Why LPN?? - page 3

i often wondered why some people choose to become an lpn verses an rn, or why go for a 2 year program and just not go for 2 more years to get your bs? especially with the threatened lpn layoffs, the... Read More

  1. by   Dplear
    SuzieQ,

    you said it all in the statement "i ahyve only been a nurse for 3 years". I assume that is in rural wisconsin only. I have worked as a travel nurse all over the country going on almost 15 years as a BSN, and I find that NOWHERE are they laying offf nurses, esp LVN's. n In Texas they are allowed to do whatever the hospital or doctor that they work for certifies them as capable of doing. I work pediatrics and have LVN's that start IV's give pushes and even hang blood. They HAVE a license to work and have taken nursing boards also. as far as I am concerned they are full nurses. I have given report to LVN's and taken report from LVN's and I have never had to co-sign their charting or assessmnets. Like I said I have doine this for over 15 years now and I would tyake an experienced LVN ANYDAY over a new grad RN or even one that has a few years experince for that matter. there is something to be said for about on the job training. And by the way LVN's can run codes as long as they are acls certified.
  2. by   NurseMark
    Originally posted by Susy K:
    Well, aside from the two insecure individuals, I read some great responses that helps me to understand and think about things. For some of you, this argument is "old", well maybe for some of you who have been in the profession that long, but I have only been a nurse for 3 years, so sorry if I am behind your times. Apparently Iris and "realnurse also" seem to think that LPNs are just abdundant everywhere because they are abdundant in thier small corner of the world. Well if that were true, then I guess I wouldn't have to post this question and I could simply ask the LPNs that I work with....oh, wait, that's right...WE LAID ALL THE LPNS OFF!!! But according to realnurse and Iris, that just can't be so. Hmmmmm...how peculiar.

    On to some intelligence here; I liked the question that was posed of "why go for your BSN or MSN, why not be an MD," it made me think about my own choices and why I chose them. It also makes me understand LPNs more. I've only worked with one or two in my 3 years, luckily for me they weren't Iris or Realnurse. It's nice to understand the full scheme of healthcare delivery. Thanks for the intelligent feedback - apparently a few seem to be threatened with challenges.
    Susy,

    You are indeed being condescending to the individuals who posted their quotes. Iris was responding to CLO's comment, which was rude, unprofessional, and hurtful, not yours. Secondly, Realnursealso was a little rash, but in her area, LPN's might serve a function and jobs may not be scarce. Also, it may be just your hospital laying off LPN's. Let me give you an example: Out here in Arizona, St. Joseph's Hospital laid off all their LPN's but almost every other hospital uses them and continues to hire them. These nurses do not lack intelligence and neither do you. I have been an LPN for 4 years and learned that I made a mistake. The LPN level suffers much disrespect from RN's who have the disease known as RN-itis, which means lazy, holier-than-thou, my dookie - doesn't- stink attitude that a select few RN's possess. If I would have known that LPN's were considered so invaluable by co-workers and employers, I never would have become an RN. I am actively working on my RN through Regent's College because I want the pay and the conditional respect of my peers. i stayed an LPN for financial reasons, as I amke $34,000 a year as an LPN, and I almost left the profession because I was so disgusted at the way women work together. You may think me a pig, but I never worked in such a back-stabbing, lying, vengeful,power hungry profession. If you nurses stuck together, and viewed every member of the profession as whole as valuable, you would really be considered professionals. It is more than just schooling. Do you want to know why nursing is so lacking of respect and why you are not considered professionals? First of all, it is women dominated, and like it or not, women are still second class citizens. Secondly, look at what nursing started out as. You are nothing but a physician's lackey - you can't breathe without an order from your "master" - the doctor (Hyperbolically speaking). The nurse was created to assist the physician with his or her duties - like wiping butts, emptying urinals, giving baths, giving pills, etc. Thirdly, the public views nurses as "maids" that are supposedly paid very well. So why am I staying in the profession? easy, big money when you work for an agency (Registry) full time. And, because a very little part of me still enjoys helping people. As for the rest of me, well, many of the so-called professionals have ruined what should be a truly great profession for me. I can't wait to here the responses to this post.

