The need for licensed vocational nurses (LVN) continues to grow in the United States. By the year 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there will be an additional 66,000 jobs available in this field. That is on top of the already 721,000 existing positions.

The Licensed Vocational Nurse program at The College of Health Care Professions gives you a chance to start working in a rewarding field sooner than you would with other nursing programs. What is a licensed vocational nurse, though, and how can you become one?

What does LVN stand for?

LVN is a licensed vocational nurse—a health care professional that provides nursing care. They frequently operate under the supervision of other medical professionals, such as a registered nurse (RN).

Licensed vocational nurses and licensed practical nurses (LPN) are used interchangeably to define the same general nursing position. Both tend to focus on basic care and providing medication to patients in hospitals, nursing, or rehabilitation facilities. They can offer in-home care, as well.

What’s the Difference? Vocational Nurse, Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner

The difference between these three nursing professionals is education level. A vocational or licensed practical nurse attends school for one to two years. Once they graduate and become certified, they are able to provide basic nursing care in a variety of medical environments.

registered nurse has a two or four-year degree in nursing science. RNs, like LVNs, work in a variety of medical programs and provide basic care. They also coordinate patient care, sometimes supervising LVNs and nursing assistants. RNs are often responsible for patient education, frequently working in public health.

A nurse practitioner (NP) has an advanced nursing degree. They must attend an accredited four-year college and then go to graduate school. An NP does patient assessments, orders diagnostic testing, and formulate treatment plans. They also are able to provide prescription medication to patients.

What exactly does a licensed vocational nurse do?

The duties of a licensed vocational nurse will vary based on the work setting. In general, you would monitor a patient’s health and provide basic nursing care. In most situations, you would also do an assessment and take vital signs when required, like blood pressure, pulse, and respiration.

LVNs sometimes assist patients with daily tasks, such as dressing and bathing, in a home care setting, for example. They can change bandages and insert and monitor catheters, as well. An LVN may also be supervisory over other healthcare workers such as nurse’s aides and assistants. They may also handle patient records or fill out insurance forms.

What industries hire licensed vocational nurses?

You will find LVNs in most health care settings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry that employs the most LVNs is the one involving Skilled Nursing Facilities. In 2020, they had more than twice as many jobs available in this field as in any other medical environment.

Doctor’s offices often hire LVN’s, as do hospitals and surgery facilities. You’ll find jobs available through in-home health care services and retirement communities, too. 

What LVN classes do aspiring nurses take?

The class curriculum will depend on the school and the nursing program requirements of the state. Some classes you can expect to take while getting your education include human anatomy, nursing fundamentals, processes of disease, and medication management. The nursing program may offer specializations, as well, that will affect your classes. For example, you may be able to take courses in mental health nursing or geriatrics.

Your training will go beyond just classroom studies, though. There will be clinical and lab components in your nursing education, as well. Clinical hours necessary to get your license vary from state to state, but most require anywhere from 500 to 750 clinical hours. That means you will have the opportunity to train in a clinical setting like a hospital or doctor’s office.

CHCP’s Vocational Nursing Program

The Vocational Nursing Program at CHCP is a 48-week certification option that provides you with the training and skills you need to become a licensed vocational nurse. You can graduate from our program with a certification that makes you eligible to receive licensure from the state to work as a nurse.

What will I learn in CHCP's Vocational Nurse Program?

CHCP’s Vocational Nursing program prepares you for a fulfilling career caring for people who need you. You will work with our experienced faculty in the classroom and labs. You will also have access to hands-on clinical training.

The CHCP Vocational Nursing program consists of three individual modules. The first covers medical terminology, medication administration, basic nursing, and other entry-level courses. By Module II, you will be ready for advanced nursing skills and some specialty courses such as mental health and nutrition.

Module III covers working with newborns, children, and expectant mothers. You will also study leadership roles for the LVN and discuss legal and moral issues you may face in the nursing field. Module III helps you prepare for your NCLEX-PN® exam and licensure.

As a leader in healthcare education, CHCP follows the nursing industry carefully to ensure students learn the most current procedures and medical theories. Physicians founded CHCP, so healthcare education is all we do, and we do it well. We offer our students flexible options and allow them to learn on their schedule.

About CHCP

CHCP is fully accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and a licensed vocational nursing school. We offer on-campus, online, and hybrid learning opportunities. 

CHCP is dedicated to providing all our students with high-quality healthcare education and training in a variety of allied health care fields. You will graduate from our school with the knowledge and proven technical proficiency to excel in your chosen career and have support as you work to meet your career goals.