The nursing field is flourishing and, by enrolling now with one of the many outstanding LVN or LPN programs offered around the country, you could join this exciting field as a Licensed Vocational or Licensed Practical Nurse in only 12 months. With employment for vocational nurses projected to increase by 21% through 2018 demand is high for this vital profession, and obtaining an LVN license will qualify you for positions in hospitals, doctor’s offices, long-term care, home health care and a range of other facilities. If you’ve ever dreamed of being employed in the health care field, becoming an LVN is a great way to begin!

What Is Required for Becoming an LVN?

To become a Licensed Vocational Nurse, you must pass the NCLEX-PN, or National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses. This standardized test consists of 205 different questions and calls for you to answer at least 85 in order to be eligible for a passing score. The questions are mostly multiple-choice with four possible answers for each, and focus on all the material that you'd study during an LVN program. That said, the obvious way to get prepared for and pass the NCLEX-PN is to, obviously, go through a program from an accredited vocational nursing college.

About LVN Programs

While studying at one of the state-accredited LVN schools near your home, you’ll not only read about scientific and technical skills needed to flourish in the nursing profession, but will also gain the chance to practice them in the field. Virtually all programs allow students to gain hands-on clinical experience with real patients in hostipal wards and additional settings, in addition to learning about anatomy, physiology, pediatrics and pharmacology in the classroom. And, with almost so many programs in each state to choose from, you are virtually guaranteed to find a school close to you.

What Else Can I Do With an LVN License?

The door to a number of careers in health care opens as soon as you finish your LVN program and pass the NCLEX-PN. Not only will your license enable you to work as a Licensed Vocational Nurse, it will also help you transition into an RN role, or any number of other fascinating occupations in the nursing industry. Additional education is needed to progress into most other nursing positions, but those who have already gone through LVN schooling usually find the progression to be less difficult.

By taking advantage of LVN to RN programs (many of which are offered online), many Licensed Vocational Nurses do opt to become Registered Nurses at some point in their careers.Registered Nurses (RNs) carry more responsibility and are paid more than Licensed Vocational Nurses, but their education is often expensive and requires two to four years instead of 12 months like an LVNs. For this reason, starting off as an LVN and then taking one of the aforementioned courses when you’re ready to transition is a great strategy for lots of people.

How to Find Vocational Nursing Programs

Finding the right program can be a little intimidating when you’re first starting out, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. If you keep in mind some simple things, finding the best vocational nursing school is often downright easy. Before enrolling at any school, you need to find answers to these questions:

Is the school properly-accredited (this is extremely necessary)?
Can I afford the tuition, and am I qualified to receive financial assistance?
Is there a waiting list to get into the program, and how long is it?
What's the school's reputation with local employers?
What's the school’s Licensure Examination Pass Rate?

If the responses to these questions are to your liking, then the school is probably a good quality choice for you to consider. Ultimately, deciding which LVN program is best for you is usually a question of figuring out which one can place you in the profession you want as quickly, and as affordably, as is possible.