Vocational nurses provide basic medical care. These nurses work under the direction of doctors and registered nurses; monitoring the health of patients and keeping up-to-date records of patients’ health, in addition to providing guidance and emotional support to patients and their family members throughout the course of treatment.
VN Job Description
On a day-to-day basis, practical and vocational nurses administer basic nursing care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters. Additionally, VNs ensure patients are comfortable by aiding them in bathing and dressing, and report patients’ statuses to registered nurses and doctors.
The duties of a VN may vary, depending on each individual’s work setting: some may spend much of their time teaching family members how to properly care for a relative, while others may help deliver, care for, and feed infants. Still, some VNs may collect samples for testing and perform routine lab tests, and others may feed patients who need help eating.
Depending on the state, some VNs may be limited to doing certain tasks; in some states, VNs can give medication and start IVs, while in other states they cannot. VNs can work in a variety of settings, including nursing homes, extended care facilities, hospitals, physicians’ offices , and even private homes.
Vocational Nurse Licensure Requirements
- Be at least 17 years old and
- Graduate from an accredited high school or acceptable equivalent (furnish proof); and
- Successfully complete a Board of Vocational Nurse and Psychiatric Technician (BVNPT) approved Vocational Nursing Program. Contact the program director for application forms and instructions; and
- Complete and sign the “Application for Vocational Nurse Licensure” and the “Record of Conviction” form; and
- Submit the required Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprints. Note: A License will not be issued until the board receives the background information from DOJ.
- In order to be licensed in California, applicant must submit an application fee of $75 along with the required forms to the BVNPT. One of these forms is called a “Record of Conviction.”
- Applicants will need to be fingerprinted for the Department of Justice and FBI to process the fingerprint card, which costs $76.
- You will also receive an application to the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing to take the National Council Licensure Examination for the Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The fee to register by mail is $200. Once you have submitted this form, you will receive an Authorization to Test and the information to take an exam.
- Once you have successfully completed the NCLEX-PN, you will need to submit an application for licensure to the Board of Vocational Nursing with an initial license fee of $150.
- Further information on becoming registered may be obtained on the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians website, http://www.bvnpt.ca.gov/.
- Graduates must satisfy all requirements for certification at the time of Application.
Vocational Nursing School
Vocational Nursing Diploma Program prepares students for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) for licensure as a vocational nurse. Those that pass will qualify for entry-level employment as a vocational nurse.
Passage of the NCLEX-PN is required for licensure as a Vocational Nurse and for employment in the state of California.
The program is delivered in residence and is designed to enable students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and competencies related to enhancing the health and well-being of individuals. The program includes classroom instruction and required clinical experience in order to properly prepare students for the exam.
Though many VNs may be required to work shifts longer than eight hours and may have to work on holidays and weekends, many VNs are satisfied with flexible schedules that allow them to further their education or spend time with family.
Learn the differences between VN vs. RN.