Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Phlebotomy

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Phlebotomy

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Key Points:

  • Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care, while Phlebotomists collect blood samples for testing.
  • LVNs typically earn higher salaries than Phlebotomists, but both can vary based on location and experience.
  • Demand for both LVNs and Phlebotomists is expected to grow.
  • LVNs require in-person training and licensing, while Phlebotomists can often complete online or hybrid training programs.
  • LVN training is generally more intensive and expensive than Phlebotomy training.

Healthcare is a diverse and rewarding field, offering a wide range of career options. Licensed Vocational Nurses and Phlebotomists are both important members of the healthcare team, but their roles and responsibilities differ significantly. Understanding the differences between these two professions can help individuals make an informed decision about which path to pursue.

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What is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Phlebotomy?

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN):

  • Licensed Vocational Nurses, also known as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in some states, are healthcare professionals who provide basic nursing care under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RNs) or physicians.
  • LVNs work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics.
  • They are responsible for tasks such as monitoring patients' vital signs, administering medication, dressing wounds, and providing basic patient care.
  • LVNs also assist with the development and implementation of care plans, as well as provide emotional support to patients and their families.


  • Phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood from patients for various medical tests, blood transfusions, or donations.
  • Phlebotomists are trained professionals who specialize in collecting blood samples and ensuring their proper handling and labeling.
  • They work in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and blood banks.
  • Phlebotomists are responsible for verifying patient identities, preparing the necessary equipment, and safely collecting and labeling blood samples.
  • They must also follow strict protocols to prevent the spread of infection and ensure the accuracy of test results.

Difference between a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Phlebotomy

While both Licensed Vocational Nurses and Phlebotomists work in the healthcare field, there are several key differences between the two professions:

Scope of Practice:

  • Licensed Vocational Nurses have a broader scope of practice compared to Phlebotomists. They are trained to provide basic nursing care and can perform a wide range of tasks, including administering medication, wound care, and patient assessment.
  • Phlebotomists, on the other hand, specialize in drawing blood and are not trained to provide direct patient care beyond the scope of their practice.


  • Licensed Vocational Nurses are responsible for providing comprehensive nursing care to patients. They assess patients' needs, develop care plans, administer medications, and provide emotional support to patients and their families.
  • Phlebotomists are primarily responsible for drawing blood from patients. They must ensure the accuracy of the samples collected and follow proper protocols for handling and labeling blood specimens.


  • Licensed Vocational Nurses work under the supervision of Registered Nurses or physicians. They collaborate with other members of the healthcare team to provide coordinated care to patients.
  • Phlebotomists may work independently or under the supervision of a laboratory supervisor or healthcare provider. They typically work as part of a larger healthcare team and collaborate with other professionals to ensure the accurate and timely collection of blood samples.

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Phlebotomy: Job Description

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Job Description:

  • Assess patients' needs and develop care plans
  • Administer medication and treatments
  • Monitor patients' vital signs
  • Provide emotional support to patients and their families
  • Assist with the implementation of care plans
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide coordinated care

Phlebotomy Job Description:

  • Verify patient identities
  • Prepare the necessary equipment for blood collection
  • Draw blood from patients using proper techniques
  • Label and handle blood samples correctly
  • Follow infection control protocols
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure accurate and timely collection of blood samples

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Phlebotomy: Education and Training

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Education and Training:

  • To become a Licensed Vocational Nurse, individuals must complete a state-approved practical nursing program, which typically takes about one year to complete.
  • After completing their education, LVNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to become licensed.
  • Some states may have additional requirements for licensure, such as a criminal background check or fingerprinting.

Phlebotomy Education and Training:

  • Phlebotomists can enter the field through various educational paths, including certificate programs, diploma programs, or associate degree programs.
  • These programs typically cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and phlebotomy techniques.
  • After completing their education, individuals may need to pass a certification exam, such as the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) exam, to become certified.

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Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Phlebotomy: Career Outlook and Salary

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Career Outlook and Salary:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) is projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses was $48,820 in May 2020, according to the BLS.

Phlebotomy Career Outlook and Salary:

  • The BLS does not provide specific data on the career outlook for Phlebotomists. However, with the increasing demand for medical testing and blood services, the need for qualified Phlebotomists is expected to remain high.
  • The median annual wage for Phlebotomists was $36,320 in May 2020, according to the BLS.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in healthcare is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Both Licensed Vocational Nursing and Phlebotomy offer unique opportunities to work in the medical field and make a positive impact on patients' lives. Understanding the differences in job responsibilities, education and training requirements, and career outlook can help individuals make an informed decision about which path to pursue. Whether one chooses to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse or a Phlebotomist, both professions play vital roles in providing quality healthcare to patients and contributing to the overall well-being of the community.

Dreambound strategically offers its educational programs in diverse locations. To gain a thorough insight into the exciting opportunities within these two vocations, we encourage you to explore more detailed information by visiting:

Winlynd Caballero
Written by
Winlynd Caballero

Winlynd Caballero is a member of Dreambound's Sales team. She helps in handling the company's finullcial transactions, generating reports, and school sales. Beyond her responsibilities in the realm of numbers and business, Winlynd finds herself deeply immersed in a world of art and music.

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