Licensed vocational or practical nursing is a large career field in the U.S., with 690,000 LPN/LVNs in the workforce as of 2010. According to information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, women make up approximately 91 percent of this figure. If you are interested in this line of work, you can obtain training through Job Corps. Job Corps is a vocational program for youths that offers training for various careers, as well as the resources to assist students with the job search after graduation. The organization offers more than 100 career training programs in 125 centers, but only a small fraction offer an LVN/LPN program. The training is free. You will also receive free board, meals, transportation and a bi-weekly allowance for the duration of the course.
Finding an LPN Program
The licensed practical/vocational nurse program is available at a few Job Corps centers. These include Cleveland, Ohio; Cassadaga, New York; Los Angeles, California; Denison, Iowa; Minot, North Dakota; Garochales, Barranquitas and Ramey, Puerto Rico; and Marion, Virginia.
Meeting Eligibility Requirements
You can become a student at Job Corps if you are a U.S. citizen or legal resident between the ages of 16 and 24 and qualify as low-income. A low-income status depends on the size of your family's household and earnings. A counselor evaluates each applicant's information to determine whether she qualifies. You should also show a willingness to participate in the program and be an active member of the team. Job Corps provides guidelines for appearance and behavior and has a zero-tolerance policy for violence and drugs. Students must respect these rules to remain in the program.
Qualifying for the LVN/LPN Program
The centers offering an LVN/LPN program have additional requirements for prospective students. The requirements vary slightly by location. At the Cleveland, Ohio, center, for instance, you must pass a nurse entrance test that measures your math skills and reading comprehension, have a high school or GED diploma, have current immunizations, submit two references and write an essay. The Cassadaga, New York, center requires applicants to take and pass the test of adult basic education, or TABE, with a score of 600 or more, have a work history, provide strong recommendations and have an interview with Job Corps staff. In addition, the center prefers applicants with previous health care work experience.
Training as an LVN/LPN
Completing the LVN/LPN course takes eight to 12 months. Students take the course at an institution close to the center, such as a community or vocational college. The program includes classroom instruction, hands-on training, research and clinical practice. Job Corps will provide everything necessary for the course, including tuition, books, uniforms and supplies. Some centers require students to complete a general career program, such as certified nurse assistant, at Job Corps before they can enroll in the advanced LVN/LPN program.
Earning a License
You can apply to take your state's competency examination when you successfully complete Job Corps' LPN/LVN program. Along with your application, you will have to submit your fingerprints for a background check, proof of your completed training at a state-approved program, and copies of your high school or GED diploma. Your center will help you make the arrangements to take the examination. You will receive a license from your state's regulatory board when you pass the licensing exam.
- Job Corps: Find a Jobcorps Center
- Job Corps: Licensed/Practical Vocational Nurse
- Job Corps: Cleveland Job Corps Academy
- Job Corps: Jobcorps Advanced Training Programs
- Job Corps: Cassadaga Job Corps Academy: LPN Training Connections
- Job Corps: About Job Corps
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources: The U.S. Nursing Workforce: Trends in Supply and Education