The approach to health care is rapidly evolving. As a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), you want to make the fundamental shifts to meet the need. For many vocational nurse, their LVN training is just the first step in their education and career. Many students take one of the LVN programs in their state with the intention of eventually pursuing a degree as a registered nurse. The LVN to RN educational path typically requires taking 5 prerequisite courses, as well as a 12 to 18 month “Bridge” program. This LVN to RN path is essential in fulfilling the core requisites specified by any continuing education program.
If you are a licensed vocational nurse, you must first determine which LVN to RN program will serve you the best. Based on your present circumstances, you can develop an LVN to RN educational path for either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN). Taking an LVN to RN program may take up to two years to complete. An LVN to BSN program will usually take 3 years to complete.
The LVN to BSN Route
The LVN to RN path towards a BSN permits licensed vocational nurses on the LVN to RN path the opportunity to strengthen their current proficiencies. This, along with classes geared towards closing the knowledge gap for vocational nurses, allows LVNs to earn a Bachelors degree in Nursing(BSN). The classes that vocational nurses will take are a mixture of sciences that deal with all phases of life. These classes include the study of anatomical structure and its internal processes, pharmacology the study of drugs and their effects. Chemistry 101 is also required for the BSN degree.
As a BSN student, you will explore culturally-oriented sciences. These social science courses include humanities, sociology, psychology, and anthropology. Anthropology is the study of the lineage, growth, and structure of human societies and their behavior as individuals and in social groups.
How Long to Complete an LVN to RN Program?
Most LVN to RN programs take about two years to complete. Your first step is to meet with someone from the admissions office. There, you will find out the prerequisites you’ll need. After finishing the prerequisites, you can then enroll in the program. Of course, one of the biggest benefits of completing an LVN to RN program is the difference in salary. The salary for a Bachelors prepared registered nurse is $68,450(according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), which is nearly $25,000 more than the average LVN salary!
Nursing prospects on the LVN to RN program who have acquired a BSN must complete all required coursework in an accredited four-year development program. This section of the LVN to RN Education path in relation to the BSN program embodies value-added coursework that surrounds community health.
In the LVN to RN Education path, you are able to explore community health, which is a nursing practice that utilizes deductive-reasoning techniques often invaluable in the areas of disease prevention, activism, wellness enrichment, confidence-building, research, and community development. This division of the LVN to RN Education path provides many rewards. As a health care professional, community health nursing will be among the most beneficial and in-depth courses of training you will receive.
This exploration wellness series of study aims towards persons, the family unit, and their community as a whole. It consists of universal dynamics that can take your LVN to RN Education path full circle. As you complete your LVN classes, and continue towards your RN or BSN, you have a distinct opportunity to fulfill your vital role in the development and safeguarding of your community at large while educating and applying a practiced template of teaching and expertness that represents success.
When you are deciding between an LVN vs RN program, it may be important for you to first assess how long you want to be in school for. Enrolling in a registered nursing program typically allows you to have a greater scope of practice as a nurse, but will take longer. Going with a Vocational nursing program will take less time and get you working faster.
Duties Of An LVN
Choosing an LVN vs RN program may not be easy. A LVN is a licensed Vocational nurse, and typically completes an accredited program that is about one year in length. In California and Texas, LVNs are referred to as licensed vocational nurses (LVN). LVNs work under the supervision of either RNs or physicians and are not permitted to do perform specific nursing tasks depending on which state they are working in.
In many states, such as California, LVNs can start intravenous fluids, commonly referred to as IV’s, but in other states they cannot start them. LVNs usually cannot take care of complex patients. This usually falls on the Registered Nurse. In most states, LVNs can do the majority, if not all, of the following jobs under the supervision of a RN:
- Providing standard nursing care, such as inserting catheters, changing bed pans & bandages, and monitoring IV’s.
- Monitoring of patients’ vital signs, such as their pulse and blood pressure
- Ensure that patients remain comfortable; assisting the patient with bathing, eating, and getting dressed.
- LVNs will often speak about health related concerns and issues with both the patient and the patient’s family.
- Keep the medical doctors and other nurses updated about the status of the patient.
- Thoroughly document patient care, and keep all medical related documentation current.
When comparing an LVN vs RN program, LVNs provide more basic care and often have to report patient status to RN’s. The registered nurse can provide all of the same care, but also is responsible for coordinating patient care plans, can perform diagnostic tests, analyze results and instruct patients on the best way to manage illnesses after discharge.
The RN’s on the team also typically are in charge, and also may manage other workers on the care team such as healthcare aides, LVNs and other staff. It is most common to find LVNs working in long-term care with older adults. RN’s typically have a bigger scope of practice and can pursue continuing education to be a specialty nurse, a clinical nurse educator (someone who helps guide other nurses on a hospital ward) or a nurse practitioner. That said, being an LVN is still a very rewarding career with a good salary.
Studying to become an LVN may be more affordable than a full Bachelor of Science. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 38% of LVNs work in nursing care facilities, 17% work in the hospital and 13% work in doctors offices. The remaining 11% work in home healthcare and 7% are government employees. Comparatively, 54% of RN’s work in hospitals and 5% work in long term care. The remainder work in home healthcare and doctor’s offices.
Difference Between LVN & RN Programs
When it comes to schooling there are similarities between LVN vs RN program. Both LVNs and RN’s enroll in courses that cover anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and other social sciences. RN’s usually are enrolled in either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or an Associates Degree (ASN). All programs include clinical placements in hospital such as pediatrics, psychiatry, maternity, acute care and surgery. RNs usually receive more training in communication, leadership and critical thinking.
A LVN can advance to become a RN with an LVN to RN program. These programs are designed for LVNs to further their education to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Associates Degree in Nursing.
To find more about LVN to RN programs please search our site. No matter what path you choose nursing is always a rewarding career.