vocational nurse student
Five Awesome Reasons to Become an LVN

You’ve already been thinking of a career in healthcare, but not quite sure where you should start. The good news is that we have the perfect solution: becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse!

A LVN, or Licensed Vocational Nurse, works under the direction of registered nurses (RNs) and doctors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the typical everyday duties include – but are not necessarily limited to – providing basic nursing care to patients and making a difference in their quality of life.

Specific examples from the BLS include:

  • Monitoring patients’ health
  • Administering basic patient care
  • Providing basic comfort for patients
  • Discussing the care doctors are providing their patients and listening to their concerns
  • Reporting patients’ concerns and status to RNs and doctors
  • Keeping records on patients’ health

Now that you understand a LVN’s duties at a basic level, maybe you are wondering how much it will cost to receive your certification, or how quickly you’ll transition to the workforce, or where a career as a licensed vocational nurse could take you. Let us break it down for you.

1. Save Time (and Money) on your Education

Often, depending of course on the program and the school, nursing students will spend up to four years attending college before they receive a BSN (Bachelor of Science of Nursing) degree – the price of which could cost anywhere between $40,000 and $200,000; an ADN (Associate degree in Nursing) will take up to two years to complete, with a cost of up to $100,000 – according to this source. Clearly, the cost of earning a BSN or a ADN is already a lot for both out of your pocket and your time alone – and spots are limited, so it’s not even guaranteed.

LVN programs, on the other hand, can typically be completed between 12 and 20 months, the cost of which will typically run less than half the cost of obtaining an BSN.

2. Get to Work Sooner

Another advantage to completing a LVN program is the ability to get to work sooner. Throughout your LVN program, you will get hands-on experience as a part of your curriculum – better preparing you for the job market and will aid you in finding the right work opportunities as you go forward in your healthcare career. In addition to saving money on an education, you won’t be entering the workforce empty-handed.

Depending on where you work, your employers, may offer opportunities for tuition reimbursement in order to transition to a higher position (such as an RN) through their benefits package; in which case, you get the chance to see firsthand where the career can take you and where you can advance – but without having to start from scratch.

3. Job Security and Salary

Here’s the thing about healthcare: there will always be a high demand for health care services – the projections for which are only going to go up as time goes by.

To further emphasize this, the United States Census Bureau (USCB), as well as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide some valuable statistics. According to these USCB findings, in just fifteen years from now, people 65 years or older will outnumber people 18 years old or younger. What’s more, by the year 2060, projected population of people 65 years or older will be over 98 million – that’s nearly double the elderly population we have today.

So, the outlook looks great but what can you expect for pay? Well, LVNs earn a higher median salary compared to the average occupation for all the United States. For example, LVNs earned a starting annual salary of $44,090 in May of 2016. Depending on the industry you work for, that amount can (and probably will) go up in following years. Furthermore, the demand for LVNs are projected to increase at least 16% through the year 2024, according to this research, which is rapidly swifter than the average for ALL current occupations to date.

4. Flexible Career Path and Room for Advancement

Not only will a career as an LVN provide a stable salary and a promising job outlook, but LVNs, as well as RNs, have a unique opportunity to work in a variety of places. Basically, think of any healthcare environment that calls for patient care and more than likely, you could work there.

Examples of the largest employers of LVNs are typically as follows:

  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private
  • Offices of physicians
  • Home healthcare services
  • Government

According to BLS, “licensed vocational nurses held about 724,500 jobs in 2016…” and this number has continued to grow. Also, think about this: Licensed Vocational Nurses gain exposure to many fields of medicine. These include pediatrics, obstetrics, pharmacology or more. It’s always nice to have options.

Additionally, earning a LVN/LPN certification provides many prospects for advancement in your career. There is an array of opportunities for leadership and management roles once you have been certified and trained.

5. Helping People Helps You, Too

If you’ve read this far, it’s safe to say there are fewer moments in life less-satisfying than the moments of knowing you helped another person or helped to make them feel better. Like any other professional in the healthcare field, an Licensed Vocational Nurse enjoys caring for their patients – and it’s important to note that those patients will always be better off in the hands of a caring nurse than that of no one at all. Coming home after helping others all day long can be tiring, sure. But the rewards are infinite, and most importantly, with a job like this, every day is different and there will always be new opportunities to learn about others as well as yourself.

High Desert Medical College is enrolling our next full-time Vocational Nursing class to begin Monday, May 14, 2018. To learn more about HDMC’s LVN Program, click here to get to know what we’re all about. The HDMC Vocational Nursing program is is approved by the California Board of Vocational Nurse and Psychiatric Technicians (Vocational Nursing Program).

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