  3. by   NurseMark
    Originally posted by Susy K:
    Lynn-
    You weren't the only one confused with "the boss". I am not familiar with LPNs that appear so highly functional as her. The few LPNs that I have worked with could only do post-partum, not labor patients, could not start IVs and certaintly did NOT work in the critical care areas, especially our NICU. In fact, the LPNs charting needs to be co-signed by the RN responsible for her. In our state, LPNs work directly under the supervision of an RN. RNs, as you know, can obviously do the skillsets like injections, etc, but only RNs can do full out assessments, evaluations, education. But it is "the boss's" statement, like I said, that prompted me to ask this question. If she does the exact same thing as an RN, but gets paid less, what is the point?? But, like I said, I admire LPNs and find them valuable, but I think many RNs would argue that they do alot more than simply "get paid more."
    Again, RN's and LPN's do very much the same job except for a few subtlties. For example, I passed all the meds and gave all the shots on the floor while the RN had to do those oh-so-difficult assessments at the desk (sitting on her fanny no less). She really deserved $10 more an hour for that "skill". Oh, and I should mention that LPN's are taught how to assess a patient in school, but we need that high and mighty RN to cosign our assessments, because that nine months more of education makes them so much more qualified. In most states, an LPN can do more than just wipe a butt and take vital signs.

  4. by   Q.
    NurseMark-
    If you read Iris's post, she was responding directly to me. She stated "why should any of US (us, as if we are somehow different) enlighten you?'
    Secondly, no I do not work in rural Wisconsin. I work at a Level 3 Medical Center in Milwaukee. Thirdly, if would all read the post "No More LPNs" that may also give you some insight as to other LPNs that are experiencing job problems. Even in my post, some LPNs wrote that they can only work in geropsych. In Milwaukee, and in other areas, certain areas of nursing (ie public health, school nursing, coordinator positions, infertility nurse specialists, nurse educators, to name a few) all require a RN, BSN. This is what prompted my question. I find it hostile that you refer to RNs as "high and mighty" - most of us don't feel that way at all, and I am not one of them. Why would I feel high and mighty when I'm underpaid, overworked, and work in a profession that so easily can start bashing and comparing each other experiences?
    Unless we have practiced as an LPN, or practiced WITH them (which I haven't - in Milwaukee) we don't know thier scope of practice. We have 9 nursing schools in the Metro Milwaukee area, and they closed down all 3 of the diploma programs in the last 5 years. My alma mater itself used to be a diploma program until they changed it 8 years ago to a BSN program.
    The point is, unless we are RNs and have gotten our degree, we don't know what it is that "rounds us out" or adds to our education. As much as LPNs feel put down, RNs feel just as put down. A lot us went to school, worked pretty damn hard, paid a hell of a college tuition, and yes, had just as much clinicals as anyone else, yet we are viewed as somehow "less skilled" or just simply "paid more." I really don't think that is the case at all. We can't make blanket statements about things like this.
    If the nursing profession decides to make a BSN a requirement, I don't think it is to say that LPNs are useless or not "real nurses." I think it will make the profession more attractive to young people and will only add more education. I never think there is anything wrong with making requirements more stiff.
  5. by   nona
    I was an LPN for a few years before becoming an RN. I was the only LPN working in a PACU, when I decided to go back to school and get the RN. My job has not changed one bit, I just have the official signature. The hospital I work at sends LPNs to several inservices to expand their role, and they do the same work as the RNs. Their are certain meds they can't do IV, and to be honest even as an RN I have never had to use those meds. It's a disservice to the LPNs because they are doing the RN work without the pay. Plus the LPN course was superior to the RN course. I learned to be a nurse as an LPN, I learned to do paperwork as an RN.
  6. by   Q.
    Originally posted by nona:
    [B]It's a disservice to the LPNs because they are doing the RN work without the pay.

    /B]
    Hi Nona,
    that is why I asked my question in the first place. But thank you for your reply.

  7. by   davisll
    Originally posted by Susy K:
    Well, aside from the two insecure individuals, I read some great responses that helps me to understand and think about things. For some of you, this argument is "old", well maybe for some of you who have been in the profession that long, but I have only been a nurse for 3 years, so sorry if I am behind your times. Apparently Iris and "realnurse also" seem to think that LPNs are just abdundant everywhere because they are abdundant in thier small corner of the world. Well if that were true, then I guess I wouldn't have to post this question and I could simply ask the LPNs that I work with....oh, wait, that's right...WE LAID ALL THE LPNS OFF!!! But according to realnurse and Iris, that just can't be so. Hmmmmm...how peculiar.

    On to some intelligence here; I liked the question that was posed of "why go for your BSN or MSN, why not be an MD," it made me think about my own choices and why I chose them. It also makes me understand LPNs more. I've only worked with one or two in my 3 years, luckily for me they weren't Iris or Realnurse. It's nice to understand the full scheme of healthcare delivery. Thanks for the intelligent feedback - apparently a few seem to be threatened with challenges.
    First of all Suzy Q you haven't even been a nurse long enough to even have an opinion.
  8. by   Q.
    Originally posted by davisll:
    First of all Suzy Q you haven't even been a nurse long enough to even have an opinion.
    Ouch, Davis. And I'm the one who puts nurses down? Talk about eating our young.....

    Secondly, that post was directed at two INDIVIDUALS who flew off the handle for my mere MENTIONING LPNs. The post, anywhere, does not put down LPNs as a whole or even in part. So, thanks for re-posting it as you just proved my point for me.
    -------------------------------------------

    From my previous post:
    -QUOTE_
    But, like I said, I admire LPNs and find them valuable,



    [This message has been edited by Susy K (edited March 28, 2001).]
  9. by   davisll
    Originally posted by Susy K:
    Lynn-
    You weren't the only one confused with "the boss". I am not familiar with LPNs that appear so highly functional as her. The few LPNs that I have worked with could only do post-partum, not labor patients, could not start IVs and certaintly did NOT work in the critical care areas, especially our NICU. In fact, the LPNs charting needs to be co-signed by the RN responsible for her. In our state, LPNs work directly under the supervision of an RN. RNs, as you know, can obviously do the skillsets like injections, etc, but only RNs can do full out assessments, evaluations, education. But it is "the boss's" statement, like I said, that prompted me to ask this question. If she does the exact same thing as an RN, but gets paid less, what is the point?? But, like I said, I admire LPNs and find them valuable, but I think many RNs would argue that they do alot more than simply "get paid more."
    You have a real bad attitude, we are all working to help people, that's why most of us got into nursing whether we are a CNA, LPN, or RN. I really hate this debate, and you really have no business being in the healthcare field with an attitude like that, we all have to work as a team.

  10. by   Q.
    Could you please outline for me what attitude it is you think I have? If you are referring to the above post, those are are true statements in my area. Those same statements are true in New York. Sorry if that offends you but that is the scope of practice for LPNs in Wisconsin and New York. How is stating facts having a bad attitude? I asked why anyone would tolerate lower pay (ie being an LPN) if you are performing the "exact same job as the RN?" Can you please explain to me why that question you find so offensive?

    Here is another post:
    Why are so many people being defensive about Suzy K's questions? I don't see that she was rude or condescending in any way.
    To all those LPNs who say they are the exactly the same as RNs only with a different title:

    Why do you allow yourselves to be exploited by doing the exact same job for less pay?

    In NY there are different scopes of practice for LPNs as opposed to RNs. RNs have a broader scope than LPNs. Most experienced LPNs have learned to do most of the tasks that an RN does-but it would be ILLEGAL to do some of them and could lead to loss of licensure, so WHY would anyone do it?

    Also, where I live in NY, most of the hospitals do not hire LPNs; in this area the only work for LPNs is in long term care or MDs offices.

