The employment of licensed vocational nurses or LVNs is estimated grow to as high as 14% until 2026. This is much faster than average, according to the latest report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. In 2016, it is estimated that around 750,000 LVNs were employed mostly in hospitals and in nursing health care facilities. A significant increase of LVNs working in private offices of physicians has also been noted.
In California specifically, the employment rate for LVNs is likely to decline in traditional hospitals and medical centers in the coming years. Overall, however, the trend of job opportunities for LVNs continues to rise because of the growing need for nurses in certain facilities, such as in nursing care facilities, physician private clinics or offices and home health care services. Moreover, because of the increasing number of elders who require long-term care and of people who demand for the best medical treatments, the job outlook for LVNs shows a lot of potential in the coming years.
LVN Salary Continues to Rise!
The varying demand for LVNs is attributed to the recent advances in the field of medical science and technology. These advancements have resulted in the introduction and availability of complex and sophisticated tools and procedures. The number patients demanding high quality care through the utilization of the said procedures has been increasing for the past few years. The number of the aged, who are in constant need of assistance and of long-term care, has been rapidly increasing. This steady increase has been a major factor in the growing demand for LVNs to manage them.
In the past, medical, surgical, and diagnostic procedures were usually done in hospitals. Because of the recent significant developments in medical science and technology, such as the advances of the different diagnostic and imaging tools, many of these clinical procedures are performed in outpatient care centers, ambulatory medical centers and physician clinics or offices. An increasing number of patients have opted to consult and acquire treatments from these facilities. Since LVNs are needed to assist, monitor and care for these patients, the employment opportunities for vocational nurses in facilities, other than in medical centers and hospitals, rise. The need for additional nurses has put upward pressure on the average LVN salary.
Enrolling in One of the Accredited LVN Programs
To obtain formal education and training in vocational nursing, the prospective students should initially register and enroll in schools that offer LVN programs. Be certain that the vocational nursing program being applied to is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or NLNAC. Vocational and technical LVN schools, community colleges, hospitals, universities and other health care facilities offer 12 to 18-month LVN programs consisting of lecture classes and clinical practicum. LVN courses or programs include lecture and laboratory classes and the actual clinical training in various facilities.
Clinical training for technical skills and actual patient care management are done and completed in hospitals, nursing homes and physician offices under the supervision of a licensed vocational nurses and/or physicians. Clinical practicum is a part of any LVN program to ensure that the best patient care is delivered. The clinical instructors teach, guide and evaluate the students’ level of competency in performing certain clinical procedures related to vocational nursing. Lecture classes and clinical rotations are should be completed within 12 to 18 months of study and training.