Unveiling the Wonders of Travel LVN / LPN Careers
LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) and LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) are the same roles, with the title varying based on the state where they practice. For instance, California and Texas use the title LVN, while the other 48 states use LPN.
An LVN / LPN plays a crucial role in patient care. They work under the direction of doctors and registered nurses to provide basic nursing care, ensuring that patients are comfortable, safe, and receive the appropriate attention they need.
- Monitoring patient health and vital signs
- Administering basic patient care, including wound care, bathing, and dressing
- Providing injections and medications as prescribed
- Assisting with patient records and reporting any changes in a patient's condition
- Collaborating with RNs, doctors, and other healthcare professionals
- Educating patients and their families on health conditions and care
To become an LVN / LPN, one must:
- Complete a state-approved educational program, which typically lasts about one year. These programs are found in technical schools and community colleges.
- To obtain licensure, pass the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses).
- Acquire state-specific licensure. Although the exam is nationally recognized, each state has its requirements for licensure. As a travel LVN / LPN, familiarize yourself with the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows RNs and LVN / LPNs who hold a specific multistate license to practice in any NLC state.
While the foundational training of an LVN / LPN provides a broad overview of nursing care, with experience, these nurses can develop expertise in specific areas. Some potential specialties or areas of focus for LVN / LPNs include:
- Clinic/Ambulatory Care
Nurses in this specialty provide care in outpatient settings, helping with procedures, follow-ups, and patient education.
- Emergency Room (ER)
ER nurses offer immediate care to patients with acute injuries or illnesses, ensuring rapid response and stabilization.
- Home Health
These nurses provide care for patients in their homes, assisting with daily activities, medications, and health monitoring.
- Long-Term Acute Care
Nurses in this field care for patients with severe, chronic illnesses or injuries that require an extended hospital stay.
- Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing
Focused on patients requiring long-term care, these nurses assist with daily living activities and monitor chronic conditions.
Offering care to adult patients in hospital settings, these nurses handle a diverse set of conditions and treatments.
Oncology nurses care for patients diagnosed with cancer, assisting with treatments like chemotherapy and providing emotional support.
Pediatric nurses specialize in caring for children from infancy through adolescence, addressing both physical and developmental needs.
This specialty focuses on caring for patients with mental health disorders, offering therapeutic interactions and medication management.
Rehabilitation nurses assist patients recovering from long-term physical disabilities or chronic illnesses, aiming to restore functionality.
Working primarily in cardiac units, telemetry nurses monitor patients using specialized electronic equipment like ECGs.
- Wound Care
Specializing in treating and monitoring wounds, these nurses provide cleaning, dressing, and recommendations for further care.
LVN / LPN: Typically requires completing a one-year vocational or college program. This program provides a mix of classroom instruction and clinical training.
RN: Requires completion of an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), both longer than LVN / LPN programs. BSN programs usually take about four years, while ADN programs can take two to three years. RN programs provide more in-depth study of topics and additional clinical hours.
Both LVN / LPNs and RNs must pass a national licensing examination to practice. LVN / LPNs take the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses), while RNs take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses).
Scope of Practice:
LVN / LPN: Their scope of practice is more limited than RNs. They usually work under the supervision of RNs or physicians and provide basic nursing care, such as administering medications, changing dressings, and monitoring vital signs. While they can collect patient data, they often require an RN or physician to interpret it and make broader care decisions.
RN: Registered nurses have a broader scope of practice and can perform more complex procedures, assess patients, create care plans, interpret patient data, and collaborate directly with physicians and other healthcare professionals. In many states, RNs can also specialize in specific areas of healthcare and earn additional certifications.
Work Settings and Opportunities:
LVN / LPNs and RNs can work in various healthcare settings like hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and private homes. However, RNs often have more opportunities for specialized roles, leadership positions, and advanced practice roles if they pursue further education due to their expanded education and scope of practice.
With FlexCare, you're not just stepping into a job; you're stepping into a community that values your skills and is dedicated to helping you achieve your career aspirations. If you're an LVN / LPN looking for exciting travel opportunities or are considering becoming one, this is your chance to elevate your career.