LVNs are usually offered by vocational or technical schools, community colleges, or other educational institutions. These programs typically take about one year to complete and cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, patient care, and nursing ethics.
To be admitted to an LVN program, applicants usually need a high school diploma or equivalent, and some programs may have additional requirements such as a minimum GPA or prerequisite courses in biology or chemistry.
After completing the LVN program, graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN exam to obtain their license to practice as an LVN. The exam is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and tests knowledge and skills related to nursing practice.
LVNs may also be required to participate in continuing education courses to maintain their licensure and stay up to date with changes in healthcare practices and technology.
It’s important to note that the educational requirements for LVNs may vary by state and individuals interested in pursuing this career should check with their state board of nursing for specific requirements.
Go to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) for more information.
Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), also known as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in some states, can specialize in various areas of healthcare based on their interests and training. Here are some areas of specialization for LVNs:
Overall, LVNs work under the supervision of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide patient care. They may need to obtain additional training or certification to specialize in certain areas of nursing.
Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), also known as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in some states, can work in a variety of healthcare settings. Here are some of the settings where LVNs can work:
Overall, LVNs work under the supervision of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide patient care. They may work full-time or part-time hours and may need to work nights, weekends, or holidays, depending on their employer and the healthcare setting.