What Does an LVN Do?
LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) monitor patients and assist them with daily tasks. LVNs also perform a limited number of medical procedures. Read on to find out more about what an LVN does. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), also called licensed practical nurses or LPNs in most states, perform both simple and complex medical procedures under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), LVNs work in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, homes, or any other setting where basic nursing care is needed. LVNs monitor patients by measuring their vital signs, like heart rate and blood pressure. LVNs may also assist patients with basic hygiene and instruct family members how to assist their loved ones in these areas. Other responsibilities of a LVN may also include:
- Administering medication
- Collecting blood and urine samples
- Changing bandages
Important Facts about this Occupation
|Training||Nursing programs include supervised clinical experience|
|Certification||Certification in specialty areas available, voluntary|
|Work Environment||May stand for long periods; May lift or move patients; Most work full time, including on nights, weekends, and holidays|
|Similar Occupations||Nursing Assistants, Physical Therapist Assistants, Psychiatric Technicians, Registered Nurses, Surgical Technologists, Home Health Aides|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
LVNs work directly with patients, and so, like all nurses, they must be caring and sympathetic to the needs of their patients. They must be emotionally-stable because people look them to for comfort in stressful situations. LVNs must be able to stay calm, be observant, and have good communication skills.
Training and Licensure
Training programs for licensed vocational nurses can be found at many community colleges and technical schools, and may sometimes be found in high schools and hospitals. LVNs typically complete one year of training with courses including nursing, biology, and pharmacology. After completing an LVN training program, students are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam that allows them to receive a license to work as LVNs. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing develops this exam. It tests the ability to provide an effective and caring nursing environment, health promotion, physiological integrity, and psychosocial integrity.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to the BLS, the median annual salary earned by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses was $42,490 in May 2014. The employment of such nurses is expected to grow by 25% between 2012 and 2022, per the BLS, which is much faster than average.
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