Becoming a licensed vocational nurse usually involves completing a diploma or certificate program that the individual's state approves and then passing a licensure exam, suggests BLS.gov. However, states may offer alternate pathways for becoming a licensed vocational nurse. Individuals should check with their state's nursing board for specific educational and licensure requirements.
Follow the steps below to learn about the process of becoming a licensed vocational nurse.
- Find an approved program
- Complete the program
- Take the vocational nurse licensure exam
Find a state-approved vocational nursing program at a local community college, technical school or hospital. The state nursing board usually can provide information on where these programs are available and detail the curricular requirements such as a specific number of hours doing clinical training, learning nursing theory and studying pharmacology.
Once enrolled, complete the required coursework to learn to take patients' vital signs, perform procedures, monitor patients, collect data, draw blood, help other doctors and nurses and give patients' their medications. Nursing specialties, such as maternal, pediatric, geriatric, mental health and surgical nursing, are also commonly covered, and students can expect to complete clinical rotations getting experience with patients.
Sign up for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses. Successfully pass this exam and meet any additional state requirements to become a licensed vocational nurse.