Understanding LVNs: 5 Most Common Misunderstandings

Nurses taking blood pressure

A licensed vocational nurse, more commonly called licensed professional nurses (LPNs) outside of California, share many of the same duties and responsibilities as registered nurses. Read more below to learn how invaluable vocational nurses are in healthcare.

1. LVNs and LPNs are Licensed Nurses

Just like an RN, LVNs can provide critical care support in a variety of facilities. It is increasingly common for vocational nurses to supervise certified nursing assistants and may be the only licensed nurse on site at some facilities. Just like their RN counterparts, a vocational nurse can do many of the same tasks including:

  • Monitor and report on a patient’s condition
  • Administer medication
  • Check vital signs
  • Change wound dressing and oversee wound care
  • Collect specimen for testing
  • Insert urinary catheters
  • Test blood sugar

2. Licensed Vocational Nurses Can Work in Any Medical Setting

Once you’re licensed, you can work in a variety of environments depending upon your area of interest. A vocational nurse in Los Angeles can be hired in a number of settings such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Specialty Clinics
  • Doctor’s Offices
  • Nursing Homes
  • Hospice
  • Private Homes

3. How Much Responsibility Does an LVN in Los Angeles have?

The type of tasks an LVN does depends upon the direction of the medical staff. For example, a vocational nurse in a physician’s office could take on an administrative role and keep track of scheduling appointments, billing, and maintaining patient records. At a hospital, an LVN could expect to take on high-level responsibilities in the emergency room.

4. Yes, LVNs Provide Hands-On Care. Period.

Nursing is a complex and demanding profession. Patient care requires an engaged and communicative team to ensure that the prescribed plan is successfully and safely executed. LVNs spend a great deal of time interacting with patients and often are the main line of communication between patients and the rest of the medical staff. Licensed vocational nursing is not “nursing lite.” It’s a respected and vital profession and a key part of a well-managed medical setting.

5. LVNs and LPNs are Not Being Phased Out

Healthcare, like any other profession, sees some ebb and flow in hiring trends over time. However, data collected from job listing sites project that there will be over 920,000 LPNs working in the field by 2022, up from a robust 738,000 in 2012. An aging population, increased coverage due to the Affordable Care Act and more attention paid to preventative care means that vocational nurses in Los Angeles (which itself has a growing population) will be needed well into the future.

Still have questions? Good. We love questions. Our staff is available to dispel any myths you have heard about vocational nursing as well as clarify anything else we can about entering into the medical field. Feel free to call us at 310-559-0225 or email us here. We can’t wait to hear from you.


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