The pandemic has amplified the problems in the healthcare industry, and the need for nurses is even more pressing. Job vacancies for vocational nurses increased more than four times from 2019 to 2022 in Lone Star State alone (Ernst, 2022).
While they are often seen as unsung healthcare heroes, vocational nurses or LVNs play an essential role in patient care. From assisting registered nurses and doctors to giving undivided care to patients and families, LVNs are in great demand in Texas.
However, as the figures suggest, there is a shortage of Texas Licensed Vocational Nurses. And in this article, we’ll explore some of the causes behind this shortage and what can be done to solve it.
Who are Licensed Vocational Nurses?
Licensed Vocational Nurses, or LVNs, are nurses that work under the management of RNs or registered nurses. They typically provide primary nursing care, such as monitoring vital signs, administering medications and IVs, recording patient information, and providing general patient care.
To become an LVN in Texas, one must complete an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical/Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The education and training process takes about two years and involves classroom work, labs, and clinical rotations. Thus, becoming an LVN requires dedication and commitment.
The Shortage Problem
While the number of vocational nurses in the state is projected to increase by over 13% by 2032, the demand is also expected to surge by more than 45% (Donald & Minton, 2022). This may be due to increased demand for healthcare services, a growing elderly population, and many nurses leaving the profession due to retirement or other reasons.
Some other factors contribute to the shortage of Texas Licensed Vocational Nurses. These include lack of support or recognition, low wages, lack of resources, and inflexible work hours.
The Way Forward
To counter the shortage of LVNs in Texas, the profession should receive more recognition and support.
Government initiatives such as offering incentives to LVNs, providing more resources for nursing programs, granting special scholarships, and launching campaigns to raise awareness about the profession, can help to attract more talented individuals into the field.
In addition, LVNs should be offered competitive salaries and flexible working hours. This will help to retain existing nurses as well as attract more individuals into the profession.
Finally, organizations like the Licensed Vocational Nurses Association of Texas (LVNAT) should collaborate with healthcare providers, employers, and policymakers to advocate for better working conditions and resources for LVNs.
Addressing the shortage of Texas Licensed Vocational Nurses entails a collective effort from all stakeholders. From the established LVNs and associations to the government and even individuals interested in pursuing this noble profession, everyone has a role to play in ensuring that Texas receives the health care services it needs.
Here’s to a Brighter Tomorrow for Texas’ Healthcare Workforce!
The shortage of Texas Licensed Vocational Nurses is a severe problem that needs to be addressed for Lone Star State to continue providing quality care. But with the help of dedicated nurses and support from all stakeholders, this shortage can be overcome. With proper recognition, resources, and incentives in place, LVNs can play an even more significant role in providing quality care to the people of Texas.