Career Trends for Licensed Vocational Nurse Jobs

Licensed vocational nurse jobs are in the heart of mainstream medical practice. Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) and Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are among the most numerous categories of the nursing profession. (The difference in names comes from licensing titles.)

These are the most visible nurses in the health system. There are currently about 800,000 licensed vocational nurse jobs in the United States. These baseline jobs involve all aspects of care from basic education of patients to fundamental nursing roles for convalescents. They also involve a variety of clinical roles.

These licensed vocational nurse jobs are also very much in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of licensed vocational nurse jobs is expected to increase by 21 per cent in the next decade.

The Licensed Vocational Nurse Jobs Macro Employment Market

In employment terms, licensed vocational nurse jobs have considerable job mobility. These are broad spectrum nursing roles, and they’re essential services in all forms of health care. The employment issues for these jobs are based on the nature of the health sector market.

Nursing as a profession is evolving rapidly as the health sector redesigns itself with new medical practices and technologies and as the demand for health care changes over time. For LVNs, these changes mean a lot of new systems and methodologies coming online, pretty much all the time.

You can see a representative sample of the range of licensed vocational nurse job roles on Nursing, a big US nursing site. LVNs, because of their frontline status in health care, are trained to fit a range of jobs in health care, and they’re the natural recipients of the new systems.

Licensed Vocational Nurse Job Trends

Being a mainstream type of job has affected licensed vocational nurse jobs in several ways. The natural development of the big changes in nursing has been that licensed vocational nurse jobs have been progressively upgrading in real terms. Skills and training are becoming considerably more complex. 

The prognosis for licensed vocational nurse jobs is that the developments in medical practice and licensing requirements for new practices will progressively uprate the LVN’s role in the coming decade. The current classification of LVN doesn’t really fit the actual duties performed. Although the LVN is a legally defined category, the nature of LVN duties is becoming much more advanced. Much of the equipment LVNs now use didn’t exist when many of them were in training.

That situation will directly affect the employment market in terms of job design. Like advanced practice nurses, LVNs will naturally progress to higher classification of their work values.

Career Considerations and Licensed Vocational Nurse Job Trends

Training and skills development are also making a mark on the licensed vocational nurse jobs. LVNs start with a licensing course, but being motivated people, the natural tendency is to move onwards and upwards in the profession. Staff qualify for higher roles, causing natural turnover of staff. Their logical progression from the LVN role is nursing aide or charge nurse, supervising other LVNs.

There’s another issue. Staff retention isn’t necessarily high in the licensed vocational nurse jobs. Some people leave the industry, creating more gaps. That creates organizational issues. These jobs are essential care roles, and the nurse to patient ratio applies to LVNs as much as it does to other nurses.