Vocational nurse training may be your ticket to long-term employment in a field that is fast-paced, challenging and rewarding. Working under the direction of physicians and highly trained nurses, vocational nurses are often on the front line of health care delivery. The vocational nurse provides a compassionate, personal and direct touch to the disabled, the sick and the dying.
As a vocational nurse, you can choose to work part-time or full-time. You also have a choice in which shift you work, depending on shift availability and your chosen career setting. And, depending on your career setting, you may have opportunities for over-time and incentive pay for holidays and weekends.
Vocational Nursing Schools By State
Vocational Nurse Workplace
As a vocational nurse, your career can take you to a variety of workplace settings, from the acute care of the hospital to the slower-pace of home health care or hospices. The possible career settings for a vocational nurse are varied and exciting.
You may work in a doctor’s office, getting the patient’s history, taking vital signs, and assisting with tests and procedures. You may work in a hospital and provide direct personal care to the acutely ill.
As a vocational nurse you may work in a nursing home and under the supervision of a registered nurse where you will be a vital and important member of the long-term care delivery team. In a nursing home you will frequently oversee the delivery of care to the residents and supervise your team of certified nursing assistants.
Your career as a vocational nurse may lead you to an insurance company where you will assist in the insurance claims processing. Or you may work as a home health care nurse or seek self-employment as a private duty nurse. You may even work at a prison or jail!
Vocational Nurse Training
Vocational Nurse training is typically 11 months. A combination of classroom training and clinical training is used to prepare you for this exciting career. Your classroom and clinical training is taught by highly educated and experienced nurses who have a passion and drive for nursing.
In the classroom you will learn anatomy and physiology, nursing fundamentals and skills. You will practice your nursing skills on models and even other students! You will learn about drug classifications and the effects of therapeutic drugs on the body in your nursing pharmacology course.
Throughout your vocational nurse training you will put your learning into practice through the supervised clinical instruction and experience in a variety of health care settings- hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.
Nursing clinical experience not only adequately prepares you for your career as a vocational nurse but also gives you exposure to the different opportunities that are available to you.
Your nursing clinical experience will allow you the opportunity to talk and work with experienced nurses. You will gain a lot of knowledge about the nursing field and the opportunities in nursing. You will find great role models in the nurses you work with.
Vocational Nurse Training Requirements
There may be some pre-requisites you need to meet before you can begin your vocational nurse training. While it is best to check with your school choice to find out the specific requirements, here are a few requirements you may need to consider:
- competency as a certified nurse assistant
- CPR certification
- the ability to lift 50 pounds, stand, bend and twist
- the ability to work in an environment that may contain latex products
- the ability to talk, see and hear
Again, be sure to check with your school for any pre-requisites.
Getting Licensed as a Vocational Nurse
Once you successfully complete your vocational nurse training from an accredited program, you will need to get licensed through your state’s board of nursing. This requires passing a test called the NCLEX-PN, a competency exam developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
To prepare for the NCLEX-PN, practice exams are available. And for those who don’t pass on their first attempt, the exam can be retaken.
Vocational Nurse Career Outlook
The health care industry is ever-changing and always growing with rapid technological advances and an aging population, making the career outlook for the vocational nurse strong and reliable. The US Department of Labor projects a greater than 20% increase in occupations for vocational nurses over the next 10 years.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
A career as a vocational nurse may be the change you need in hard economic times. Nurses are needed not only for taking care of sick people, but also for helping healthy people stay healthy!
Vocational Nurse Salaries
The average salary for a licensed vocational nurse is $49,000. Salaries will vary depending upon your experience level and your place of employment.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Vocational Nurse Just a Beginning
Vocational nurse training is a great choice for many; you can get a nice paying job in just 11 months. And for many choosing nursing as a career, vocational nurse training is just the beginning to further education on a career ladder to move from the vocational nurse to the registered nurse to the nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist.