What is the difference between a PRN, a RN, a ADN, and a LPN?

  1. 0
    I will be starting school at Cincinnati State for the RN Program. I am still a little confused about the difference between a PRN, a RN, a ADN, and a LPN? I just need a little bit more of understanding of these?

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  2. 18 Comments...

  3. 0
    PRN is the way that a medication can be administered, as needed.
    Or possibly could mean "professional registered nurse" but I have never seen that.
    RN is registered nurse.
    ADN is associate degree nurse (2 years).
    LPN is license practical nurse.

    Good luck to you on your studies.
  4. 0
    I was wondering the same thing also! I understand the RN, ADN & LPN but I saw someone with PRN next to their name and was curious what that was.

    I am also curious about the difference with RN/LPN. I have had a couple LPN's tell me that what they do is no different then the RN except for a few things and I should go for my LPN because the pay is not much different and it is a year less of school. I believe that if there is an extra year of school then there is a reason for that and there must be a larger difference. I don't know, that's why I am asking the ones who are out there and know this stuff!
  5. 0
    Depending on where you work, the amount of responsibility can seem similar. Wherever I have worked in the past, only the RN could start the IV. LPN's can function as a surgical tech in the OR but not as the circulator. The major trauma centers don't seem to be advertising for LPNs in the ER like they used to. Again it depends on what state you live in and what area that you want to work. I highly suggest getting your RN now while you are geared up towards it. Later on, when you do decide that you want it, it will be a lot more effort on your part.
  6. 0
    suzanne4, thank you very much! I still have every intention of going straight to my RN. I very much appreciate the clarification!
  7. 0
    Just to clarify a bit more...

    ADN stands for "associate degree in nursing". BSN stands for "bachelors degree in nursing". MSN is "masters degree in nursing". Degrees are issued by educational institutions to individuals who have met the requirements for that degree. A degree is not a license.

    "RN"and "LPN" (LVN in some locations) are licenses issued by regulatory nursing boards to individuals who qualify through education and testing for the RN or LPN license. Educational requirements are different for each license.

    Good luck in your RN program!
  8. 0
    PRN could also mean the nurse was a "pool" nurse, or a "float" nurse, meaning they work where needed. Also there's an agency called "PRN nurses".

    Good luck to you!
  9. 0
    Definately go for the RN right out of the box. PRN around here stands for nurses who work as needed. No reg scheduel. Good Luck with your education.
  10. 0
    Could PRN be Psychiatric Registered Nurse? I know here in Canada we have RPN's which are Registered Psychiatric Nurses. Just a thought...
  11. 0
    Here in Ontario RPN stands for Registered Practical Nurse.

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