National Avg. Salary

$44,030 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

16.3% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

Certification Programs & Degrees →


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  • Growing Industry

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Licensed vocational nurses provide basic bedside care to patients.  They work under the supervision of licensed physicians and registered nurses to provide competent care to elderly, sick, impaired and injured patients.

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Job Description

The following responsibilities are common for Licensed Vocational Nurses:

  • Examines and records any changes in a patients clinical condition
  • Takes specimens like blood, urine or saliva from a patient
  • Administers oral in IV medications to patients
  • Feeds patients orally or through a feeding tube
  • Changes and necessary wound dressings a patient may need to prevent infections

A Day In The Life

Licences vocational nurses, also called LVN’s, provide medical comfort and care for patients by checking vital statistics, changing bandages, and assisting patients to dress, walk or eat.  They also monitor and record a patients medical records, speak with patients that have any concerns and also keep the patients physicians and other care givers current on their health status.

They will monitor their patients conditions and also administer any medications their patients may need.  They may also collect blood or urine samples, assist their patients with bathing and other personal hygiene care.  Another important part of their daily job is teaching the families or home health care providers how to properly provide preventative care at home for their loved ones.

Typical Work Schedule

This position requires mainly full time shift work due to the fact that most positions are in healthcare facility settings that have patients that require round-the-clock care from their nurses.

Career Progression

Early Career – An LVN fresh out of their academic program should expect to begin their career in a nursing home or hospital, obtaining the much coveted experience in their field.

Mid Career – There are many opportunities for advancement in the nursing industry.  They often advance at the facility they are working, to charge nurses or supervisors of nurses aides and other LVNs.

Late Career – As an LVN continues to gain knowledge, they may want to specialize in a specific specialized area like, pharmacology, neurology or long-term hospice care.  While others may choose to enroll into an educational program that also advances them into a Registered Nurses position.

Typical Employers

These individuals generally work in hospitals, physicians offices, assisted living facilities or also do in-home private care for individuals as well.

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Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

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National Hourly Wage

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How do Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)'s can make an average annual salary of $44,030, or $21 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $36,300 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #468 Nationally for All Careers

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How To Become

The very first step to becoming a licensed vocational nurse is to first enroll in a healthcare or nursing associates program.  Those wanting to pursue nursing are also required to obtain an accredited certification in the state they wish to be employed in.  The LVN certification programs typically take up to one year to complete and include coursework in nursing, pharmacology, biology, anatomy & physiology and psychology.  Students can generally can complete their education and begin working within two years time.  It can also be a career that can be a great starting point for an individual that wishes to further their education and employment opportunities in the nursing and medical fields. Supervised clinical experience is also required for this occupation to work on student practical and interpersonal skills with hands-on experience.  Upon graduating from an accredited program, candidates may then apply to the state board of nursing.  Once deemed eligible, they must then pass the state licensure exam.   After completion of this certification program and examination, students are then required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Vocational Nurses, or NCLEX-VN.  This mandatory exam is also administered by your states Board of Nursing.

These individuals should also be compassionate, empathetic and sympathetic with a genuine desire to help their patients.  They should also possess excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.  As well as being capable of working both independently and as a team with physicians, other nurses and other healthcare personnel.

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Quick Summary

  • Recommended Min. Degree


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). a Certification is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

  • 0.4%   Doctorate
  • 0.6%   Masters
  • 4.8%   Bachelors
  • 18.7%   Associates
  • 55.4%   College
  • 18.6%   High School
  • 1.4%   Less than High School

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Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 117,300 jobs for a total of 837,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 16.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #89 Nationally for All Careers

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What Companies Employ The Most Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)s

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 212,100 13,500 14%
Offices of physicians 92,400 20,800 21%
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 79,900 -11,500 -12%

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