Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) vs Registered Nurse (RN)

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) vs Registered Nurse (RN)

Many individuals may not have a comprehensive understanding of the nuanced differences between a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and a Registered Nurse (RN). Although both career paths lead to fulfilling roles within the nursing and healthcare sectors, they diverge significantly concerning job responsibilities, salary prospects, and educational requirements.

Before embarking on the educational journey toward a nursing career, it proves advantageous to grasp the distinct job responsibilities and career trajectories of both RNs and LPNs. In essence, LPNs primarily engage in providing fundamental nursing care, typically operating under the supervision of RNs. Conversely, RNs assume more advanced responsibilities, including medication administration and the formulation of treatment plans aimed at promoting and restoring a patient’s health.

Online Nursing Writings

Struggling to meet your deadline?

Get your assignment on Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) vs Registered Nurse (RN) done by certified MDs and PhDs in the USA. ORDER NOW!

How LPNs Differ from Other Nurses:

Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs):

The terminology variation between LVNs and LPNs is pertinent only to California and Texas, where the title LVN is utilized, while elsewhere, LPN is the standard designation.

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs):

CNAs, like LPNs, undergo a year of coursework to earn their certificates, focusing on providing basic patient care. However, it is crucial to note that CNAs are not licensed nurses and work under the close supervision of both LPNs and RNs.

Registered Nurses (RNs):

RNs complete their coursework in a span of two years, sharing foundational duties with LPNs. However, RNs often command higher salaries, have the authority to perform tests and certain procedures, and take on supervisory roles overseeing CNAs and LPNs.

Nurse Practitioners (NPs):

Following the completion of BSN and MSN degrees, aspiring NPs must successfully pass additional licensing examinations to achieve full certification. NPs enjoy greater autonomy compared to other nurses, often having the authority to prescribe medications and work independently without direct physician supervision.

Medical team

LPN vs. RN Education:

A substantial disparity lies in the educational requirements between Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses. LPN programs primarily concentrate on honing practical skills and can typically be completed in approximately 12 months. These programs are often more cost-effective and time-efficient, making them an appealing option for passionate individuals eager to swiftly enter the healthcare workforce. LPN candidates commonly enroll in community or technical colleges, participating in supervised clinical training to gain hands-on experience in the field. Alongside nursing courses, students delve into subjects such as pharmacology, human anatomy, and biology. The curriculum of LPN programs is structured to equip students with the essential skills required for patient care.

NURS 6512 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning: A.G is a 38-year-old female

Conversely, RN programs span a duration of 18 to 36 months and encompass a broader scope, addressing both practical and critical thinking skills. RNs must earn a professional nursing degree, with program lengths contingent on the type of Registered Nursing degree pursued. Common options include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an accredited nursing program. Notably, BSN programs typically take four years to complete, while ADN and diploma programs can be finalized in two to three years. Regardless of the specific route chosen, all RN programs emphasize clinical and hands-on training experiences, as well as coursework covering behavioral, social, and physical sciences. Additionally, RN programs include classes on team leadership, legal and ethical issues, research, and pharmacology.

LPNs desiring career advancement and seeking increased responsibilities and remuneration can explore bridge programs. These specialized programs facilitate a faster transition and certification in new nursing roles, offering pathways such as transitions from CNA to LPN, LPN to ADN, LPN to RN, LPN to RN Online, and LPN to BSN. Various online LPN bridge program options are available for current LPNs aiming to elevate their professional standing.

LPN vs. RN Salary:

The salaries for Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses exhibit variation based on geographic location, the cost of living in a particular area, and the demand for LPN and RN positions. The 2016-2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of approximately $42,500 for LPNs and a median salary of about $66,500 for RNs. The variation in salaries extends to specializations within nursing and the number of years of professional experience. In general, nurses with more years of experience tend to command higher salaries. Critical care specialties, including positions in the intensive care unit (ICU), emergency department (ED), labor and delivery (L & D), and the operating room (OR), are considered highly paid specialties within the nursing field. It is noteworthy that critical care specialty positions are more commonly available to RNs than LPNs.

LPN vs. RN Job Responsibilities

The duties of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) can differ significantly. By law, RNs are responsible for overseeing LPNs, and this structure may vary in different healthcare settings. For example, in a hospital, an RN might be assigned multiple patients on a medical floor, with an LPN assisting in tasks such as medication administration and wound care. LPNs in this setting would not typically handle IV medications. In a skilled nursing facility, LPNs perform similar duties without administering IV medications, while RNs oversee the entire facility and all working LPNs.

In general, LPNs focus on providing basic nursing care, including tasks like checking blood pressure, inserting catheters, and assisting with activities of daily living. They work closely with RNs, reporting patient statuses to Registered Nurses and doctors.

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner: Job Description, Salary, and How to Become One

LPN Job Responsibilities

Licensed Practical Nurses are expected to be skilled in various areas, including:

– Administering medications (excluding IV in most states)
– Charting medical records
– Taking vital signs
– Changing wound dressings
– Collecting specimens like blood and urine
– Inserting and caring for urinary catheters
– Caring for patients with ventilators and tracheostomy tubes
– Managing patients with nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes
– Providing feedings through nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes
– Monitoring patients
– Knowing when to contact appropriate physicians
– Performing emergency CPR
– Implementing nursing care plans formulated by RNs

RN Job Responsibilities

In addition to LPN duties, RNs are expected to have additional skills such as:

– Administering and monitoring patient medications, including IV
– Performing Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and/or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
– Conducting wound care
– Inserting, managing, and discontinuing intravenous catheters and intraurethral catheters
– Developing care and wellness plans for each patient
– Properly assessing and managing all patient populations with appropriate intervention
– Taking vital signs and addressing abnormalities
– Safely admitting and discharging patients
– Maintaining accurate documentation
– Safely transferring patients into and out of bed and chair
– Assisting with feeding, dressing, and hygiene
– Supervising LPNs
– Ensuring patient safety, often referred to as “do no harm” or nonmaleficence

LPN vs. RN Licensing and Certification

Both LPN and RN candidates must pass specific exams to obtain their licenses.

Upon completion of a state-approved Practical Nursing program, LPN candidates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to become Licensed Practical Nurses.

Similarly, RNs are required to successfully complete a state-approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Some RNs may choose to pursue certification in specialty areas, like critical care or emergency department, typically after gaining experience in that specialty for around one year.

Online Nursing Writings

Dont wait until the last minute.

Provide your requirements and let our native nursing writers deliver your assignments ASAP.

You cannot copy content of this page

WhatsApp Us
Our services are 100% Private & Confidential.
Native US & UK writers will write you a Top-quality Nursing Paper from Scratch.

WhatsApp Us, We are Live!