How Do I Become an LVN?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 June 2018
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If you are interested in becoming a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), also known as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you must complete the requirements to become an LVN in the jurisdiction in which you want to receive licensure. This typically requires the completion of a training program, passing a licensing exam, and the approval of your application to your jurisdiction's nursing board. After you become an LVN, you may need to regularly complete continuing education courses in order to renew your license and keep it in good standing.

The process to become an LVN varies by jurisdiction, and in the United States, each state sets its own requirements for obtaining an LVN license. In many cases, you will be expected to complete an approved training program, which in the United States can typically take around a year to finish, provided that you are enrolled in full-time study. LVN training programs are typically approved by a jurisdiction's nursing board. LVN educational programs are typically offered through community colleges, hospitals, and vocational schools. Although it is possible to complete LVN education through any of these institutions, some people find that attending a community college program can provide greater opportunity and flexibility, as community college coursework may be easier to transfer to other schools if you decide to continue your education.


After successfully completing your education to become an LVN, you will then typically need to pass a licensing examination. In the United States, the national licensing examination for LVNs is the NCLEX-PN. You will need to register for the NCLEX-PN and take the test on your assigned date. Once it is verified that you have passed the examination, you may have to wait several weeks for your score before you can proceed with the processing of your LVN license application. In some areas, you may be required to take additional exams in addition to the NCLEX-PN.

The board of nursing will review your exam results, your educational credentials, as well as the other information that you provide with your license application. In some cases, you may be required to consent to a background check. A previous criminal history may prevent you from becoming an LVN, but some licensing boards may give you a hearing so that you can explain your circumstances and the progress you have made since your criminal conviction. In some cases, you may not be able to become an LVN until a prescribed length of time has passed since your conviction.



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Post 1

A very nice piece. I'm looking forward to becoming an LVN myself.

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