Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are intermediate-level nursing professionals. They are tasked to carry out basic and essential health care to a variety of patients. With the continuing development of technology, LVNs have more options with regards to employment opportunities, since more and more health care services can be offered outside the usual hospital setting. As a result, there is an increase in demand for LVNs. They can find job opportunities in doctors’ offices, home health care settings, rehabilitation centers, and more.
The term “LVN” can be used interchangeably with LPN (licensed practical nurse). States like Texas and California use “LVN” more often than other areas. To become an LVN, one must go through a brief training program in order to be equipped for the licensure examination for LVNs, the NCLEX-PN. Passing the licensure examination is an LVN’s gateway to legal employment in the health care field. Here, we will discuss the most frequently asked questions about an LVN training program.
What is Licensed Vocational Nurse Training?
LVN training is an educational program that prepares students to sit for the NCLEX-PN. The coursework of the program encompasses the basic and fundamental areas of the nursing profession. Subjects like health care, nutrition and infection control are discussed during the theoretical portion of the program. The theoretical or didactic aspect of the LVN training program is mostly done in a classroom setting, doing discussions and lectures. The second part of the program, the practical or internship portion, is held in an actual medical setting wherein students are given the opportunity to have hands-on training of the skills learned from the program.
The training requirements vary from one school to another and depend on the regulations of the state where one is located. However, we have listed below the usual requirements mandated by most schools. Note that additional requirements may be needed:
- High school diploma or GED certificate – Applicants must be at least high school graduates to qualify for admission. However, in some settings, a GED certificate may suffice.
- Age requirement – In the United States, one must be 18 years of age in order to qualify for training, licensure and employment. You may need to present your certificate of birth for this.
- Transcript of records – Most schools have a standard passing GPA of at least 2.0 for LVN training applicants. Grades of not less than C should also be garnered for general education subjects such as biology, chemistry, mathematics and English communications.
- Medical clearance – The training and the profession itself requires physical strength and stamina. Thus, one must be physically and psychology healthy to qualify. Medical clearance is done before or after the enrollment process.
Tuition & Fees
The cost for LVN training ranges between $750 and $2,500 per semester. Community colleges have cheaper tuition fee rates compared to private educational institutions. Note also that residents have lower rates than foreign or out-of-state students. In most schools, financial aids are offered for students that pass their qualifications. It is pertinent to mention here that there are some facilities that give free training, given the premise that the student will work for a certain period with the facility after the training and licensure.
A typical LVN program takes three semesters or about six months to one year of full-time study. However, variants in length may occur depending on the curriculum of the school. The training program can be taken part-time or online. Some schools may be flexible enough to cater for the student’s needs, such as evening or weekend classes with a maxed-out coursework.
Top 10 LVN Schools
There are many schools across all 50 states and the District of Columbia offering LVN training. In choosing a school, accreditation is an important criterion, since this determines the eligibility and quality of the training offered. We have listed below the top 10 schools offering LVN training:
- Instituto de Banca y Comercio
- Summit Career College
- ECPI University
- Bluegrass Community and Technical College
- West Kentucky Community and Technical College
- Four-D College
- Jefferson Community & Technical College
- Eastern Suffolk BOCES - School of Practical Nursing
- D. G. Erwin Technical Center
- Galen Health Institutes
Online LVN Classes
Online LVN programs are a popular choice nowadays because of the convenience they offer. As such, there are many schools offering online LVN training. Accreditation is yet again an important consideration, especially with the increasing competition between schools. We have listed below the top schools offering LVN training online:
- University of Phoenix
- South University
- California University of Pennsylvania
- Walden University
- Independence University
LVN training is mandatory to becoming an LVN in the United States. The program takes about six months to one year and can be taken full-time, part-time or online. The cost of the program depends on the school, location and the availability of financial aid. After completion of the program, students must pass the NCLEX-PN to qualify for licensure and employment.