Vocational Nursing Certification: Program Overview

A certificate program in vocational nursing may be a good option for those who are interested in the nursing field but would rather not spend two or more years earning a registered nursing degree.

Essential Information

As a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), graduates are able to work under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician to provide nursing care to those in need. Many vocational nursing certificate programs prepare their graduates for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-PN/VN) to become a LVN. Community colleges and technical schools are the most common places to find these certificate programs, which usually last around a year. Students receive classroom training and participate in supervised clinical experiences. Upon graduation, they may sit for the NCLEX-PN/VN exam in their state. After becoming a licensed vocational nurse, individuals have the option to pursue advanced specialty certifications, such as IV therapy, from professional nursing associations.


Certificate in Vocational Nursing

Students studying vocational nursing will also have the opportunity to learn during clinical lessons for a practical, hands-on look at the concepts and procedures of a vocational nurse. They may learn skills such as laboratory testing, checking blood pressure, assisted living, maintaining records, advising and notifying doctors, and helping to deliver babies. Students interested in a vocational nursing certificate study a variety of different courses, such as:

  • Biology
  • Maternity nursing
  • Nursing skills
  • Professional development
  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a vocational nursing certificate have the opportunity to work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, outpatient medical centers, nursing homes, schools and industry.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be a need for licensed practical and vocational nurses between 2014 and 2024, with very fast employment growth of 16% expected (www.bls.gov). Outpatient care centers, home health environments, and residential care facilities will all need these professionals to help care for patients, especially those who are elderly or critically ill. In May 2015, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses averaged $44,030 a year.

Through in-class and supervised clinical training, vocational nursing certification programs help aspiring LVNs prepare for the NCLEX-PN/VN and meet the requirements to provide supervised nursing care as a LVN.


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