Do LPN's get the pay they deserve? - page 4

I am an LPN in SW Missouri. I make $11.50 an hour. I do 90% of the same job that the RN's do on my floor. Am I whining? Do LPN's really get what they deserve? Does LPN really stand for Low Paid... Read More

  1. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    Still voting for a close, this thread took a nasty turn.
    Trolls are knocking on the door! And they can't come in!
  2. by   Marty LPN
    I am new to this forum, and have spent some time searching and reading different issues posted out here. I have been a LPN in NYS for 21 years. I attended a practical nurse program that was offered through my highschool in my junior and senior years.( this makes me chuckle...imagine a 16 year old, taking care of the sick and injured, assisting with the delivery of a baby, etc....wow it's a wonder I made it...lol) Anyhow, this program was affiliated with a catholic hospital with it's own RN nursing program. As students, we received over 2000 hours of clinical practice ( this is more than most RN progams offer today..how things have changed!) When I was in training we were never taught to assess breath sounds, IV sites, blood transfusions, etc..and there was never a central line outside of the ICU. The PN programs have come a long way since then.

    I have held many nursing positions over the years, Including high level administrative positions. I made a lot of money in these adminstrative roles, as much as a RN with a advanced degree would make. I was absolutley miserable in these positions, and for those of you (RN's or LPN's) who have never held such a position, should not be so quick to think that adminstrative nurses have it made and are over paid (my salary was a little over $80,000 annualy and I gave it up, just to be a bedside nurse, where I have the resources and autominity to give great patient care for considerably less money).

    As a LPN staff nurse on a 40 bed Cardiac care unit, in a metro hospital in CNY, my salary is what I think to be excellent $20.00/base..with an additional $5.00 per hour for working nights. I work permanet nights, so my salary is $25.00 per hour...So I don't feel that I'm underpaid by any means. RN's at this hospital make very good salaries too. Sure I may make more that a new RN, but I'm at the top of my pay scale...That new RN will soon make more. Education counts for a lot...and I'm a advocate for that, I hold a advanced degree in excersise physiology. But am quite happy doing waht I do at the bedside as a LPN. I hold ACLS, ECG, and Critical care medication administration certifications, and feel that I am challenged. I'm able to care for crticaly ill patients in conjunction with the RN's. I am valued for my knowledge and skill level, and even orient new staff to the unit (RN's and LPN's)

    For those of you who feel that a LPN should make the same amount of money as a RN, really should stop and think about this. Who is ultimately responsible for the patient?....THE RN. It's his/her's license that most LPN's are working under. Yes, as LPN's we have licenses, and a nurse practice act, but in NYS, it clearly state that the LPN works under the supervision of a RN or licensed MD/DDS. RN's do have more education to prepare them to entire the nursing profession. I'm not saying that this makes them better nurses, I'm just stating a fact. I am an advocate for the the state boards, to re-evaluate the scope of practice for an LPN...Our brothers and sisters to the north(Canada), have LPN's too, yet their nurse practice act encompasses greater responsiblities, in which competancy must be proven every time they re- register. They still practice under the direction of a RN. I do think that most state boards are bueracratic, and rather truly looking to fix the shortage of nurses now, spend to much time fostering aminosity between the RN and the LPN. We are all nurses. Both titles have the word "nurse" in them.

    If RN's and LPN's band together and work toward how we can provide better care, and spend less time worrying about the differences between the two titles, I think everyone would be a lot happier.

    Thanks for letting me "ramble" on.
    Last edit by Marty LPN on Jun 19, '04
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Angela Mac
    the person who bashed me, and highighted my name, has no clue of what really goes on. This person, is after all, a nursing student. If you don't have the experience to know what you are talking about, please refrain from doing so. I have been a medical professional since 1978, and have witnessed many things that go against the CODE OF ETHICS. I am entitled to an opinion. You were born in 1979 and are a student nurse--------enough said..............
    Cracking on someone's age and/or student status like that only increases the distance. Remember you were a student once too, and remember that biological age is a number? Not to mention a person can be a nurse for 30-40 years and still not know everything.



    Signed, a 1977-born baby.
  4. by   Dixiedi
    I had left this thread for awhile, glad I came back if only to know there is another LPN out there, an LPN almost as long as myself. Someone who understands and has experienced working in all sorts of positions and still understands LPNs should not make as much as RNs. In most states we should make more than we do, but that's not what was said.
    I have argued relentlessly that we are often just as knowledgeable as many RNs, but we are not RNs. I have argued that I would pit my skills and knowledge against any RN with similar experiences on any day and our pts would both do well. Many RNs believe that is impossible.
    Maybe now that I am not the only one, I will be believed!
    And yes, someone will always know more about something than I do.
    I do not know everything, but I can give it a prety darn good go!
  5. by   kimlpn
    I have been an LPN for 10 years and always thought I was doing the same job just with less pay. Yes, RN's and LPN's, depending on the work environment, do serve similar roles....but ultimately the RN is responsible and has more education. I am almost completed with my ADN program and have just realized how much more effort it is to get this degree!!! All the generals and extra nursing courses do count for something. I have learned so many things and actually understand the reasons behind why things are the way they are now that I have taken these courses. Countless nights I have struggled through algebra...but it will pay off and I have realized there is a big difference between the two levels of nursing (educationally). All nurses are important in the health care system but and one shouldn't be better than another but rather enhancing each other to provide the best possible patient care.
    Kim


    Quote from Dixiedi
    I had left this thread for awhile, glad I came back if only to know there is another LPN out there, an LPN almost as long as myself. Someone who understands and has experienced working in all sorts of positions and still understands LPNs should not make as much as RNs. In most states we should make more than we do, but that's not what was said.
    I have argued relentlessly that we are often just as knowledgeable as many RNs, but we are not RNs. I have argued that I would pit my skills and knowledge against any RN with similar experiences on any day and our pts would both do well. Many RNs believe that is impossible.
    Maybe now that I am not the only one, I will be believed!
    And yes, someone will always know more about something than I do.
    I do not know everything, but I can give it a prety darn good go!
  6. by   CA CoCoRN
    Quote from kimlpn
    I have been an LPN for 10 years and always thought I was doing the same job just with less pay. Yes, RN's and LPN's, depending on the work environment, do serve similar roles....but ultimately the RN is responsible and has more education. I am almost completed with my ADN program and have just realized how much more effort it is to get this degree!!! All the generals and extra nursing courses do count for something. I have learned so many things and actually understand the reasons behind why things are the way they are now that I have taken these courses. Countless nights I have struggled through algebra...but it will pay off and I have realized there is a big difference between the two levels of nursing (educationally). All nurses are important in the health care system but and one shouldn't be better than another but rather enhancing each other to provide the best possible patient care.
    Kim
    and the previous (Dixie's) post.

    I agree, LVNs/LPNs do a lot...but they don't do what we do. It's a level....but not the same. That's like a CNA saying, "Well, I do the same duties that LVN/RNs do..." No...they do a lesser degree of it. But it's all a component of the same thing, culminating in the advanced degree. And for that advanced degree, the compensation should be advanced as well.

    $11.50/hour??? Awwww, h*ll naw!!!! I wouldn't work as a Licensed nurse for that wage....BUT, one has to consider the entry level functioning of that nurse. While I'll agree that many LVNs worth their salt will be worth more in compensation after a couple/few years of experience....coming fresh out of school, your knowledge base and functioning can be extremely limited.
    But an RN, sometimes just because he/she has those letters behind the name, can IMMEDIATELY be given a greater "load" and is additionally responsible for more...simply because of the advanced education.
    When I came out of college, as an IPRN, I made $18.90. Then I received my permanent license after the NCLEX-RN and bumped to $21+. I left that position (because that was one of the more low paying facilities) and worked registry for $25+/hr. As my experience increased, my wage did as well. I now make over $30/hr, day shift, 12 hours, with OT after 8. It's very common for us to get extra days, which means OT plus DT.

    At my facility, LVNs start at approx. $12/hr and top out at just under $20 (this from LVNs I've asked....I've never been one).

    As for scope of duty/practice....well, that just sort of depends on the specialty. In my unit, LVNs could NOT possibly do 90% of what we RNs do. For one, the CA BRN prohibits it. There MUST be a certain ratio of RNs on an L&D unit. And as to just the daily grind....well, L&D is an arena of continuing ASSESSMENT, which LVNs are not permitted to do (without appropriate signing off by the RN). And that's not to mention the drugs that are given IVPB, IVP, etc. Therefore to utilize LVNs on the floor, for laboring pts would be redundant at best, pointless at least.
    We only utilize LVNs to scrub for C/S's...but even they're being phased out in favor of CSTs (due to the regulations on ORs). We will hire no more LVNs.

    I have a couple of dear friends who are LVNs, and when they get to raving about what they should be paid...I smile acknowledgement and nod so as not to get into a pointless debate.
    Regardless of experience and time and what the LVN knows because of working for x-amount of years....it comes down to the actual education and degree granted when dealing with responsibility and pay.

    That's like me saying that I should be paid the kind of money that my OBs get paid because I do ALL the work of getting that patient delivered...and sometimes having to deliver the baby myself. They only come when I call them or if there's a complication that I can't handle (need for C/S, etc.) Yeah, yeah, yeah....but ultimately...if it comes down to who's responsible for that pt, between me and the doc...it's gonna be the doc because I'm working under her/his supervision in caring for the pt.
    Same for RN 'vs' LVN...I'm ultimately going to be the responsible party since he/she LVN is working under my supervision.
  7. by   marymary
    Quote from CA CoCoRN
    and the previous (Dixie's) post.

