A licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) has in general a similar job description though the titles are different. LVN is used in California and Texas. An LVN does a wide range of tasks from feeding infants to dressing wounds. A licensed nurse is trained to work in various healthcare sections, while there are specializations present too.
Work of a Licensed Nurse
A licensed nurse can work in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, home care and in physicians’ offices. Though the basic job requirements are same, the duties assigned may vary depending on the setting present. For instance, the job may include taking care of administrative tasks like seeing to the appointments etc., while in a hospital the job may involve specialized nursing care as in an intensive care unit or an emergency room.
Educational Criteria for becoming a Licensed Nurse
For becoming an LPN or LVN, it is not necessary to have bachelor’s degree in nursing or other higher qualifications. But a formal training is needed that can extend for 12 months, which may increase or decrease depending on the programs you choose. There are vocational colleges, community colleges, and also trade schools that offer such educational programs which allow students to attend classes online. Though online classes are advantageous, you should look at courses that
- Provide adequate hands-on or practical work experience
- Are accredited courses
- Have the approval of the state nursing board
If the licensed practical nurses want to further their career as an RN or registered nurse, they can take up the BSN or LPN to RN programs also called bridge programs. The LPN or LVN work credit is given, so the RN degree process takes a shorter time to complete. For more information on the courses, you can visit http://www.licensednurse.net. While the education requirement for LPN/LVN is minimal, the graduates should pass the NCLEX-RN or National Council Licensure Examination to get hired for a nursing job.
Demand for LPNs
There is a rapid increase in recent times for LPNs as the patients requiring long term health care are on the rise now. With baby boomers reaching a critical stage now, the need for LPNs in home care and skilled nursing homes is more. Moreover, the present group of nursing staff is approaching retirement, leaving behind many job openings vacant. All these point to an increase in LPN demand. This makes a job as LPN quite secure in the healthcare field.
Diverse Career Options
As an LPN or LVN, you can have a diverse range of jobs to select from a hospital setting to a physician’s office. For an active and fast paced job, a hospital environment is best, but if you want a quieter place, a physician’s office is the right job. Here you assist patients before and examination, help in minor surgeries, and take care of administrative side by fixing appointments and keeping medical records.
Home health care, nursing facilities, military nursing, and travel nursing are other options that you can try if you feel comfortable with the job. When you neither have the time nor the money to take up a full-fledged nursing degree, the LPN/LVN course offers the right setting for you.
Author Box : Arthur Cooper is a career counselor and helps to choose the right licensed nursing courses for you. He recommends visiting http://www.licensednurse.net for further information and understanding more about the career prospects.