Difference between RN and LPN responsibilities in the hospital setting?

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    Can you please tell me what the difference is between LPN and RN responsibilities in the hospital? In other words, what can't an LPN do that an RN can do? I'm in an RN program and have met some very impressive LPNs in the hospital and it seems no difference, but I don' t know legally what the difference is. Thanks!

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  2. 27 Comments...

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    Basically, the LPN works under the direction of the RN, and the LPN cannot do things like admission assessments or push IV drugs without further training.

    On the upper right corner of this screen, you'll see a "Links" section that has Boards of Nursing listed for each state. It also might help to look up the Nurse Practice Act for your state and read it.
    pagandeva2000 likes this.
  4. 1
    Here we go again!!!! :deadhorse
    nurse_mo1986 likes this.
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    Quote from txspadequeen921
    Here we go again!!!! :deadhorse



    Z
  6. 2
    The difference is about $200.00/week and that's it. Seriously, LPNs in my unit work side by side with the RNs on the floor doing exactly the same thing for much less money. Techanically, they don't do admission assessments and plan of care. They are not charge nurses. That's it.

    I can understand why as a new nurse you would ask. Different hospitals in different parts of the country utilize them differently. Right now our hospital is not hiring LPNs, but we have lots of them that have been there a while.
    Last edit by Tweety on May 30, '05
    nurse_mo1986 and pagandeva2000 like this.
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  8. 0
    Quote from RebeccaOne
    Can you please tell me what the difference is between LPN and RN responsibilities in the hospital? In other words, what can't an LPN do that an RN can do? I'm in an RN program and have met some very impressive LPNs in the hospital and it seems no difference, but I don' t know legally what the difference is. Thanks!
    Where I did clinicals, LPNs were "teamed" with RNs and CNAs. Each team shared a patient assignment, and each member had specific roles. Where I work, LPNs have their own assignments and an RN is assigned to cover the few things the LPN isn't allowed to do. I haven't really discussed it, but I suppose the rationale is that the LPN is under the delegation of the Charge Nurse.
    Both approaches appear to have pros and cons, but one net result is that positions for LPNs are scarce where I work, but more plentiful where I did clinicals.
  9. 0
    Quote from RebeccaOne
    Can you please tell me what the difference is between LPN and RN responsibilities in the hospital? In other words, what can't an LPN do that an RN can do? I'm in an RN program and have met some very impressive LPNs in the hospital and it seems no difference, but I don' t know legally what the difference is. Thanks!
    The difference in RN and LPN is attitude. Both sets of Nurses have them, but one gets paid to talk to the interdiciplinary team about it, and the other gets paid to talk to the RN.
    Another difference? the years it takes to get a BSN. For the wholistic/fully rounded nurse, educated in many aspects, not just nursing and its tasks.
    Another difference? The LPN's who see fit to just do a med pass, and not assist in any other patient care measure. Forget about verbal orders, forget about assisting CNA's, forget about charting forget about monitoring for side effects of meds.
    I have had the great fortune to know these things only by other nurses complaints. I have always worked with nurses who were going to school for their RN. The are actively interested, and need to be certified inside the building for different items, like IV's and Foley procedures, sterile procedures,
    and assessments. Who? How? When? Why?

    The facility I work in holds restraints on LPN's. One supervisor called the LPN's Medication People. HELLO?? Well ya know what? Most of the LPN's in my building became just that on that day. They stopped all the 'extras'.

    Legally the difference is...a person who is suing will always sue from the highest licence to the lowest, in financially appropriate order. As an RN, you are overseeing the ongoings of the unit, or your ward, or your sector..
    And any LPN's in it are ultimately your responsibility. Hopefully they want to know what they are doing. Who is above you? They are the ones that usually make more money, and have more say in care management.

    When perceptions change, maybe LPN's will get the respect they deserve as an active, valued member of the heath care team. Until then, I hope I keep getting active interested students as part of my team.
    SitcomNurse RN, BSN
    Every once in a while God turns on the SitcomNurse channel for sh*ts and giggles.
  10. 3
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    Here we go again!!!! :deadhorse


    (I didn't want to think so, but reading the post above, I'm a bit wary. )
  11. 0
    I can see what you mean Tweety but regarding this poster...they never addressed the topic before.

    Let's see how many want to re-address. :chuckle

    Z


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