    AND I AM NOT PUTTING ANYONE DOWN. These are truly just honest statements & questions

    ---------------------------------------------


    [This message has been edited by Susy K (edited March 28, 2001).]
  11. by   LauraRN0501
    Hi Suzy,

    In answer to your query about LPN vs 2yr vs 4 yr, I chose to get my associates degree first because as a mother and a wife, I did not have 4 years to spend getting my education before earning any money. Most of the women in my class are just like me, older with families. The bachelor students tend to be younger without families. This is just a generalization, and I know there are exceptions, so please don't anyone get offended! The other thing I would like to point out is that maybe people got offended by the way your worded your question. "Why not JUST go for two more years?" For many of us, two years is too long, much less 4 years. Two more years for me is out of the question right now, although I can go back, and will go back, after I am working. I hope this helped with your question, and maybe with some of the reasons people were so offended. I can understand why your post was taken to mean that being an LPN is unimportant or a waste of time, because I felt that way about your comments about two year degrees. People work hard for whatever education they have and want others to appreciate that. I also would like to add that I have been in the health field for several years and some of the best nurses I know are LPNs.

    Laura
    Proudly graduating in May with an ADRN
  12. by   Brownms46
    I think what the problem is, that "some" RNs, do have a low opinion of LPNs, and have stated many inaccuracies, about their abilities, and their (the RNs), dislike of having to work with, and or cover them. These RNs, that feel they, are above LPN/LVNS, haven't just now appeared, but have been around a long time! I, and I'm sure many LPNs, have worked with them, and read comments from them. That is what I think, causes many LPNs, to respond harshly, when the question of RN vs LPNs comes up, time, and time again. Maybe Susy, and others, who haven't worked with LPN/LVNs, haven't heard about these problems, due to the area, and their limited experience in working with them. But,..every state, and hospital for that matter, has their own way of using ALL nurses! There are hospitals, where the Charge nurse/supervisor, is the only person, who can call the MD, and even the other RNs must report pt. problems to her, and SHE makes the decision to call the MD! I have worked with BSNs, who will down a ADN, just as bad as they do LPNs, or the MSN, who downs the BSN. The same holds true of some MDs, dealing with ANY NURSE! Looking at these situations, the impression one would get, that the more education one obtains, it would seem to make a person feel superior to anyone not on their level. But I don't believe that is true, and neither do I believe, if you were a CNA, an LPN, an ADN, or whatever before continuing your education, this keeps you from expressing views of being better than those with less education. I think it depends on what kind of person you are, BEFORE you got the education. If you were a jerk before, you will be an educated jerk afterwards! If you confident before, you will be more confident after. But some people are never confident in their education, or skills, and feel threatened by the confidence levels of others, who have less education then themselves. This, in my opinion, sparks feelings of jealousy, and indignation on the part of the one with the feelings of inferority. I see the thinking as, " how can they be so confident, and they don't have half the education I do". So they attack, and belittle the less educated person, in order to establish their feelings of superiority.
    And yes, there are some who resent, those who have been able to continue in their education, and find it easy to try to dismiss the person, who has been able to obtain, what that person themselves, haven't been able to. But neither of these feelings of being inadequate, have anything to do with this profession alone, but in any area, where a person, has a need to buffer their own lack of self-esteem, by lowering someone elses. I, myself have dealt with many who feel this way, and yes, I get angry, when I hear the age old thing about RN vs LPNs. But it bothers me, when I let someone elses, low self-esteem, bring out my built up rage, at having to run into this problem over, and over again, of who is better, works harder, runs faster, or leaps higher. So I have decided to consider the source, and move on. I have decided to pity the ignorance, I run into, try to enlighten them, and if they persist, to ignore them!
    There have been lots of great posts here, on this subject. I think many have been now been educated, that LPNs, can be an assest, are very skilled, and work at different levels, depending on what state, or hospital they work at. Most limitations on LPNs are the policies are the hospitals, are not the states. Most states leave it up to the administrations to decided what an LPN can or can do, as the practice act can be broad in some instances. Under different hospital policies, I done it all, including L&D, and yes I have caught a baby also! To those LPNs, who find it difficult or impossible to continue their education, and desire to work Critical Care, ER, and L&D, there are hospitals you preform in these areas! BUT,...you must have your stuff together, have excellent skills, be able to problem solve on your own, and work independently. You can't have average knowledge or skills. You need to become ACLS, (Advance Cardiac Life Support), NALS (Neonatal Advanced Life Support), PALS (Pediatric Advance Life Support), EKG, IV/Central/Art line cert., take a critical care course, or BTLS (Basic Trauma Life Support). Most hospitals have these courses available to their staff, and for a fee, will allow you to take these courses also. On my webpage, I have sites for FREE CEUs, software, EKG, and other educational information. ANYONE, who wants to visit is welcome, but it was designed to help LPNs/LVNs, as I found little information online for directed at us. http://homepages.about.com:8088/brow...tionforlpnvns/
    That's my .25 cents worth..um inflation ya know..:-).

