Can I work as an LVN with only an RN license in CA?

  1. 1
    I am a newly licensed RN but currently hold an LVN job. My LVN license will be expiring soon and I would like to avoid paying renewal fees if possible. Is it necessary to have an active LVN license in order to continue working as an LVN, or will my RN license also allow me to work as an LVN? The CA BON website does not specifically answer this question but does state that RNs may work as CNAs since the duties of a CNA are within an RN's scope of practice. Since the duties of an LVN are also within an RN's scope of practice, I am hoping the same holds true. Does anyone know? Thank you!
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 5,162 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    worth a call to your BON but I believe you would be held to a higher standard of care due to your RN license, regardless of your job description. This means that you would be expected to PERFORM like an RN, while being PAID like an LVN
    MikesRN06 likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from classicdame
    worth a call to your BON but I believe you would be held to a higher standard of care due to your RN license, regardless of your job description. This means that you would be expected to PERFORM like an RN, while being PAID like an LVN
    Yes and no....

    You would be expected to know the things that an RN knows and react accordingly, even if they're not within the scope of an LVN, but you cannot be made to do the work of an RN at LVN wages.

    For example, if a CNA takes vitals and notes a low pulse ox, their only responsibility, as a CNA, is to report to the RN that the patient's vitals are not WNL. But if an LVN or RN takes vitals while working as a CNA and notes the same thing, the nurse is expected to use her "nursing skills/knowledge" to do things like raise the head of the bed, start supplemental oxygen, call the physician, etc.

    In my state, LPNs cannot do IVs and blood transfusions... if, while working as an LPN, you see a patient having a transfusion reaction or if you see crystals forming in their IV line, as an RN you would be expected to know that you must immediately STOP that infusion and clamp it off as low on the line as possible, and therefore you would be expected to do so, even though it may not be within an LPN's scope of practice.

    Does that make sense?
  6. 0
    Thank you both for replying! I understand the implications of dual licensure (i.e., being held to the standards of the higher license.) The BON website covers that. What I need to know is if an RN needs an LVN license in order to work as an LVN, or if the RN license will suffice (since the RN scope of practice is greater and includes all the duties an LVN would be responsible for). Is there anyone else who has been in this situation? I can't be the first!
  7. 0
    i do know a co-worker that grad from adn-rn, she couldnt find an rn job to save her life for about a yr. she passed boards, continued to work as cna. she was held to the standards of rn, and could get in "trouble" as an rn for something she did as a cna. there is another aspect that ppl will take advantage of the situ as well, not usually in a good way. so make sure you are able to stand your ground. it is not in your best interest from what i have read and discussed where i work, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do, kwim? and as the other person said, you kinda mess yourself up b/c you get paid at lvn, but will be expected to do rn.

    gl!
    -H-
  8. 0
    I know in WI you're not allowed to work "below" your license. That means after passing the NCLEX you're not allowed to hold a CNA or LPN/LVN position.
  9. 0
    I know in MA if ur in school you can work as a cna after 3 months of nursing school if you don't have your cna license but I don't think you can hold an LPN license as well as an RN license and if as far as I know you have to work to your current highest knowledge being the RN although there is not a large difference in education between the two I would ask CA may be different
    Last edit by Esme12 on Sep 18, '12 : Reason: TOS/text speak removed.
  10. 0
    You are an RN now. Drop the LPN/LVN you didn't go through all the school to work as an LVN/LPN.
  11. 0
    Thank you for your replies. In CA, you are allowed to hold both licenses. I am shocked that in some states you can't work as an LVN/LPN once you hold an RN license. What do these states expect people (like myself) who are already working in LVN/LPN positions to do when they get their RN licenses -- abruptly quit their jobs? I would start working as an RN today if I could, but that's not how it works -- I must be hired first, and that takes time. I am now even more confused on this subject and can't believe no one knows the answer to my original question. I don't mean that in a rude way, I am just honestly surprised that with all the LVN to RN nurses around here, no one has asked this question before. I haven't been able to reach the BON by telephone but will keep trying. Thanks again!
    Last edit by Amiodarone on Sep 18, '12
  12. 0
    Quote from Amiodarone
    Thank you for your replies. In CA, you are allowed to hold both licenses. I am shocked that in some states you can't work as an LVN/LPN once you hold an RN license. What do these states expect people (like myself) who are already working in LVN/LPN positions to do when they get their RN licenses -- abruptly quit their jobs? I would start working as an RN today if I could, but that's not how it works -- I must be hired first, and that takes time. I am now even more confused on this subject and can't believe no one knows the answer to my original question. I don't mean that in a rude way, I am just honestly surprised that with all the LVN to RN nurses around here, no one has asked this question before. I haven't been able to reach the BON by telephone but will keep trying. Thanks again!
    Only the board in your state has that answer. I would suppose that if you are allowed dual licensure you must hold the license for the position that you hold. Because of the varying license requirement of every state.....I am not surprised you have not received an exact answer.

    Best of luck to you.....


Top