Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse

Career Overview

Licensed practical nurse (LPN) and licensed vocational nurse (LVN) are two terms for the same position; different terms are used in different locations. LPNs and LVNs work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and physicians, and they provide basic bedside care to patients.


An LPN/LVN program, which usually lasts a year, must be completed before someone can do this work. These programs contain a combination of classroom and hands-on experience.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$32,000 /yr
$44,000 /yr
$60,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Math - as much as possible!
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Science - as much as possible, including biology and psychology!
Work Environment

LPNs work in a variety of medical settings including hospitals, nursing care facilities, retirement communities, and in home healthcare. This work can be physically demanding because of the amount of time they spend on their feet and because they may be physically moving patients around or re-positioning them regularly.

Future Outlook

The job outlook for this position looks good over the next 10 years, keeping in mind that geographical differences may exist.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada