Blog > Vocational Nurse

Licensed Vocational Nurse

Licensed Vocational Nurse


The nursing title of Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurse is a growing profession. These nurses work under the supervision of the Physician and the Registered Nurse to carry out doctor’s orders and provide patient care. Depending on the states Scope of Practice for these nurses their duties range from; passing medications, transcribing doctor’s orders, wound care, some simple procedures and monitoring patients for changes in condition. They also may work in physician offices.

Job Description

Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurses work both in hospitals, physician offices and home health care. Their duties may include the following:


  • Taking anywhere from 3 to 10 patients and managing their daily care

  • Following doctor’s orders and administering treatments

  • Passing Medications

  • Wound Care

  • Bathing and Dressing

  • Administer oxygen, breathing treatments and suctioning if necessary

  • Communication with doctors, families and other providers

  • Charting and Documentation

  • Reporting patient changes to Registered Nurse

  • Start Intravenous Lines and Giving Fluids or Blood Products


How to become a Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurse


In order to become a Licensed Vocation/Practical Nurse, you will first need to get your high school diploma or GED. In high school you should focus on chemistry, biology and anatomy. You can choose a few different routes for this nursing license. You can attend a private or community college that is accredited for nursing education. These programs can take about 2 years to complete with 1 year of general education and 1 year of focused nursing school. You can also choose one of the many adult education programs that allow you to take an entrance examination showing proficiency in the basic requirements and start the nursing program right away. These programs take from 14 to 18 months. You will need to fulfill a certain amount of classroom requirements and clinical hours to graduate. Once you receive your diploma, you will be allowed to sit for the state board examinations.


Here is a helpful website to give you more information on education and requirements for becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse.



In order to receive a License as a Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurse you will need to complete the required hours of school and sit for the NCLEX-VN/PN exam. The NCLEX is administered by an independent testing facility where you submit your information and pay them for testing. Most often, testing is held by Pearson Vue. Take a look at their website for more detailed testing requirements. This requirements tend to vary from state to state. You will also be required to have CPR certification that is approved by the American Heart Association.


Job Outlook and Opportunities

Employment growth for Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurses is expected to increase 25% between the years of 2011 and 2022. This is a faster than average rate of job growth. Healthcare is always in need of more nurses and opportunities are plentiful out there.


The average annual pay of a Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurse is $41, 540 per year and around $19.97 per hour.



Average Pay $41, 540
Education Trade School
Number of Jobs, 2012 738, 400
Employment Growth from 2012 -2022 25.00%
On-the-job training None
Work Experience None


You can click HERE to find schools in your area for Licensed Vocational/Practical Nursing.