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If you are interested in becoming a nurse but don't have time to devote to a two-year or four-year RN degree, becoming an LVN/LPN may be a good option.
An LVN, licensed vocational nurse, or LPN, licensed practical nurse, are essentially the same thing, depending on what state you are in. To become an LPN/LVN, you must pass a nursing test called the NCLEX-PN; to qualify to sit for the test, you must complete an LPN/LVN training program. Most LVN/LPN training programs are available at hospitals, vocational schools, or community colleges, and take about a year.
When you earn your license, you are qualified to work at a hospital or other medical facility; however, you will always be required to be under the guidance of a RN. If you decide to become an LPN/LVN and later want to earn your RN certification, many schools offer LPN-to-RN programs or LPN-to-BSN programs, giving you credit for some of the work you have already completed.