LVNs care for the sick, injured, convalescent, and disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses. Most provide basic bedside care, taking vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. They also prepare and give injections, monitor catheters, apply dressings, treat bedsores, and give alcohol rubs and massages. To help keep patients comfortable, LVNs assist with bathing, dressing and personal hygiene. Experienced LVNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides.

LVNs are required to pass a licensing exam after completing a practical nursing program that typically lasts a year. Most such programs require a high school diploma.

Job Prospects: Not as bright as other healthcare fields, since many procedures once performed in hospitals are now done in doctor’s offices. Still, openings are expected to match average job opportunities in other non-healthcare fields.

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