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What Is Nursing Licensure?

Becoming licensed as a practical/vocational or registered nurse is the next step in your nursing career after graduation.

Our nursing programs prepare graduates to take the applicable licensing examinations after graduation. The Associate Degree in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs prepare our graduates to take the NCLEX-RN® licensure examination. Our Practical Nursing and Vocational Nursing programs prepare our graduates to take the NCLEX-PN® licensure examination.

Everest’s nursing programs can provide students with the necessary hands-on skills and didactic theoretical knowledge to pursue entry-level nursing employment positions with a greater degree of confidence.

What is the difference between an LPN, LVN and an RN?

The board of nursing in each state defines the scope of practice for a licensed practical nurse/licensed vocational nurse (LPN/LVN) and registered nurse (RN).

Everest offers three different nursing programs*:

  • Practical/Vocational Nursing (PN/VN) — 1-year program
  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) — 2-year program
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) — 3.5-year program

The title LPN or LVN is used depending on the state in which the nurse practices. The scope of practice for each nurse (LPN/LVN and RN) varies by state and is outlined in each states’ Nurse Practice Act. The Nurse Practice Act defines the nurse's scope of practice in order to protect the public.

The RN assesses the patient, plans the care, carries out the plan of care and then evaluates the effectiveness of the care. The LPN/LVN’s role is to implement the plan of care developed by the RN.

In order to enter our PN/VN programs, students are required to have a minimum of a high school diploma or general educational development (GED), health clearance and immunizations, pass the pre-entrance nursing testing along with a cleared background check. The LPN/LVN program is not a degree-granting program; our graduates receive a diploma and are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN® examination for licensure after graduating from the program.

To be accepted into our ADN or BSN programs, the student must be a high school graduate or have completed a GED, have a cleared background check, health clearance and immunizations, and be able to pass pre-entrance nursing examinations at a specified level. Upon graduation from either program, the student is eligible to take the NCLEX-RN® licensure examination. Successful passage of this licensure examination allows the graduate to use the initials "RN" as a registered nurse.

* Programs, program lengths and program schedules vary by campus. Campuses vary by state. Everest College, Everest Institute and Everest University are part of the Everest family of schools.

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For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at