What Is an LVN Certification? Job Description and Career Guide

An LVN certification refers to obtaining a license to practice as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), which involves completing a state-approved training program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN).

Understanding LVN Certification

Are you considering a career in nursing and wondering about the different paths you can take? Look no further than becoming an LVN. It is a rewarding and fulfilling career that allows you to enter healthcare with just a year of training. Read on to learn about LVN certification, from the requirements to the benefits and beyond. Without further ado, let’s get started!


Becoming an LVN is like getting the key to a whole new world of opportunities in the healthcare field. Just like a key opens a door, an LVN certification unlocks the door to a fulfilling career in nursing, allowing you to enter a world of patient care, medical expertise, and professional growth. So, get ready to turn that key and open the door to your future as an LVN.

What Is a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)?

An LVN is a healthcare professional who provides basic medical care under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or physician. One unique aspect of the LVN role is its focus on practical, hands-on nursing care. LVNs may work closely with RNs to assess and plan patient care, but they are responsible for carrying out many daily tasks that keep patients comfortable and healthy. This hands-on work can be gratifying, as LVNs have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with patients and make a tangible difference in their lives.

What Does an LVN Do?

The scope of practice for LVNs varies by state, but generally, they provide care for patients with common medical conditions or routine healthcare needs. Some of the typical duties of an LVN may include the following:

  • Monitoring patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.
  • Administering medications, including injections, as prescribed by a physician or RN.
  • Assisting patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
  • Recording patients’ medical histories and symptoms.
  • Setting up and monitoring medical equipment, such as oxygen tanks and IVs.
  • Providing wound care and changing dressings.
  • Communicate health changes to other healthcare team members.

How To Become an LVN: LVN Certification

Becoming an LVN is an excellent career choice for those who want to work in healthcare and make a difference in people’s lives. As previously mentioned, LVNs work under the supervision of RNs and doctors, providing primary nursing care to patients in various healthcare settings. If you are interested in pursuing a career as an LVN, there are specific steps you can take to achieve your goal. Read on to discover what steps you must take. 

Education requirements

First and foremost, LPNs and LVNs must complete an approved educational program. These programs provide comprehensive training in nursing, biology, pharmacology, and other related subjects. They also include hands-on clinical experience, allowing students to gain practical skills and knowledge.

Choosing an approved program is crucial to ensure you receive a high-quality education that meets industry standards. State boards of nursing carefully review these programs to ensure that they meet specific criteria and prepare students for the NCLEX-PN exam.


Once you’ve completed an approved program, you’ll be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam, which is required to obtain a license and work as an LVN in all states. Passing the exam demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills to provide patients with safe and effective nursing care.

4 Types of LVN Certifications

As an LVN student, pursuing certifications can be a fantastic way to enhance your career prospects and show your dedication to nursing. There are four main types of LVN certifications that you can pursue, each with its unique benefits. Let’s get into each in more detail. 

IV therapy

Obtaining an IV therapy certification is an excellent way for LVNs to enhance their skills and knowledge, allowing them to take on more advanced nursing responsibilities. It is an investment in their professional development that can increase employment opportunities and earning potential.

Patients who require IV therapy have complex health conditions that require specialized care. Luckily, LVNs with IV therapy certification can provide this care safely and effectively, minimizing the risk of complications and promoting patient well-being. IV therapy certification benefits patients by ensuring they receive high-quality care from trained and competent nurses. In this way, IV therapy certification benefits LVNs and contributes to patients’ overall quality of care.

Wound care certification (WCC)

As a nurse, you may wonder if obtaining a Wound Care Certification (WCC) is worth your time and effort. It is! As an LVN, adding a WCC to your resume can significantly improve your job prospects, increase earning potential, and, most importantly, enhance your ability to provide quality patient care.

The WCC program provides LVNs comprehensive training and education in wound assessment, treatment, prevention, healing, and infection control. This certification will demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and patient care, making you a valuable asset to any healthcare team. You will learn about the latest research and technology in wound care, giving you an edge in your profession.

Pediatric advanced life support (PALS)

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is a certification program with a focus on managing pediatric emergencies, including respiratory distress and failure, shock, and cardiac arrest. With this certification, healthcare providers gain the necessary skills to quickly identify and treat life-threatening emergencies in children. LVNs who work in emergency and critical care settings, particularly those who care for children, are encouraged to obtain this certification.

In addition to providing the necessary knowledge and skills to care for critically ill children, PALS certification demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and professional development. As a result, PALS certification can enhance the employability of nurses and increase their earning potential.

Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is a certification program that prepares LVNs to respond to adult emergencies, including cardiac arrest, stroke, and acute coronary syndromes. Nurses who care for adults are encouraged to obtain this certification. The course covers advanced resuscitation techniques, pharmacology, and electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation. With ACLS certification, healthcare providers can effectively manage and treat critical emergencies, improving patient outcomes.

LVN Job Outlook and Salary

The LVN job outlook is an essential aspect to look at for anyone looking to enter nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for LVNs will grow 6% from 2021 to 2031, as fast as the average for all occupations. This growth results from an aging population and increased chronic conditions requiring ongoing medical care. As a result, LVNs need to provide essential care and support to patients in various settings.

In addition to a positive job outlook, LVNs earn a competitive salary. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for LVNs was $48,070 as of May 2021, which is higher than the median wage for all occupations. However, it’s worth noting that LVN salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and employer. That said, the lowest 10% earn about $37,150, and the highest 10% reach a salary of $63,790. 


In conclusion, LVN certification is crucial to a fulfilling healthcare career. Becoming an LVN opens up many opportunities for personal and professional growth, including the chance to positively impact patients’ lives. LVN certification holds great significance as it showcases a high level of skill and dedication in the healthcare industry, which employers and patients sincerely appreciate. It indicates expertise and commitment to the field that cannot be emphasized enough.

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