What Are the Different Types of Nursing Qualifications?

Kaiser Castro
Kaiser Castro
A person seeking to become an LVN or LPN typically must pass a licensing examination, and still must often work under the supervision of an RN, or registered nurse, or other higher-ranking medical professional.
A person seeking to become an LVN or LPN typically must pass a licensing examination, and still must often work under the supervision of an RN, or registered nurse, or other higher-ranking medical professional.

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) have a number of educational, vocational, background, and licensing qualifications, depending on the country or region in which they are working. Nurses usually hold advanced degrees, with most registered nurses having 4-year education, as well as vocational training. In the US, it is necessary to pass a background check and a licensing examination. Foreign-trained professionals that are interested in nursing qualifications from the United States will have to obtain special certifications.

Registered nurses must go through vocational training at a hospital or clinic.
Registered nurses must go through vocational training at a hospital or clinic.

For educational qualification, an LPN is usually required to complete a one-year certificate program, with basic education courses. RNs typically have a four-year degree from an accredited institution, with a course load consisting of liberal courses, nursing care, and health science. Due to the difference in nursing qualifications, a registered nurse is able to supervise vocational or practical nurses.

Most nurses must complete a set amount of clinical work with patients before they are allowed to work unsupervised.
Most nurses must complete a set amount of clinical work with patients before they are allowed to work unsupervised.

Most registered nurses have to go through a period of vocational training at a hospital or clinic. These technical courses are done while the nursing student is still in school, usually towards the end of his or her coursework. Nurses who are interested in advanced qualifications will typically require a series of vocational training courses.

Medical professionals are often required to have a background free of serious felonies or misdemeanors. Nursing qualifications usually include being able to pass a series of extensive background checks before a nursing professional is allowed to practice medicine. A comprehensive background check can help protect employers and institutions.

Taking a person's temperature is one of the first ways to check for illness.
Taking a person's temperature is one of the first ways to check for illness.

Educational, vocational, and background qualifications are all prerequisites for prospective nurses to sit for licensing examinations. Some nurses will have to take follow-up examination on bi-yearly intervals to ensure their medical competency as well. In the United States, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing offers different licensing forms for LPNs and RNs. The National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse and the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse are tests taken on the computer, consisting of a variety of medical questions. Tests for registered nurses tend to be more difficult, with questions focusing on patient management and delegation.

Medical receptionists, nurses, doctors and other hospital staff must be trained on patient privacy and HIPAA.
Medical receptionists, nurses, doctors and other hospital staff must be trained on patient privacy and HIPAA.

Foreign nurses who are interested in working in the United States will have to take a different licensing test, given by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. This test is internationally recognized. Prospective students who pass this test show proficiency in the English language, as well having nursing qualifications that are in line with United States practices.

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    • A person seeking to become an LVN or LPN typically must pass a licensing examination, and still must often work under the supervision of an RN, or registered nurse, or other higher-ranking medical professional.
      By: Monkey Business
      A person seeking to become an LVN or LPN typically must pass a licensing examination, and still must often work under the supervision of an RN, or registered nurse, or other higher-ranking medical professional.
    • Registered nurses must go through vocational training at a hospital or clinic.
      By: DenisNata
      Registered nurses must go through vocational training at a hospital or clinic.
    • Most nurses must complete a set amount of clinical work with patients before they are allowed to work unsupervised.
      By: WavebreakmediaMicro
      Most nurses must complete a set amount of clinical work with patients before they are allowed to work unsupervised.
    • Taking a person's temperature is one of the first ways to check for illness.
      By: Syda Productions
      Taking a person's temperature is one of the first ways to check for illness.
    • Medical receptionists, nurses, doctors and other hospital staff must be trained on patient privacy and HIPAA.
      By: Tyler Olson
      Medical receptionists, nurses, doctors and other hospital staff must be trained on patient privacy and HIPAA.