Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Practical/Vocational Nursing Defined

May 1, 2021

Practical/vocational nursing is defined as the activity of providing specific services to patients under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or licensed physician. The services are provided in a structured setting surrounding the caring for the sick, the rehabilitation of the sick and injured, and the prevention of sickness and injury.

The nurse has a unique function: to assist individuals, sick or well, in the performance of those activities

that contribute to health, to their recovery, or to a peaceful death—activities that patients would perform unaided if they had the necessary strength, will, or knowledge—and, if feasible, to do this in such a way as to help patients gain independence as rapidly as possible. The practical or vocational nurse is educated to be a responsible member of a health care team, performing basic therapeutic, rehabilitative, and preventive care to assigned patients. Currently, more than 750,000 LPN/LVNs are working in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).
The practice of discharging patients from acute care facilities for continued recuperation in extended care units and nursing homes, places of employment for LPN/LVNs, is evident in the increasing number of patients who need more complex care. Every 3 years, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing performs a job analysis. This analysis helps to determine the content areas for the NCLEX-PN. The findings of the latest job analysis indicate that newly licensed LPN/LVNs are continuing to provide care in all types of settings, with the majority continuing to be employed in long-term care settings. No statistically significant changes have occurred in work settings since the last job analysis.