California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses in California

May also be called: Licensed Practical Nurses; Licensed Attendants; Nursing Technicians; Home Health Nurses; and Home Health Care Providers.

What Would I Do?

Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) provide basic, bedside nursing care for sick, injured, convalescing, elderly, and physically or mentally disabled persons. They work as part of a health care team under the direction and supervision of a physician or registered nurse. Licensed Vocational Nurses typically observe patients, check vital signs, perform basic assessments, and report and document changes in a patient’s condition.

Licensed Vocational Nurses work in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, nursing and long-term care facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, emergency medical centers, private homes, and group homes. They work a variety of shifts and often stand for long periods of time during their work day.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Licensed Vocational Nurse will appeal to those who enjoy activities that involve working with, communicating with, teaching, and assisting others.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2016 for Licensed Vocational Nurses in California is $52,743 annually, or $25.36 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2016Low
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Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Benefits usually include vacation, sick leave, medical and dental insurance, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Growth in the employment of LVNs is in response to the long-term care needs of a rapidly growing elderly population and the general growth of healthcare. Replacement needs will be a major source of job openings as workers leave the occupation.

How Do I Qualify?

Licensed Vocational Nurses must be licensed to practice in California by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT). They have to meet educational requirements, pass a fingerprint background check, and pass the licensing examination known as the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Licensed Vocational Nurses can also register with their school placement center for job leads. The California Licensed Vocational Nurses’ Association advertises job opportunities as well. Newspaper classified ads and the Internet offer additional sources for job listings.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

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