Career & Salary

salary chart

Career and Working Conditions

 Some of you might be wondering what you could expect if you followed the steps necessary to get certified as a LVN. This is a very rewarding job, because everyone will have the chance to perform many different essential medical functions. There are so many options out there, that you will need to make sure you get the most out of them. You might want to work alongside other experienced medical staff in a hospital setting. Many types of nurses also enjoy working in a clinic atmosphere. As you advance and get more training, you will find that more options will become available to you.


Others will naturally be interested in the different types of income options at their disposal. For somemone who haven't had a nursing job before, they might be impressed by the amount of money you can make. An experienced vocational nurse should not have any problems with getting over $60,000 in a year, the average LVN salary is around $47,000 - source: This number may vary based on a few different factors. There are some locations in this country that have a higher demand for these nurses, so they will naturally want to pay more money. Try to find the places where your skills are in the highest demand.

A Day as a LVN in California

 There are many different types of experiences that a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) can expect to encounter. They will be one of the most valuable assets that a hospital can have, because they will be needed to perform vital medical tasks. There are patients that will need to have routine procedures done, such as blood tests and other evaluations. These minor tests may take up quite a bit of the hospital's time. Though it may seem hard to believe, having well trained nurses on staff can make the entire system run much more smoothly for the hospital.

 Since these nurses are in high demand, they can expect to face some long hours in the hospital. I have been asked to fill long shifts that might run up to 12 hours a day. This can be challenging, but it is important for the hospital to rely on these trained medical professionals. I know that my hospital appreciates the work that i put in to developing these skills. I also find it very rewarding to see that my patients are well taken care of while they are here. Some of them may come in to the hospital feeling very sick, but quickly leave feeling better than ever. I get a great feeling knowing that I have been a part of this essential healing process.

 I would also like to emphasize that many people will simply enjoy the challenge that the medical field presents to them. As a LVN, I will be asked to learn a number of different vital skills that can be used throughout my day. It makes me proud to realize that I have cultivated a vast body of expertise on different medical techniques. Though the work itself may be challenging, it represents something that I can be proud of in my life. You may want to think about whether you would like to feel this sense of satisfaction for yourself.

LVN Tips #2 - Study Tools

Study tools can be anything from models, posters, videos, text books. For me, I'm a really visual learner - I need to read about something and then see it or even feel it. I did a couple of things one of them was to get my hands on and you'll see why I'm looking over here all of the time - an Anatomical model, that's so cute. This is an anatomical model of the human skull, cranium with a little bit of the vertebral column. You can remove the head, actually if you're learning about the bones of the skull, you can see here the carnal stitches of the skull comes off and inside is the brain and the brain opens and you can see inside of it. So that's one of them and all of the bones in the face in pretty good details, so it's good. I think that only cost me about twenty dollars, and I got it on e-bay, so just look up Anatomical model on e-bay. This one is an eye, this is not so great, it's made of that kind of brittle plastic that will chip and break quickly. This is my favorite one, this one is an Anatomical model of the human torso, the front comes off and all of the organs that are inside the body come out, see and you've got lungs, the heart, and then they open up even further, so you can see the see the atrial and ventricles, the different veins and the cover, that sort of thing. I found these really, really handy.

LVN Tips #1 - Anatomy

Get a really good understanding of Anatomy. Anatomy is different to Physiology because as we know Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body. So you want to know where things are, most of us as adults we have a general idea of where things are, some things we might get muddled up with. We know the heart's located in here, the lungs to the side, we can see veins running up and down our arms and maybe our legs and some of us might not want them but they come especially if you're pregnant - we know where our stomach is and we know where our bowel is. We have a little bit of an understanding however when you start studying, you'll find that you'll come across all these new words, and it's like learning a new language and that can be a really confusing part of it but the confusing part is knowing medical terms that surround the organs.

The language of medicine is made up of pretty much Latin and Greek, that sort of thing. That's a little bit hard to get your head around sometimes although a really, really good thing to do is to learn the prefixes and suffixes and the route words, because then when you're reading your text, you'll come across these words and it will prompt you - you'll already know, for example, the prefix epi means upon. So you come upon words like Epidermis with the skin - the outer layer of the skin, is the Epidermis. So immediately when you read that, although it might be a new word to you, you'll recognize that it's got something to do with something upon. It's really good for your prefixes and suffixes and you'll probably find it somewhere in your text book for Anatomy and Physiology and I think mine is at the front.

You can see the list and it goes to the next image and that's by no means a comprehensive list of all of those prefixes and suffixes. It's pretty basic but know things like when we say, cardio - it means heart. When these words come out, you're talking, you'll know what they are and you instantly have a visual idea and imagery - you'll know where it is, you'll know what they're talking about and you'll be able to hang on to the next bit that they talk about - you may be going, "what the hell is an endocardia" so learn the words, learn the structures and learn where they go.

We're beginning a really good basic understanding of Anatomy - you need to read about it and watch videos about it, just a structure, so you need to know about. Particularly organs like the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the pancreas, the liver, the liver is not very hard, and the list is not very hard, the brain, the stomach, just the main organs - read about them and you'll get a really good basic understanding of it and use different study tools to help you.

My advice for nursing students


 Finally, you might be curious to hear my final take on what it is like to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). I would say that this training is like making an investment in yourself. You will need to believe that you can get the skills that you need to prepare for some of these challenges. There are many patients that will rely on you to conduct vital medical procedures.

Even the doctors and other nurses will want to have a LVN that they can depend on when things get difficult. I know that I am a vital asset to the team I work with every day. You will need to weigh these benefits along with some of the challenges that it might present to your life. By doing this, hopefully you will reach the same conclusion I did and join in on this important career field.