Different levels of nursing?

  1. What are you different levels of nursing? I know of a CNA, LVN (I live in CA) LVN, ASN and a BSN. Are the CNA and LVN nurses the ones who do all the grunt work like the dressing of wounds, or. Catheters? Do the bachelor degree or Associate degree nurses do more of the paperwork?
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   KelRN215
    A CNA is not a nurse. A CNA is a certified nurse's aide. They do things like take VS and assist patients with ADLs. Much of what they can do is determined by the facility. CNAs at my former hospital could do little more than take VS, empty catheters and set up rooms. They weren't allowed to do finger-sticks or set up tube feeds or anything, though they are allowed to do those things in some facilities.

    An LPN/LVN is a Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse. They go to nursing school, are required to take NCLEX and practice under their own license/scope of practice. I don't work with LPNs (what they are called in my state) so someone else will have to give you more of the specifics on what they do. But an LPN is a nurse, a CNA is not and their roles are distinct. In my state, it seems that LPNs work mostly in nursing homes or doctor's offices but there are some places where you will still find them in hospitals.

    ADN and BSN are degrees which both enable the recipient to take the NCLEX-RN and become an RN. There is no difference in scope of practice between an ADN or BSN RN or even a diploma RN. All of them are RNs. I am an RN and I have never had anyone to do "grunt work" things like dressing changes or catheters for me. In fact, I'll be on my way out the door to a dressing change shortly as soon as the patient's facility calls me back.
  4. by   DBall
    Thanks for the information! Where would someone work if they don't want to work in a hospital and see all the nasty bodily fluids? Do LVNs work in doctor offices? What other specialities of nursing don't have to see nasty fluids like that?
  5. by   loriangel14
    If you want to avoid body fluids then don't become a nurse.You will have to deal with them at some point.At the very least you will have to deal with them during clinicals in nursing school.Pretty much any setting a new grad would work in would involve bodily fluids.CNA,LPN or RN, they all deal with it.
  6. by   DBall
    I'm sure I can handle it, I just don't want to have to look at it and deal with it on the job everyday. Or is there no way around it?
  7. by   loriangel14
    Most non patient contact jobs like a desk job involve nursing experience first.Why do you want to be a nurse if patient care turns you off?
  8. by   Bortaz, RN
    Quote from DBall
    I'm sure I can handle it, I just don't want to have to look at it and deal with it on the job everyday. Or is there no way around it?
    I don't think you want to be a nurse, pal. Nurses deal with pee, poop, puke, snot and even nastier crap on a daily basis.
  9. by   pgnurse79
    Regarding LPNs. They are nurses with a few exceptions. They cannot hang IVs on central lines. No blood transfusions either. An RN must cover for an LPN. Also, during shift change, an LPN cannot follow an LPN.

    A RN has at least one more year of schooling, an associates (2yr degree). An LPN does not have a 2 year degree. I believe its a certificate program "(I could be wrong about this.) BUT an LPN must pass NCLEX just like an RN in order to obtain a nursing license.

    (I'm an RN working in Chicago who works with LPN in an acute long term care facility.)
  10. by   loriangel14
    Dressing changes are far from"grunt work".Dressing wounds takes skill and knowledge and some can only be done by nurses with specialized training.
  11. by   Sparrowhawk
    LIke I answered on your other thread....you will deal with bodily fluids no matter where you work. So. Urine tests every day at a doc's office even if he's a general practicioner...so.
  12. by   loriangel14
    Why do you think you want to be a nurse?I could say I want to teach kindergarten but not have to deal with little kids.
  13. by   SHGR
    OP- what is it you think nurses do?
  14. by   DBall
    Urine and poop wouldn't be a problem. I am also thinking of being a lab tech assistant, and those deal with those and I wouldn't have a problem. Vomit isn't a problem either, I'm just saying, if I had a choice, I wouldn't want to work with that stuff everyday. None of us would want to.

    I'm not set on becoming a nurse, just trying to figure things out

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