How to Become an LVN
Licensed vocational nurses make up a large sector of the medical field, and they are constantly in high demand. If you have been thinking about becoming an LVN, you may be surprised by just how easy the process is. Most people get through their training in less than two years, so you should be able to enter this profession in no time at all. You will have to attend college to learn how to become an LVN, but you don’t have to go through a full bachelor’s degree program if you do not want to. Here is a guide explaining how to become an LVN so you can plan for your potential future.
Step 0 – Determine If This Is the Right Career for You
Before you can learn how to become an LVN, you need to figure out if this is the right career for you. Qualities of a good LVN include:
- The ability to adapt to new situations and environments
- A passion for helping other people
- The ability to effectively communicate with sick patients and their families
- A general interest in the medical field
- The ability to manage your time efficiently
- A strong set of organization skills
This profession is mostly dominated by women, but men can be LVNs as well. You just need to have a caring and approachable personality, and you have to be able to understand patient care at the most basic level. The job duties of an LVN will depend on a variety of factors, and they may change from day to day. If you are a fast learner that can work with new situations on a regular basis, you will do well in this sector of the medical field.
Step 1 – Get an Education
In order to become an LVN, you need to have some sort of formal training. This will come in the form of a college degree, and there are several different ones to choose from. Common degrees for LVNs include:
- Diploma in Nursing (DN)
- Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
You do not necessarily need a bachelor’s level education to become an LVN, but that would give you a chance to move into a career as a registered nurse or a similar profession higher than the LVN level. If you just want to go through your associate’s degree program, you will spend about two years in school. If you decide to get a diploma, you may only need to spend a year in college. You can obtain all of this training through the internet if you are looking for a convenient way to learn. That way you can work and go to school at the same time. In virtually no time at all, you could actually begin your career as a licensed vocational nurse.
Step 2 – Pass a Licensure Exam
With your training behind you, you will be able to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). This is a test that is shorter and less comprehensive than the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, but that is because it does not allow for quite as high of a career. If you take the test and pass it, you will be considered a certified LVN ready for work.
Step 3 – Gain Work Experience
Most LVNs spend at least a year in a hospital setting before they begin their work as full-fledged nurses. However, you may be able to enter this career directly after obtaining your license. It just depends on the demand for nurses in the area and the amount of training you have gone through. This is a career that is in high demand at the moment, so hopefully you can get involved with this profession soon enough.
Step 4 – Find a Job
Finding a job as an LVN is simply a matter of knowing your options and using them. You can look for work in a local hospital or clinic, or you could even explore openings in other health care facilities. Some employers will want you to become a registered nurse before you can work with them, but others have openings available at the entry level. Take a look at the jobs available in your area and you will soon be able to work as an LVN.
If you’re ready to become an LVN, take a look at the LVN salary to solidify your determination.