"Just an LPN"....does anyone else get discouraged? - page 7

Hello nurses! I have been discouraged lately...I feel like I am constantly fighting off the stigma of being "just an LPN." When people ask what I do, I always say I am a nurse....they then want... Read More

  1. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I think schooling does promote some of the i'm-better-than-you attitude. A local BSN program in this area employs an instructor whom i overheard saying "Remmber, YOU will be the nurse, do not focus on aide work." And unless some of their students have worked in healthcare before coming to that nursing school, they won't know any different when graduating.

    I seriously have wondered where the behavior is learned when someone refers to me as "cheap labor" because i'm not an RN (actual words from this board). I mean, i'm aware that my job pays less, therefore considered economical, but the phrase "cheap labor" was not meant as fact, it was clearly meant as an insult.

    To which i think to myself "Man, i will strive 200% to keep from acting so bitter towards people!"
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Feb 2, '05
  2. by   RN34TX
    Quote from mattsmom81
    In Texas LPN's are not limited in their roles and I worked side by side with many exceptional nurses who were LPN's. One experienced LPN quit RN school when she learned the hospital was going to LOWER her wage if she became an RN. Amazing she would have to work her way up another payscale tier!!.

    Experienced LPN's are in great demand in the Dallas Fort Worth area as agency, as another poster pointed out. They have the experience most staff nurses appreciate, and the facilities get off cheaper bringing them in instead of RN's. So I know quite a few LPN's who do very well financially in this role.
    I was one of those LVN's in DFW. I pointed out to another poster previously who was looking for an "LPN friendly city" and I told her Dallas. I moved to south Texas when I got my RN and really don't make much more money than I did as an LVN in Dallas. Scope of practice is wide open if you find the right facility there. I could push IV everything except cardiac meds like Digoxin and I can remember working up in Minnesota where I wasn't allowed to start an IV or touch a central line. What a difference.

    To address the LVN who quit RN school because she would have been paid less as a new RN:
    Every new RN who was an LPN/LVN should demand to be paid for their previous experience. I know that this may not always be possible but I know in Dallas/Ft. Worth there are plenty of hospitals that give credit for LVN experience. Not all, however, which is an insult to be paid the same as a new RN who previously worked in a non-nursing occupation.
    As a new grad RN I interviewed at the famous elite Parkland Hospital to see what they would offer. I almost laughed walking out the door when they offered me $19/hr when I was making just under $22/hr at my last LVN job just up the street. I said "no thanks, I'll stay where I'm at. My current employer actually INCREASES an LVN's wage when they become an RN. Parkland might want to think about doing the same if they expect to get experienced people."
    She had the nerve to tell me "But you're not experienced, you're a brand new RN."
    I told her "That may be true. But I wasn't exactly working at Burger King for the past 6 years of my life. I was a licensed nurse, RN or not."
  3. by   NursesRmofun
    I just was reading some other comments just now and remembered one of the first lectures I had in my RN program...the *old timer* teaching actually said that we would be RNs and that there were plenty of other workers in medical jobs that tried to look and act like RNs, but they were *wannabes*...WE (as RN students) would be the 'real thing". It disturbed me as a LPN (which I was at the time). It's true that some people think that way. It's not very nice or pleasant. Luckily, it isn't all people or all RNs that think that way.<sigh>
  4. by   squeeky
    Hi I've been an LPN for 20+ years and I am one of 2 LPN's that work first shift in the hospital that I work in. I work with a lot of RN's that don't have the experience that I do and ask me to show them how to do a lot of treatments and proceedures. Not too bad for JUST an LPN. I love my job and my title.
  5. by   Thunderwolf
    As a RN for about 20 years, I have to say one thing...

    "You are a nurse" and "cut the crap". :deadhorse
    The last LPN that told me "I'm just a LPN" drew a little bit of my wrath. I see the LPNs that I work with as professional and part of the crew....unless one proves otherwise. It ticks me off to no end :angryfirewhen a LPN uses "I'm just a LPN" to self belittle. No...I don't stand for it...not one bit.

    So...stop beating yourself down. YOU ARE A NURSE!!!!!...and BE PROUD!!!
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Feb 4, '05
  6. by   Sondra Cash
    You go girl.Thanks for the support .We need lots more RN'S with your attitude. I to get a lot of asking about different things in the ER,esp.about geris who come through even from the Docs.So yes I am very proud and know my stuff.
    Sondra LPN
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Things is, i haven't encountered an LPN who referes to themselves as "just an LPN", unless they're mocking what someone else called them.
  8. by   tankity
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Things is, i haven't encountered an LPN who referes to themselves as "just an LPN", unless they're mocking what someone else called them.
    True. What is also true is that there are many LPNs who can, (and do) run circles around the RNs they work with.

    I work in the ER- and was the first LPN hired into the ER ever by our hospital. Now, there are six of us- and we wouldn't be there if we wern't as good or better than the RNs.

    I don't know about you, but i's rather have a seasoned LPN taking care of me than a new RN... Just like I'd rather see a seasoned PA or NP before a resident.

    There was a TV ad campaign that really hurt us a few years ago- the tagline was "When you visit the hospital, ask for a Real Nurse, an RN." Bunk.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    "When you visit the hospital, ask for a Real Nurse, an RN."
    Yeah, to me that attitude just plain stinks, and i feel that plays a part in the shortage of nurses.

    If i truly thought that the entire RN population thinks that way, i wouldn't even consider furthering my education (i know better than to think that's true). I wouldn't want to inherit such an arrogant 'real nurse' 'tude that the commercial protrays.
  10. by   NursesRmofun
    Is there some test that tells you if you as good or better than the nurses you work with or is it a matter of opinion?
    Truth is, any experienced nurse is probably better than a brand new nurse, IMO....but some catch on real fast and would be good very quickly.
    Another good motto to go by (again IMO) is, 'There is always someone better than you and someone worse than you.'


    :deadhorse
  11. by   RN34TX
    Quote from NursesRmofun
    I just was reading some other comments just now and remembered one of the first lectures I had in my RN program...the *old timer* teaching actually said that we would be RNs and that there were plenty of other workers in medical jobs that tried to look and act like RNs, but they were *wannabes*...WE (as RN students) would be the 'real thing". It disturbed me as a LPN (which I was at the time). It's true that some people think that way. It's not very nice or pleasant. Luckily, it isn't all people or all RNs that think that way.<sigh>
    That's funny, I'd swear that there are a lot of RN's out there who are only "wannabes". You know those people that you wonder in the back of your mind how they ever got a license to begin with?
  12. by   LPN1974
    Quote from Thunderwolf
    As a RN for about 20 years, I have to say one thing...

    "You are a nurse" and "cut the crap". :deadhorse
    The last LPN that told me "I'm just a LPN" drew a little bit of my wrath. I see the LPNs that I work with as professional and part of the crew....unless one proves otherwise. It ticks me off to no end :angryfirewhen a LPN uses "I'm just a LPN" to self belittle. No...I don't stand for it...not one bit.

    So...stop beating yourself down. YOU ARE A NURSE!!!!!...and BE PROUD!!!
    I appreciate your attitude, also.
    THAT's what makes us want to work together with RNs.
    We all have something to contribute, and so do CNAs, and when I see a CNA who is observant, and reports things to me, I appreciate that.
    A CNA can make you or break you, IMO.

    Let's work together, and get this job done, to the best of ability, after all,
    it's not about us......it's about our patients, our customers, our people served, etc.
  13. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I wonder where some of the behavior is learned when someone refers to me as "cheap labor" because i'm not an RN (actual words from this board). I mean, i'm aware that my job pays less, therefore considered economical, but the phrase "cheap labor" was not meant as fact, it was clearly meant as an insult.

    To which i think to myself "Man, i will strive 200% to keep from acting so bitter towards people!"
    I hope you don't think I'm bitter towards LPN's, Marie, as I am not. I was an LPN myself worked my way through RN school, and i only went on because I wanted ICU and in Minnesota LPN's could not work ICU in the 1970's. I was a good nurse as a LPN too, I was just being held back.

    My comment about the cheaper labor is purely from an economic standpoint, and to explain how several of my LPN friends do so well as agency in some areas. It was not meant as a slam. LPN's can use this to THEIR advantage and they do in DFW, where experienced agency LPN's are often preferred. As an agency nurse, I was aware that I may not be working unless the LPN supply was exhausted first. Hospitals are big on costs.

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