dcsimg
Find a School >
Healthcare Colleges Home > Healthcare Programs > LPN/LVN Programs

LPN/LVN Programs

LPN/LVN Programs

What Is An LPN/LVN?

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, under the direction of registered nurses and doctors, are responsible for a wide range of healthcare functions and have direct contact with patients and their families. These nurses perform basic medical procedures such as applying and changing dressings, as well as observing patients' health issues and keeping records. They may also gather medical information from patients and their families or instruct family members on how to care for patients.

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses are basically the same, but different states use different titles. All LPNs and LVNs must obtain a license, which requires passing the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-PN). For additional information, see our LPN/LVN career page.

LPN/LVN Program Information

Courses to help students preparing for LPN and LVN credentials are available from technical schools, community colleges, universities and some hospitals. On-site clinical experience is typically an important component of an LPN training program. Instruction in fundamental nursing concepts and subjects such as pharmacology or biology may be available through classroom education or through online studies.

LPN coursework combines with the in-service opportunities to observe, and in some cases assist with, patient interactions. The typical training program includes such topics as basic nursing practices, infection control, control and documentation of medications, anatomy, and common disease symptoms. Students may take courses focused on the ethical and legal responsibilities of healthcare professionals.

LPN/LVN Program Types

LPN schools typically offer one the following options:

  • Certificate or Diploma: Most LPN programs take approximately one year to complete, per the BLS, but the time frame potentially could stretch from 7 to 24 months, according to the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses. Students are usually exposed to theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as hands-on practice with patients.
  • Undergraduate Degree: Associate or bachelor's degree options exist, but they typically target those who are already LPNs or LVNs and who wish to earn an advanced nursing degree or prepare for a career as a registered nurse (RN). These programs may be called bridge or career mobility programs.

State nursing boards list accredited schools and approved courses that can help prepare students for the NCLEX-PN exam. It's important for aspiring licensed nurses to investigate the regulations of the state in which they wish to practice.

LPN/LVN Course Descriptions

While various LVN/LPN schools may differ in their approach to the material, the majority of them share a similar core curriculum. Students may choose additional courses according to their career aims. Common courses include the following:

  • Nursing Fundamentals: Coursework covers basic nursing principles and skills, including infection avoidance, vital sign evaluation, body mechanics and anatomy, and hygiene.
  • General Nutrition: Classes concentrate on the role that food and nutrition can play in both maintaining and regaining health.
  • Pharmacology: Courses examine how drugs affect the healing process and how to administer them.
  • Pediatric and Infant Care: Students focus on the special healthcare needs of children.

LPN/LVN Specialties

Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses may seek specialized training within the field, such as:

  • Acute long-term care
  • Gerontology/geriatrics
  • Intravenous (IV) therapy
  • Maternity care
  • Pharmacology

Specific employment situations emphasize different areas of expertise. Students with particular career aims can focus on the skills that would be useful in those work areas.

Possible Career Options For LPNs/LVNs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of May 2012, the highest levels of employment for LPNs and LVNs in the U.S. were in the following healthcare settings:

  • Nursing care facilities
  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Offices of physicians
  • Home healthcare services

The largest group of LVNs and LPNs (about a quarter of these professionals) worked in skilled nursing facilities, for example:

  • Residential homes for the elderly and infirm
  • Recuperation and rehabilitation centers
  • Hospices for the terminally ill

LPNs and LVNs could also be interested in related careers. Additional training or experience may be needed for positions such as the following:

Links to Sources and Associations

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

National Council Licensure Examination

National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses: Education

National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission

National Nursing Database

Explore these online and campus healthcare programs

Refine School Matches
LOCATION
Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
SUBJECT
Clear All

See More

DEGREE

PROGRAM TYPE

START TIME

 
Results:  7
Matching School Ads
Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
  • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
  • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Develop with hands-on practice, online and lab simulations and in depth peer discussions exploring best practices.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Good for Working Adults
  • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
  • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
  • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Healthcare Administration.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
Show more [+]
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Vocational Nursing
  • Offers accelerated programs w/ flexible schedules & professional instruction
  • Multiple accredited campuses across 9 states including CA, TX, NV, & PA
  • 10 + programs including Practical Nursing, Dental and Medical Assisting
  • Provides professional development training & career planning resources
  • Military Student Center (MSC) is committed to the success of military students
Show more [+]
Vocational Nursing
  • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
  • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
  • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
Show more [+]
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Presents stimulating, thoughtful programs for students in every academic field
  • SACS accredited w/many accreditations per program & 14:1 teacher-student ratio
  • 7 colleges with dozens of majors & programs to choose from for undergrads & grads
  • Beautiful 248 acre campus with ¾ mile waterfront located in Jacksonville, FL
  • Named an “America’s Best College” in the south for 10+ years, US News & World Report
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Began in 1909 as a single classroom in Los Angeles.
  • Offers no-cost dental clinic in Anaheim, where students gain experience by offering a selection of free dental services.
  • Involved in philanthropy, through partnerships with several organizations, such as the California Institute for Nursing and Healthcare (CINHC) and Shriner’s Hospital.
  • Accredited by The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.
  • Has 4 California campuses and 2 other campuses in Florida and Texas.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits