Help :) Writing an essay on RN/LPN differences

  1. HI guys,
    I am writing a comparison - contrast essay on differences between RNs and LPNs. So far, I used education, responsibilities, pay and job outlook for the contrast part. Any ideas on what else I might include that distinquishes RNs from LPNs? How these two nursing paths contrast?


    Thanks
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   midcom
    Check your state's board of nursing web site. I know in my state they have a document that specifically states the scopes of practice for both RN & LPN. You'll be able to find exactly what the RN can do that the LPN is not allowed to do.
  4. by   Jenny67
    The following is from my notes from our first day Nur 101 lecture.

    LPN:
    9-12 mo in length
    Basic, direct care.
    0 assessment, 0 careplanning
    cannot admit pt into hospital setting
    Able to do nursing skills, but cannot do advance unless has advance skill certification.
    Supervised by a RN.
    NCLEX-PN

    RN:

    Diploma- (very few programs compared to years ago, none available in state of Maine), typically 3 year hospital based program. A lot of clinical experience. Receives a certificate, not a university degree.
    Trained vs educated

    ADN- typically 2-4 years to complete.
    Began early 50's based on research of Mildred Montang, more than a LPN, but not 4-5 years.
    Bedside Nurse.
    NCLEX-RN

    Baccalaureate RN:
    4 years in length. 1909 University of MN first. Used to be 5 years in length.
    Has more sciences, liberal arts, humanities, nursing, statistics vs ADN.
    Uses critical thinking skills more effeciently.
    mgmt, leadership, nursing education discussion, more mobility options, more writing diversity.
    NCLEX-RN

    Differences ADN vs BSN: ADN 'typically' unable to work as a public school nurse, community/home health, and typically unable to supervise.
  5. by   OgopogoLPN
    Quote from Jenny67
    The following is from my notes from our first day Nur 101 lecture.

    LPN:
    9-12 mo in length
    Basic, direct care.
    0 assessment, 0 careplanning
    cannot admit pt into hospital setting
    Able to do nursing skills, but cannot do advance unless has advance skill certification.
    Supervised by a RN.
    NCLEX-PN
    I am currently a 1st semester LPN student and I must point out something here. We have already learned TONS of assessment skills. We will learn assessment skills for each lab skill we do, ie skin care, peri care, colostomy and catheter care, etc. And I'm sure tons more I don't even know about that will come in semester 2 and 3.

    We have learned the basics of careplans and will be going into more detail in the next few months. We have to write a careplan for a patient in each practicum we do.


    I'm in BC Canada, so I imagine and LPN's scope is very different than the state you live in, but I can't see LPN's in your state (or any state) doing 0 assessment and 0 care planning .

    An LPN in BC can be a charge nurse in a LTC or nursing home, so she would obviously be doing assessments galore and care planning.
  6. by   kstec
    Each state and facility is so individualized. Where I live in Illinois, LPN's are used in LTC (doing admissions, assessments, med passes, careplans, med passes, treatments, taking orders from MD's and a few other thing). In the clinic where I work we do the same exact thing as the RN's. The MD either has his own RN or LPN and we do our own thing and the same thing. In Hospice where I work also, the RN's do the admissions, pronounce death, careplans and co-sign all LPNs assessements on patients. Which is okay with me because the RN's get 10 times more paperwork than the LPN's and about 75% less time with the patients. Also as far as hospitals, we have three large ones in my town and they would no more hire a LPN then they would hire an ax murderer. Hope this helps some.
  7. by   Jenny67
    Quote from Ogopogo
    I am currently a 1st semester LPN student and I must point out something here. We have already learned TONS of assessment skills. We will learn assessment skills for each lab skill we do, ie skin care, peri care, colostomy and catheter care, etc. And I'm sure tons more I don't even know about that will come in semester 2 and 3.

    We have learned the basics of careplans and will be going into more detail in the next few months. We have to write a careplan for a patient in each practicum we do.


    I'm in BC Canada, so I imagine and LPN's scope is very different than the state you live in, but I can't see LPN's in your state (or any state) doing 0 assessment and 0 care planning .

    An LPN in BC can be a charge nurse in a LTC or nursing home, so she would obviously be doing assessments galore and care planning.
    I am located in Maine, and what I wrote was told to us during lecture from our Professor on first of day class defining roles.

    I would also assume from state to state/country to country that roles may be slightly different.

    It is interesting to see the differences among where we live.

    Good Luck on your comparision FinderKeeper!!

    Jenny
  8. by   MB37
    In FL, my professor said in the first minute of our assessment lecture, "LPNs may not assess. That is one of the biggest differences between LPNs and RNs." I believe they also can't start IVs in Florida.
  9. by   nightmare
    Another comparison you may find is that LPN's became LPN's because they want to do hands on nursing rather than head up the ladder towards management etc.Perhaps you could ask a few why they decided to do LPN rather then RN.
  10. by   Jules A
    I had to do a paper on this and frankly think it serves to widen the gap between LPNs and RNs. My big points were that both professionals are legally obligated to provide safe, competent care and work within their scope of practice which will vary from state to state and facility to facility. Use your state's Nurse Practice act.

    Good luck. Here are some references:

    Harrington, N., Smith, N. & Spratt, W. (1996). LPN to RN
    transitions
    . Philadelphia, PA: Lippencott-Raven.

    Stedman, M. (2007). Making it happen: The LPN to RN transition. NSNA
    Journal,
    28-31.

  11. by   Angnfl
    Quote from MB37
    In FL, my professor said in the first minute of our assessment lecture, "LPNs may not assess. That is one of the biggest differences between LPNs and RNs." I believe they also can't start IVs in Florida.
    Not sure where in FL you are but I am in the panhandle, but as far as assessments go, if LPN's can not do assessements not sure why we have spent the last few weeks learning them and being checked off in order to be able to do them in clinicals. If I remember correctly we may not do the initial "admission" assessment but we still do assessments. And as far as LPN's not starting IV's that is another I have not heard, There are plenty of IV certified LPN's here in FL.
  12. by   MB37
    Maybe my instructor was mistaken, she said LPNs couldn't assess. She may have meant only the initial admitting comprehensive assessment though, not that LPNs are never taught to do ongoing assessments through their shifts. I'll ask her to clarify next class...and as far as IVs, I guess she just meant that you don't learn them in school? Is there a special class to get certification? I'm a relatively new nursing student, so I just know what they've taught me...
  13. by   Angnfl
    Quote from MB37
    Maybe my instructor was mistaken, she said LPNs couldn't assess. She may have meant only the initial admitting comprehensive assessment though, not that LPNs are never taught to do ongoing assessments through their shifts. I'll ask her to clarify next class...and as far as IVs, I guess she just meant that you don't learn them in school? Is there a special class to get certification? I'm a relatively new nursing student, so I just know what they've taught me...
    Yes I believe its a 30 hour course to meet Fl state Board.
  14. by   txspadequeenRN
    you are going to find a lot of different answers on here. you may need to narrow this down to just your state. the lvn scope of practice is very narrow in some states and very wide in states such as mine , texas. i will include what a lvn cannot do in texas and then after that everything else is left up to facility policy.

    * cannot spike blood- lvn's are able to monitor while infusing
    * cannot pronounce death- never really figured this one out
    * there are certain iv meds we cannot push
    * change out a existing g-tube
    * initial assessment hospital setting only- lvn's may continue to monitor after rn has done initial assessment. lvn's always do the initial assessment in ltc.

    i may have missed some but not many .. texas has a wide open practice for lvn's.





    Quote from finderkeeper
    hi guys,
    i am writing a comparison - contrast essay on differences between rns and lpns. so far, i used education, responsibilities, pay and job outlook for the contrast part. any ideas on what else i might include that distinquishes rns from lpns? how these two nursing paths contrast?


    thanks

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