Licensed practical..what?

  1. 4 Just wondering, in general, does anyone else here have any issues at their work or in their community as not being recognized as a "real nurse". It is starting to bother me to no end. "Are you a nurse or an LPN?" they said. When are you going back to school? Oh you wouldn't know, you're "just" an LPN. I've even heard stories of housekeeping staff saying that LPNs are not real nurses and that anyone she hears saying so she corrects them! A doctor couldn't even address me as a nurse, they referred to me as "that person looking after (enter patient name)" UGH! I feel like this whole thing has taken a shot at me. I worked extremely hard for 2 years in school, wrote the national exam and was very proud of myself the day I became a nurse. Fast forward a few years later and now a days, I feel guilty saying I'm a nurse cause I feel like I'm lying and that somehow that title is only reserved for someone with a degree.

    Anyone else experiencing this? How do you deal with it? I find it hard to ignore.
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    About nursienurse18

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 8
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    10 Comments

  3. by   Davey Do
    #1 6
    This sort of thing has been going on since I got into nursing 35 years ago, nursienurse, and I'm sure it went on a long time before that.

    I liked being an LPN- more patient contact, less responsibility, less charting. I had to put up with comments like "RN stands for real nurse. LPN stands for let's play nurse". I was younger then and much more easily offended.

    Even now, my RN peers often refer to RNs as nurses and leave out LPNs. I try to always include LPNs because, let's face it, a lot of LPNs are more "practical" than RNs. Some of the LPNs I work with can run circles around me or the other RNs in a lot of good ol' basic nursing duties.

    The pecking party goes up the hierarchy list: BSNs are better than ADNs or ASNs. MSNs are better than BSNs. NPs are ubiqutious and held in high esteem. Blah, blah blah.

    I have no magic pill for your ills, nursienurse. We just have to accept that people are going to believe what they want and we need to provide quality care for all those for which we feel empathy, apathy, or just downright resentment.

    The best to you!
  4. by   AngelNurse09
    #2 0
    I have seen it also but I always remember what my nursing instructors instilled in me. "A nurse is a nurse no matter what your title is". I have had people ask people start treating me the same way. I simply ask them if in an emergency who are you going to ask for ? Are you going to say wait stop are you an LPN or an RN? No, they are going to say are you the nurse I need your help! That question gets them every time. So just keep your head up and remember it does not matter the title.
  5. by   NurseSpeedy
    #3 2
    Well, as far as the Board of Nursing is concerned, you are a nurse.

    I never really got a lot of crap when I was working as an LPN. I do work in a state where the LPN can do a lot more than a lot of other states though.

    Actually, the only time I had any issues at work were during two occasions. First, I had to orient a new RN. She got hissy when she heard I was an LPN. Okay sweetheart, if you know so much straight out of school, then keep up the attitude. Otherwise, shut up and listen because you may learn something.

    The other times were actually from nursing (RN program) students. I couldn't fault them 100% because I had a feeling some of this was because of what their instructors were saying about LPNs during their lecture. But I had no problem pointing out that until they passed the NCLEX, the only one of us that had the title nurse was me.
  6. by   Sour Lemon
    #4 1
    If it bothers you, advance your education ...but there will always be someone "above" you and there will always be someone "below" you. I had one patient ask me if I was "an LVN or just an RN". I told him I was "just an RN" and got on with my day.
  7. by   fibroblast
    #5 0
    If it is a casual conversation I say I am a nurse. I did take the abuse of nursing school and passed the boards. But if in the presence of healthcare staff such as DON, BSN or RN, I identify as LVN and don't say nurse. I advocate for my patients regardless of what physician says, if I need an order or there is something amiss, then I'm reporting. Yell at me, I don't care.
  8. by   nursej22
    #6 0
    As Davey said, this has been going on forever. And I really enjoyed being an LPN. At my first job in extended care, several RNs referred to the LPNs as "practicals" and the RNs were nurses. But boy oh boy, who did they turn to for phlebotomy or trach care?

    I had an episode with a minimally responsive patient with a glucose reading of 20 ( this was using the old strips that you held to the container and matched the colors). I told the RN, and she dutifully pulled the chart to document it. I suggested she should call the MD, and she asked why? We had some glucose gel that I grabbed and rubbed on the patient's gums, he aroused, and ate two dinner trays.
  9. by   llg
    #7 0
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    ...but there will always be someone "above" you and there will always be someone "below" you.
    Exactly. No matter what level of education you have or get, there will always be some people who have more ... or who have accomplished more in their careers than you have. And there will always be other people who have less education than you have and/or have accomplished less.

    There will always be people who are "glad they aren't stuck with your job" ... and others who "wish they had a great job like you have."

    That's just the way life is. If you are happy with where you are in life, then be happy and don't fret about it too much. If you are unhappy, then work to put yourself in a better place.

    Good luck to you.
  10. by   KiaLpntoBsn
    #8 0
    Hey honestly, the way I dealt with it is by applying to Rn school. For some reason being an Lpn is like a middleman. You're above the CNA but under the RN. It's difficult and I totally understand. One time at my Snf I had an emt asked me was if I was a nurse or a "little play nurse" hence Lpn. I was soo vexed after hearing that that I started looking for a school to go to that day. That was 3 years ago and now I'm in my last semester of nursing school for BSN. It just depends on whether you want to stay in that title and be strong with it or elevate your education. Although that comment that man made offended me , it also motivated me to Persue what I am destined to be a RN. Hope this helps.
  11. by   Gray_lover03
    #9 0
    I just got accepted into a lvn program and hope I don't get put down for my job. My goal is to become an RN but this is just the first step of making my dream happen. People are just so mean for putting LPN/LVN's down!
  12. by   fibroblast
    #10 1
    Quote from KiaLpntoBsn
    Hey honestly, the way I dealt with it is by applying to Rn school. For some reason being an Lpn is like a middleman. You're above the CNA but under the RN. It's difficult and I totally understand. One time at my Snf I had an emt asked me was if I was a nurse or a "little play nurse" hence Lpn. I was soo vexed after hearing that that I started looking for a school to go to that day. That was 3 years ago and now I'm in my last semester of nursing school for BSN. It just depends on whether you want to stay in that title and be strong with it or elevate your education. Although that comment that man made offended me , it also motivated me to Persue what I am destined to be a RN. Hope this helps.
    Interesting how some EMTs act towards LPNs. They have been rude in my facility but in the end it is my call. My pt is unstable, get him out of here.

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