To become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), a person must complete high school and then enroll in and a complete an accredited vocational nursing curriculum, an education that endures about 1 year. Such a curriculum is typically available in a technical school or in community colleges and universities available in every state. A full, four-year college degree is not necessary, but would certainly not hinder the completion of an additional vocational nursing program. The college degree will not substitute for completing the 1-year vocational nursing curriculum.
Occasionally, a prospective student may find the curriculum available in a hospital, particularly if the hospital is associated with a medical school as a teaching facility. Also, the curriculum may be instructed in some high schools that may be more focused on technical school curricula.
The vocational nursing curriculum will offer a certificate in a practical nursing discipline. Following the successful completion of the program, the candidate is obligated to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NLCX) and must pass the exam in order to obtain the state license to practice as a fully licensed LVN.
Additional information may be obtained about educational requirements for a licensed vocational nursing program by inquiry to the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service (NAPNES – see napnes.org)
A career vocational nurse ought to have the following qualities in order to have the most successful career:
Compassion and empathy: an LVN should be caring and giving to patients, putting the patient’s needs above one’s own needs at all times while on duty. Patients often have questions about their condition and the treatment used to heal them. The LVN is the first line of service to provide the answers to any questions, offered cheerfully and as openly as possible considering the patient’s general condition and well-being.
Attention to details: the LVN’s workload will vary day to day and patient to patient. Being able to keep details at hand for recall when dealing with any patient will go far in sustaining a patient’s confidence in the care they are receiving. This is one of the most important of intangible cares being given to patients.
Interaction with patients and professionals at every echelon of the health care facility personnel hierarchy. The LVN must be fluent and conversant in every detail regarding a patient’s care and condition. Being personable and cheerful will help combat the stress that is often part of the daily routine of an LVN.
Being submissive and patient in caring for patients will soon encourage their trust that the caregivers treating them, particularly the LVN, is compassionate and capable in the dedicated cause of healing.
Written and verbal skills are essential to convey any communication necessary to patients and healthcare professionals to assure both staff and the patients that they are dealing a compassionate professional who has the interests of patients and health care providers first and foremost in mind.
With a proper education and by gaining experience on the job, an LVN who applies their education and experience with discipline will find opportunities for advancement.