Whichever route you take, you’ll still be successful!
When I decided that the medical field was what I wanted to seek a career in, I was presented with many options. A registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, respiratory therapy, radiology, scrub technician, and many other routes. I wanted flexibility. I wanted to see different things in the hospital. That’s when I decided nursing was for me. I decided to get my vocational/practical nursing license. In 12 short months, I could be an entry-level nurse, getting my foot in the door and gaining experience while possibly pursuing higher education. That’s when I started receiving backlash for the route that I chose. Comments such as: “LVN/LPN’s are getting phased out.” “You will only work in LTC.” “You’re not a real nurse.” It hindered my decision until I did more research. So here’s what I found out about the career and everything it has to offer.
An LVN/PN is an entry-level nurse. To become licensed, you’ll complete your program in 12 to 15 months full-time. I have lectures 2x a week and clinical 2x a week. During my first semester, I learned the foundations of nursing, which both RN students and LVN/PN students complete. Primary care such as bathing, toileting, grooming, assisting with ADL’s were all included during the first few weeks. As the semester went on, I learned how to give injections, administer oral medications, place a catheter, and suction out tracheostomy tubes. We had exams every week compared to the RN students in my school. Traditional RN students meet for lectures 2x a week, with one clinical day. We went five days a week, whereas the RN students met three days.
LVN/PN’s have a limited scope of practice. They assist the RN and the healthcare team in treating patients. LVN/PN’s can only do focused assessments, assessing pain at a certain site and notifying the RN. RN’s do complete assessments from head-to-toe. After an LVN/PN finishes their program, they sit for the NCLEX like an RN, but the exam is specific to LVN/PN. After completing and passing the exam, the LVN/PN will become a licensed nurse. If one chooses, they can bridge from an LVN/PN to an RN in a year or longer. This route was perfect for me. In under a year, I could get my foot in the door as an entry-level nurse, gain experience, and advance my career.
Whichever route you decide to take, you will be successful! You will flourish!
Written by: Devianta Ellis