How to become an LVN or LPN

Last updated on March 25th, 2022 at 07:59 pm

How to become an LVN or LPN

There are two types of nurse that fall into the practical nursing branch, a Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse has depending on the institution approximately 12-18 months of study. SO when you ask yourself the question, “how do I become a nurse”, we hope that this article helps.

The prerequisites:

  • High school diploma or GED certificate.
  • If you are form another country, you will need to submit your coursework for review at the school that you are applying for so that they can evaluate if it meets their course requirements.
  • Teas testing, most if not all LVN, LPN and RN schools require this test in the USA.

This nursing certificate is called an LVN on the west coast of the US and LPN is utilized more on the east coast of the US. An LVN or LPN may pass oral, IM, SQ medications.  In many places they can start an IV if they get certified which is a separate course.  As far as IV therapy is concerned, you will need to see what the policies are for each state and institution.


The institution may be a junior college or vocational school. The vocational school is more expensive and you pay for the convenience of an easier schedule for those that work and have a family to support, some vocational schools have evening or weekend classes. If you go to a Male And Female Nurse Working At Nurses Stationvocational school, all the units/credits that you have taken may not transfer to a junior college or university. However, depending on the vocational school you go to, if may cut off a year for RN schooling at a junior college.  If you choose the vocational school route with the intention on becoming an RN, my advice would be to put everything you can into your studies, often the books for LVN/LPN and RN’s are the same.  So if you really apply yourself it will make RN school much easier.  It will also make you a more valuable classmate to your fellow students both in LVN/LPN school and in RN school. Apply to the Registered Nurse program as soon as possible after completing your LVN/LPN as your schooling is still fresh and easier to apply in your studies.

Once school is completed, LVN and or LPN graduates must take the boards after they complete their schooling. This is a great stepping stone for becoming an Registered Nurse (RN ).

Most LVN or LPN graduates work in a long term care setting.  They may also be employed in clinics and blood banks.  As LVN’s or LPN’s move up in their chosen setting, they may begin to supervise certified nursing assistants (CNA’s) or nursing assistants (NA’s). They are employed in the acute care settings, however in hospitals they are employed in limited settings.

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Anna Curran. RN, BSN, PHN

Anna Curran. RN-BC, BSN, PHN, CMSRN I am a Critical Care ER nurse. I have been in this field for over 30 years. I also began teaching BSN and LVN students and found that by writing additional study guides helped their knowledge base, especially when it was time to take the NCLEX examinations.

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