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Apr 30, 2013

Practical Nursing Vs Vocational Nursing

Nursing is a smart career path for empathetic and capable individuals. Nurses are critical parts of the health care system, providing hands on care for patients and serving as an instrumental proxy for doctors. Nurses are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities, doctor offices and more. While a career in nursing is always a good choice, it is important to select the right degree program for preparation.

Vocational Nursing

There are two main programs to consider, vocational nursing and practical nursing. Vocational nursing equips students for an entry level position in the nursing field. With a vocational nursing degree, students can secure jobs as a VN or a PN, depending on the context. Either way, students are prepared to pass the NCLEX-PN exam and become a fully licensed nurse. On the job, students who complete a vocational nursing degree will perform basic nursing tasks including medication administration, monitoring patient progress and other medical treatments as directed. The coursework needed for graduation includes a wide range of core classes in addition to medical training and on the job experience.

Practical Nursing

Practical nursing, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive field of study. Students who complete a degree in practical nursing are also prepared to pass the NCLEX-PN and are usually able to attain full licensure as a LPN. On the job, practical nurses have more demanding duties, often working closely with doctors and patients. Practical nurses have to perform basic diagnostic tests and a variety of medical treatments such as electrocardiograms, infusion therapy and more. The coursework for a practical nursing degree covers a sweeping variety of topics including anatomy, physiology, disease process, universal precautions and more.

Certification Similarities

There are many similarities between vocational nursing and practical nursing. Some of the differences on the job may be related to the state of employment. Both practical and vocational nurses have to pass the same certification exam in order to be qualified, and many of these nurses perform similar tasks on the job. Students who are considering a career in nursing should research the requirements in the state where they wish to work in order to make the best decision about their schooling choices. Both of these degree programs are highly sought after by employers, ensuring that students who successfully complete the coursework will have ample job opportunities.