Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $41,540
- 2011, number of jobs: 718,800
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 22 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award
Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses; what they do:
Licensed practical nurses (LVNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are the faces of reassurance to medical patients. Working under the direction of registered nurses and doctors, licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses perform basic medical care duties and interact regularly with patients.
A licensed practical nurse career and a licensed vocational nurse career includes helping patients dress and bathe, monitoring their health and regularly recording and reporting their findings to registered nurses and doctors.
Licensed practical nurse careers and licensed vocational nurse careers involve changing bandages and administering other basic health care, helping a patient eat, and generally working to make patients more comfortable.
Depending on their work environment, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) may need to perform tasks ranging from teaching family members how to care for a patient, to collecting samples for testing, to helping deliver and feed a newborn.
The duties an LPN and an LVN are allowed to perform vary by state.
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Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses job titles:
- Charge Nurse
- Pediatric Licensed Practical Nurse (PEDIATRIC LPN)
- Clinical Licensed Practical Nurse (CLINIC LPN)
- Clinic Nurse
- Triage Licensed Practical Nurse (TRIAGE LPN)
- Office Nurse
- Private Duty Nurse
- LPN nurse
- LVN nurse
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses Education, Certification and License Requirements
Licensed practice nurses and licensed vocational nurses need to complete an accredited program and obtain a license prior to practicing. Technical schools and community colleges provide one-year practical nursing certificate programs and one-year vocational nursing certificate programs.
Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurse programs cover subjects such as:
- Supervised clinical experience
Once they have earned a certificate, licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses can take the National Council Licensure Examination, also called the NCLEX-PN. Every state requires these nurses to have a license.
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Career Advancement Opportunities
Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses may advance in their career to a supervisory role after obtaining experience. An LPN and an LVN may also advance to become a registered nurse, after obtaining additional education through LPN and RN programs.
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses Job Outlook
Forecast: 22 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for LPNs and LVNs, faster than the average for all occupations.
Job demand for LPNs and LVNs increases as the U.S. population ages. Also, due to an increasing number of procedures performed outside of hospitals, the demand for licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses continues to increase in places such as outpatient care centers.
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $41,540
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $48,380
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $34,990
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses Major Employers
- Nursing care facilities
- General medical and surgical hospitals; private
- Offices of physicians
- Home health care services
- Community care facilities for the elderly