Licensed Vocational Nurses, or LVNs, are healthcare professionals who provide basic medical care to patients in a clinical, hospital, or residential setting. They monitor patient vitals, explain procedures, and collect samples as necessary. LVNs may also provide other types of care that require medical knowledge, such as the insertion of catheters or the replacement of bandages. They provide personal care to patients as well, bathing, feeding, and dressing them as needed. LVNs also work as part of a team and relay information about the patients' conditions to other members of the group.
Licensed Vocational Nurses account for 21 percent of the nurses in California. It takes about one year of combined study and clinical experience to be able to sit for the LVN examination. Registered Nurses (RNs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are very similar to LVNs. The three positions often work together and their job duties often overlap. The difference is in the licensure received and the amount of education and clinical experience needed to be able to sit for the examination. It takes three to four years to become an RN while a CNA can be earned in less than a year.
California LVN Job Market
Some of the largest employers of LVNs in California include Sonoma Developmental Center, Porterville Developmental Center, Lanterman Developmental Center, Fairview Developmental Center, and Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
The demand for Licensed Vocational Nurses is expected to increase by 25 percent through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This means that over 182,900 LVN jobs will be added throughout the United States. This large increase is due to the large number of people who are reaching retirement age. As they vacate their positions, this creates new opportunities for LPNs while the increased number of elderly persons means that more medical staff is needed to care for everyone.
LVN Salaries in California
Licensed Vocational Nurses in California make $51,700 per year on average, or roughly $24.86 per hour (BLS). In contrast, Registered Nurses earn $98,400 per year on average, or $47.31 per hour, and Nursing Assistants earn $30,020 per year on average, or $14.43 per hour.