Registered Nurses (RNs) treat patients and educate families about medical problems and treatment. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) (also known as licensed vocational nurses or LVNs) care for patients under the direction of RNs. A nurse's duties might include recording medical history and symptoms, taking vital signs, performing tests, running medical machinery, and administering medication.
All aspiring RNs must complete a nursing program (certificate/ADN/BSN) and pass the NCLEX-RN, which is the national licensing exam. Aspiring LPNs must graduate from a practical nursing program and pass the NCLEX-PN.
Bachelor's and other advanced degrees are often required for more senior-level management and administrative roles.
Online programs are particularly convenient for many RNs, since an online program more easily fits a typical nurses's schedule, but there are a variety of nursing programs, online and on-campus, that will help nurses further their nursing career.
According to the BLS registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs. The BLS reports that overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent for registered nurses. Employers in some parts of the country and in certain employment settings report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs, primarily because of an aging RN workforce and a lack of younger workers to fill positions.