    Brownie


    [This message has been edited by Brownms46 (edited March 28, 2001).]
  13. by   Q.
    Hi Brownie-
    Thanks for your thoughtful post. I will comment that I have noticed a trend, that it seems to me that the majority of my peers, who haven't been in the profession very long, don't have quite the hostility towards LPNs as some may think. I really think the trend is changing as new nurses come aboard.

    I will explain why I posted the question that I did.

    As I explained earlier, I have only worked with 2 LPNs. One of them, 2 years ago, worked on the GYN med-surg floor adjacent to our birthing center, and the other currently works on our birthing center in post-partum only. They had both, at some time, expressed the desire to work in the actual labor and delivery section of the hospital. One in particular wanted to simply move out of the patient care role altogether but was simply stuck with no where to go.

    Knowing what I know as an RN, that in our labor and delivery unit we only employ RNs, I wondered why if this LPN had such a desire to work in this area that she didn't go for her RN in the first place. I've seen her run her butt off on the GYN side and I know perfectly well what she is capable of doing in her scope of practice in Wisconsin. I also know that she is paid less than me. I don't have any LPNs under me and we don't have NA in labor and delivery either, so I am not really responsible for anyone other than myself and my patients, unless I am the charge nurse that night. (We rotate charge responsibility) I felt that I was compensated fairly and felt justified in getting a bigger paycheck than her, but I saw her struggle and dissatisfaction with this. She wanted to be paid more too but she simply couldn't be. She seemed to yearn to want to apply for other coordinator positions in women's health, but couldn't, because of the RN requirement.

    I never got to ask either of them if they had these desires so badly, why would they go the LPN route, because, we lost both of them. The one LPN that is still currently working post-partum won't be for very long, and I don't see her anymore, we work opposite shifts.

    So that was the point to my question. I also was reading the post on "No More LPNS" and got the impression that the LPN layoffs were more widespread than just my area. The future seemed very bleak for them, and I wanted to know if there was just more to the story. I did learn a few things from some posters who weren't personally attacking me; some mentioned getting thier LPN to get a job at the hospital and be on staff, and then reap the benefits of tuition assistance from them.

    One thing for sure, I see the hostility (but only from this board) the LPNs go through. But as you might notice, we all go through that. There is a common notion that RNs are somehow less skilled clinically, or there were comments made that the more capital letters you have behind your name the more removed you are from the bedside, etc etc. We all know that this is not true, that these are horrible generalizations that only apply to a select few.

    Healthcare needs every team player it can get. We need to also be able to see each others point of view. If you are not an RN, you may not fully understand the issues we face, and if we are not LPNs, we don't fully understand the issues you face. Not all LPNs are cumbersome to the RN, and not RNs sit on their duff and just sign charting. And you know what, if they do, you can bet they aren't happy about it. Most RNs like the patient care and are very sad when they are removed from it.

    So I hope this provides some more understanding of where I came from. I have tried numerous times to explain this before but seemed to have gotten no where. I have been personally attacked for no reason, and also for simply being only 3 years old professionally. But I guess if that's what it took for me to find the answers I was looking for, than that is the price I pay.

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