Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Contemporary Practical and Vocation Nursing Education

May 1, 2021

Practical nursing programs are offered by various organizations, including high schools, trade or technical schools, hospitals, junior and community colleges, colleges and universities, and private education agencies. Programs are required to meet the minimum state standards. The length of the programs is usually 12 to 18 months, with a focus on nursing skills and theory that is correlated with clinical practice.

Educational programs in nursing today offer various creative approaches to the education of student LPN/LVNs. The combination of practical and vocational nurse education with associate degree programs in 2-year colleges is available. At the successful completion of the first academic year and of the requirements for the practical nursing portion of the program, the student can either exit and take the licensure examination for practical or vocational nursing or continue for another year and earn an associate degree in nursing, becoming eligible to take the licensure examination for registered nursing. Many other programs offer other combinations of education and degrees throughout the United States. Most states have some type of articulation plan.

Articulation allows nursing programs to plan their curricula collaboratively; the purpose is to lessen duplication of learning experiences and support a process of progressive buildup. Thus, one program becomes the foundation for another program. The LPN/LVN may receive as much as 50% credit toward the associate degree; the associate degree–prepared registered nurse (RN) may receive as much as 50% credit toward the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. This process is sometimes referred to as a 1-plus-1 program or a 2-plus-2 program, respectively. Articulation acknowledges the student’s existing knowledge base and permits the student to continue her or his advancement in education without repeating previous course work.