Did you realize that LVN jobs are one of the fastest growing in the state of California? It is true and for good reason too. The various changes to the healthcare laws and a growing population has created a demand for qualified healthcare workers. If you want a new job, you should take a closer look at licensed vocational nursing careers.
No matter if you are looking for your first job or need get re-training to launch a new career, those trained for LVN jobs should have no foreseeable problems. Healthcare is one of the very industries that can withstand almost any economic climate, except maybe a zombie invasion. In fact, it continues to grow as demand rises each year for those with proper training and skill.
But you probably want to know about what goes in LVN jobs, right? Well this article should be incredibly helpful to you. This page will go over almost everything you wanted to know about LVN jobs but were afraid to ask. That way you can make an informed decision on the idea of becoming an LVN.
Let us know if we answered all of your questions. If you want further information or have a suggestion to make this page better, please contact us. You can email us at VNOStaff@vocationalnursingonline.net.
What is An LVN?
The first step in learning about LVN jobs is a quick and easy definition. An LVN is responsible for providing basic care to patients and work under the supervision of medical physicians or registered nurses (RN). This is an entry-level position but extremely critical to the health and welfare of patients.
With that said, you must realize the importance of licensed vocational nurses to almost any successful medical team. They not only provide comfort and spend lots of time with the patients, but also serve as the eyes and ears for doctors and RNs on any changes of conditions. If you have spent time in a hospital, the nurse you saw the most was probably a LVN.
Click on the tabs below to find out more about LVN jobs.
What is a Good LVN Job Description?
The LVN job description can tricky to nail down since the scope of their duties is quite broad. They provide most of the hands-on care for patients as well as making sure that all medical orders are carried out correctly. LVNs may also be tasked with supervising certified nursing assistants (CNA) doing most of the basic tasks.
Here is a list of some of the typical duties performed according to various LVN job descriptions.
- Help with patient personal hygiene
- Make observations about patients’ conditions
- Report and chart changes in patients’ condition
- Help prepare patients for tests, treatments and examinations
- Take and record patients’ vital signs including height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, temp and respiration rate
- Keep records of fluids and solids intake and output
- Clean rooms, change sheets and make beds
- Help plan and modify patient care as part of a medical team
- Provide assistance with patient bathing, eating and ambulation
- Collect samples such as blood or urine from patients
- Looking for signs of infections and bedsores, providing treatments when necessary
- Assembling, using and disassembling catheters, trach tubes, oxygen suppliers and other equipment
- Sterilization of equipment and supplies using autoclave, sterilizers or germicides
- Helping keep records, make appointments and other clerical duties in clinics and doctors’ offices
- Provide supervision for nursing aides and assistants
- Routine inventory of supplies and instruments and making requisitions for resupplies
- Communication with patients and their families on the treatments given or the current conditions
- Give basic patient care such as enemas, treatments, massages, catheterizations, etc…
- Following the prescribed orders of medical care and making sure these orders are completed
- Helping administer medications and IVs, when ordered to
- Dressing wounds and changing bandages routinely to stifle infections
- Help apply ice packs, hot water bottles and compresses
- Trying to keep patient and family in good spirits during this trying time
- Re-checking food and drink trays to make sure they follow the prescribed diet
- Quickly answer patients’ calls and assist them in their comfort
- Keeping an eye out for any adverse reactions to medicines or treatments and taking necessary actions
- Assisting members of the medical team with patient evaluations, recommendations, observations and performance of duty
What Are Typical Schedules for a Vocational Nurse Like?
After talking to a number of people about their LVN jobs, we’ve come to the conclusion that one of the top benefits of working in nursing is the somewhat flexible schedules. Even though most LVNs work about 40-hours-a-week, there are some who work just part time. The actual flexibility of the schedule is somewhat dependent on the type of the employer and the particular staffing needs of the institution.
It is not that uncommon for an LVN to work just three days a week or three 12-hour shifts. This opens up possibilities that you may not be able to get with other jobs. It isn’t unheard of that some industrious LVNs choose to work for more than one institution or offer to work an extra day or so for overtime.
Since most medical care facilities are open 24/7, you will find LVNs working days, nights and weekends. This can include holidays too. So just be aware it might not be a Monday through Friday gig, but you can still work out your schedule so it best fits you and your lifestyle.
What is the Outlook and Pay for LVN Jobs?
Several times in this article we’ve mentioned that LVN jobs are ranked among the top fastest growing jobs in California. We’ve even given you reasons why this is a fact such as the upward growth in population and the new healthcare regulations. But let’s give you some numbers to look at so that you know that we were not fibbing.
According to the latest projections released by the California Employment Development Division, the expected growth in the number of LVN jobs will hit around 16,000 new positions over the next decade. This is an increase of over 26% in new LVN jobs in California. Those are incredible numbers.
One thing to also remember is that healthcare positions are less likely to be affected by economic turmoil. As we all know, over the past 10 or so years the economy hit a lot of occupations hard. Healthcare just happens to be one of those professions that can withstand economic uncertainty since everyone needs medical help at one time or another.
For some people, they are not that concerned with projections. They want to know about the paycheck. We understand and think you will be pretty surprised when you find out that the LVN pay is among the top for professions not requiring a 4-year college degree.
The median salary for LVN jobs in California is over $50,000 a year. The lowest 10% make around $36,000 while the top 10% makes over $70,000 year. This of course does not include overtime and the very generous benefits most LVNs enjoy such as health insurance, 401Ks and vacations.
Where Do LVNs Work?
As you probably already know, most vocational nurses tend to work for nursing homes, long term care centers and hospitals. But you did you know about the other potential employers out there? Probably not, so let’s take a look here.
This is a list of some of the top employers that offer LVN jobs for you to consider.
- Acute Medical Hospitals
- Surgical Hospitals
- Long Term Care Centers or Convalescent Homes
- Nursing and Residential Care Homes
- Home Health Care Agencies
- Outpatient Facilities
- Blood and Plasma Banks
- Dialysis Facilities
- Correctional Institutions
- LVN Training Programs
- Physician Offices
Did You Know?
Here are some other things you should know about LVN Jobs.
- In order to become an LVN, you will need to take an approved training program
- There are basically four steps to become an LVN
- You can choose to get your certificate or possibly go for an associate degree
- Certificate programs take roughly one year to complete while associate degree programs take upwards of two years
- Typically LVNs wear scrubs during their shift
- You will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to be able to work in any of the LVN jobs
- Vocational nurses can be certified to work specialty areas like gerontology or neonatal
- Special bridge programs have been created for LVNs to gain the education necessary to become a registered nurse (RN)
- LVNs are often on their feet for most of their shift, so comfortable shoes are highly recommended
- Growing rates in diabetes, obesity and the elderly is creating niches that LVNs can specialize in to increase their demand and potential salary
- Many of today’s registered nurses got their start as vocational nurses