    I agree, LVNs/LPNs do a lot...but they don't do what we do. It's a level....but not the same. That's like a CNA saying, "Well, I do the same duties that LVN/RNs do..." No...they do a lesser degree of it. But it's all a component of the same thing, culminating in the advanced degree. And for that advanced degree, the compensation should be advanced as well.

    $11.50/hour??? Awwww, h*ll naw!!!! I wouldn't work as a Licensed nurse for that wage....BUT, one has to consider the entry level functioning of that nurse. While I'll agree that many LVNs worth their salt will be worth more in compensation after a couple/few years of experience....coming fresh out of school, your knowledge base and functioning can be extremely limited.
    But an RN, sometimes just because he/she has those letters behind the name, can IMMEDIATELY be given a greater "load" and is additionally responsible for more...simply because of the advanced education.
    When I came out of college, as an IPRN, I made $18.90. Then I received my permanent license after the NCLEX-RN and bumped to $21+. I left that position (because that was one of the more low paying facilities) and worked registry for $25+/hr. As my experience increased, my wage did as well. I now make over $30/hr, day shift, 12 hours, with OT after 8. It's very common for us to get extra days, which means OT plus DT.

    At my facility, LVNs start at approx. $12/hr and top out at just under $20 (this from LVNs I've asked....I've never been one).

    As for scope of duty/practice....well, that just sort of depends on the specialty. In my unit, LVNs could NOT possibly do 90% of what we RNs do. For one, the CA BRN prohibits it. There MUST be a certain ratio of RNs on an L&D unit. And as to just the daily grind....well, L&D is an arena of continuing ASSESSMENT, which LVNs are not permitted to do (without appropriate signing off by the RN). And that's not to mention the drugs that are given IVPB, IVP, etc. Therefore to utilize LVNs on the floor, for laboring pts would be redundant at best, pointless at least.
    We only utilize LVNs to scrub for C/S's...but even they're being phased out in favor of CSTs (due to the regulations on ORs). We will hire no more LVNs.

    I have a couple of dear friends who are LVNs, and when they get to raving about what they should be paid...I smile acknowledgement and nod so as not to get into a pointless debate.
    Regardless of experience and time and what the LVN knows because of working for x-amount of years....it comes down to the actual education and degree granted when dealing with responsibility and pay.

    That's like me saying that I should be paid the kind of money that my OBs get paid because I do ALL the work of getting that patient delivered...and sometimes having to deliver the baby myself. They only come when I call them or if there's a complication that I can't handle (need for C/S, etc.) Yeah, yeah, yeah....but ultimately...if it comes down to who's responsible for that pt, between me and the doc...it's gonna be the doc because I'm working under her/his supervision in caring for the pt.
    Same for RN 'vs' LVN...I'm ultimately going to be the responsible party since he/she LVN is working under my supervision.
    Touche`, Bravo and right on! I am an LPN that went on to get her RN. I used to be one of those that spoke like that, (LPN's do the same work). It would help a lot if LPN's were taught in school that they are not on the same level. That is part of the problem. Just think," if it were the same job", why are they called different names and have different levels of education? Think, think, think....good night chet.
  8. by   RN2CNM
    Bravo, CA CoCoRN and marymary, just bravo....best way i've heard the truth stated in a long time. not just two thumbs up, but all the RNs in the world give you a thumbs up! Nothing can be added are subtracted....awesome!
  9. by   Headhurt
    When I had my knee surgery, the nurse who took the best care of me was an LPN, the worst one was an RN. This was at one of those "boutique specialty hospitals" where the cases are not nearly as critical.

    I don't think LPN's are entitled to make as much as an RN. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it. If I were in LTC, I would have no issues and would probably prefer an LPN taking care of me because that is their homefield advantage. If I were in a big city hospital on a cardiac floor with all the drips and extra trimmings, I would in no way feel comfortable with an LPN managing my care. I'm not speaking as an RN...I'm speaking as a patient.

    All nurses are underpaid no matter what their degree!! If I am working the floor and there is an LPN there, chances are pretty good that she is practicing under the umbrella of my license. Yes, I would expect to get paid more for that added responsibility. Just as there are some bad RN's out there...there are equally some bad LPN's. All of which you have to wonder how they manage to dress themselves in the morning.

