Tyler Junior College

Nursing, Vocational (VN)

Career Opportunities

Nature of Occupation/Job Description

  • Licensed Vocational Nurses provide patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse, physician, or dentist.
  • Licensed Vocational Nurses are prepared to function as a member of the health-care team by exercising sound judgment based on preparation, knowledge, skills, understanding and past experiences in nursing situations.
  • The licensed vocational nurse does a large share of the direct patient care in health facilities today.  The licensed vocational nurse participates in planning, implementation, and evaluation of nursing care in all settings where nursing takes place.  Generally, this means providing for the emotional and physical comfort and safety of patients; observing, recording, and reporting changes in patients’ symptoms and conditions; performing more specialized nursing functions such as administering treatments; and assisting with rehabilitation.

Working Conditions

Licensed Vocational Nurses work in modern, well-equipped medical facilities and generally work a 40-hour week, including nights, weekends, and holidays on a rotating shift basis.

Licensed Vocational Nurse Duties

Includes, but is not limited to:

  • Taking and recording temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate
  • Dressing wounds
  • Observing patients and reporting adverse reaction or altered conditions
  • Administering medications
  • Recording food and fluid intake and output
  • Bating, dressing and assisting patients in walking and turning
  • Performing normal range of motion exercises with patients
  • Collecting routine laboratory specimens
  • Starting and checking on IV equipment 

Where the Jobs Are

  • Army Reserves
  • Clinics
  • Community
  • Extended Care Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Industrial/Occupational Health
  • Nursing Homes
  • Private Doctors’ Offices
  • Rehabilitation Centers

Employment Outlook

  • Licensed vocational nurses held about 720,000 jobs in the U.S. in 2014.  Employment is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, with the best job opportunities occurring in nursing care facilities and in home health services.  As the baby-boom population ages, the overall need for healthcare services is expected to increase.  
  • About 15% of LVNs worked in hospitals, 29% in nursing care facilities, and another 12% in offices of physicians.  Others worked for home health care services, employment services; community care facilities for the elderly; public and educational services; outpatient care centers; and Federal, State, and local government agencies.  

Earnings

Median annual earnings of licensed vocational nurses were $40,170 in May 2015.

Helpful Skills

  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Compassion
  • Self-confidence
  • Good judgment and decision skills

Career Ladder for Occupation/Career May Look Like

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Nurse Aide
Licensed Vocational Nurses may advance by specializing in a particular area through further training and education.