Quote from kjrobinette
Besides pay, what are the difference between an RN and an LPN?
It really depends upon where you work. Generally speaking, only an RN can do the initial assessments or generate a care plan. RN's will have more responsibility and more paperwork. The RN will usually have a greater scope of practice. This is, of course, dependent upon both the Nurse Practice Act you'd work under and local facility policy. With the "right" courses, it's possible that the LPN may acquire a scope of practice that comes close to, but not quite to, that of an RN, depending upon specific circumstance. For example, a High School classmate of mine was an LVN. He had taken an IV course, and could hang most IV meds, but couldn't do IV push meds, nor (at the time) could he hang or monitor blood infusions. The VN/PN should know their scope of practice. The RN may not be as familiar with the VN/PN scope, and may not know if it's truly OK to delegate things to that level of nurse.
Also, as part of the greater responsibility that the RN has, they also have greater liability. That's something that should be remembered.
I a previous life, so to speak, I had to be very much aware of my own scope of practice and determine whether or not a particular patient was appropriate to be transferred to me.