    As for the payscale in SW Mo...I travel down there a lot because of family. The cost of living is considerably low, especially when you compare it to Kansas City. I'm only saying that salaries often reflect the cost of living for that particular area. While we may gasp and admonish how bad $12 and hour is for a LPN, we may want to consider that for that particular area...that's probably a pretty good salary. I'm not saying it to be mean, but that is economics, y'all. I know I will get flamed for this...so I am going to go find my flame retardant suit.
  10. by   marymary
    Quote from Headhurt
    When I had my knee surgery, the nurse who took the best care of me was an LPN, the worst one was an RN. This was at one of those "boutique specialty hospitals" where the cases are not nearly as critical.

    I don't think LPN's are entitled to make as much as an RN. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it. If I were in LTC, I would have no issues and would probably prefer an LPN taking care of me because that is their homefield advantage. If I were in a big city hospital on a cardiac floor with all the drips and extra trimmings, I would in no way feel comfortable with an LPN managing my care. I'm not speaking as an RN...I'm speaking as a patient.

    All nurses are underpaid no matter what their degree!! If I am working the floor and there is an LPN there, chances are pretty good that she is practicing under the umbrella of my license. Yes, I would expect to get paid more for that added responsibility. Just as there are some bad RN's out there...there are equally some bad LPN's. All of which you have to wonder how they manage to dress themselves in the morning.

    As for the payscale in SW Mo...I travel down there a lot because of family. The cost of living is considerably low, especially when you compare it to Kansas City. I'm only saying that salaries often reflect the cost of living for that particular area. While we may gasp and admonish how bad $12 and hour is for a LPN, we may want to consider that for that particular area...that's probably a pretty good salary. I'm not saying it to be mean, but that is economics, y'all. I know I will get flamed for this...so I am going to go find my flame retardant suit.
    ...one little tidbit, remember LPN's specialty is direct care, they are supposed to be better at it. If you did the same thing over and over and over again, wouldn't you be pretty good at it?
  11. by   alatta58
    Quote from Pedsnrs2003
    I am an LPN in SW Missouri. I make $11.50 an hour. I do 90% of the same job that the RN's do on my floor. Am I whining? Do LPN's really get what they deserve? Does LPN really stand for Low Paid Nurse?
    Depends on Hospital and Locality-I made about $20/hr. when I left last year-due to the workload. I was topped out on my pay grade. The VA system for LPNs starts at GS3(which might pay $8-$9 hourly) If you persist and saty until you reach Top Scale a GS6 it would pay probably-$20.50'hr. and where I was-I also received locality pay-so that accounts for my Rate.In the GS levels-there are steps,1-10. I would say that on my floor-our work was 90% of an RN's respon sability. I left the VA due to stress and returned to home health-and grossed $70000 in 2003. Mike
  12. by   schroeders_piano
    [QUOTE=Houstonnurse]PERSONALLY, 11 bucks an hr is SO LOW it's outragous,


    I have been reading these post with a very open mind. It wasn't that long ago when I was an LPN working Med/Surg for $12.07/hr. Now I am a RN and one of the night shift charge nurses for the unit. I make $14.77/hr. I currently have 3 LPNs working on my unit and the nights that they work doubles my patient load. As the RN I am responsible for the LPNs patients. I also have to do IV push meds and IV starts. My facility does not allow LPNs to call doctors or take telephone orders. IMO LPNs are not paid what they deserve, but neither are RNs. There has been nights when I was the only RN on the Med/Surg unit with 2 LPNs. These nights are horrible. The LPNs on my unit are well trained, but the LPNs still cannot perform several number of tasks that the RN must do.

    To sum up this long rant, both LPNs and RNs deserve a decent wage.
    Last edit by schroeders_piano on Aug 27, '04
  13. by   lindarn
    [QUOTE=schroeders_piano][QUOTE=Houstonnurse]PERSONALLY, 11 bucks an hr is SO LOW it's outragous,


    I have been reading these post with a very open mind. It wasn't that long ago when I was an LPN working Med/Surg for $12.07/hr. Now I am a RN and one of the night shift charge nurses for the unit. I make $14.77/hr. I currently have 3 LPNs working on my unit and the nights that they work doubles my patient load. As the RN I am responsible for the LPNs patients. I also have to do IV push meds and IV starts. My facility does not allow LPNs to call doctors or take telephone orders. IMO LPNs are not paid what they deserve, but neither are RNs. There has been nights when I was the only RN on the Med/Surg unit with 2 LPNs. These nights are horrible. The LPNs on my unit are well trained, but the LPNs still cannot perform several number of tasks that the RN must do.

    Here in Spokane Washington, Sacred Heart just laid off ALL of their LPNs and are hiring more RN's and CNA's to replace them. They cited the same issues that you just did. An RN has double the patient load & responsibility when there are LPN's. They are not a bargain to have. They are too limited in their scope of practice and make more work for the RN.

    To answer your question, NO, as an RN, you do not get paid enough to be responsible for someones else' patients. LPNs get paid enough in my opinion realted to their low level of education and limited scope of practice.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington

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