Lpn vs Rn?

  1. Hi. I am considering becoming a nurse (I've always wanted to be). I would like to know 1) what exactly (besides pay and the degree) is the difference in the job of an LPN and an RN? 2)Do LPNs feel they are often disrespected by others in the field (I have heard this). and 3) Do LPNs generally get paid more for weekends and nights like RNs do?
    Thanks for your time... I love this site!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   sleepyndopey
    Quote from susana07
    Hi. I am considering becoming a nurse (I've always wanted to be). I would like to know 1) what exactly (besides pay and the degree) is the difference in the job of an LPN and an RN? 2)Do LPNs feel they are often disrespected by others in the field (I have heard this). and 3) Do LPNs generally get paid more for weekends and nights like RNs do?
    Thanks for your time... I love this site!
    Hi Susan!

    I've been an LPN for 16 years and this has been my experience:

    Hosp #1- I worked on a step-down critical care unit. As an LPN I was given my own pt. assignment 3-4 patients(telemetry, ventilator patients,ect). I was responsible for all their meds, treatments, etc. I was sent to class to learn how to read the tele monitors and I gained a lot of experience. This was a 15 bed unit and there were always at least two RNs on the floor and one RN charge nurse. As an LPN I was
    1.Not allowed to hang blood(but I could monitor the infusion while it was running).
    2. Not allowed to take a Drs order over the phone.
    3. Mix IV medications or hang the first dose of an IV
    4. Perform admission assessments
    5. Change certain types of IV dressings
    6. Push IV meds
    7. Other things I can't remember right now but the above were the most common.
    If my patients needed any of the above things done the RN charge nurse would do them, and yes, sometimes I would get vibe that they wished they had all RNs so they didn't have to help out in that way, but for the most part it was ok.

    My second job, in a drug rehab, was way different. I was independent and was able to work without the constant direct supervision of an RN.

    At hosp #2 I worked inpatient psych.
    1. Not allowed to take phone order.
    2. Not allowed to do admission assessments.
    On this unit I would give all the medications, IVs, injections, ect. I did all the bloodwork, ekgs, and I ran a group meeting.
    I loved this job and felt very respected by the RNs and MDs I worked with.

    I now work in LTC and it is a different world. RNs and LPNs basically function in the same way. Not a lot of difference. In fact, my facility has 3 units and two of them have LPNs as managers.

    As far as respect is concerned, it really depends on where you work. If you are in a hospital you may or may not be a little less respected. That's because your scope of practice is limited. In LTC, the LPN is very respected.

    As an LPN, I have always recieved a shift differential, just as the RNs have, for working 3-11 or 11-7. In my current position I recieve a weekend differential.

    Good luck
  4. by   pagandeva2000
    There is usually a shift differential that is available to all nursing staff. I don't feel disrespected by the RNs I work with, but I do get tired of people asking me when I plan to become an RN (don't plan to). It seems that most people cannot get the concept in their heads that not every LPN wishes to be an RN.

    In any event, most of the differences discussed in the previous post applies to me as well. I work in a hospital clinic, and if you want to use the word respect, or autonomy I would say that LPNs in my area are a bit more independent and respected than my collagues who work in med-surg. I work with a pretty good group of people, and no one has made me think that they do not appreciate my contributions to the health care team.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    The LPN/LVN scope of practive varies greatly from state to state. Some states are very restrictive toward LPNs, which means that they are allowed to do very few things while practicing in these states. Other states have extremely wide scopes of practice, which means that the LPN can do the majority of what their RN counterparts can do in these states.
  6. by   bluesky74
    Hey Susana07,
    I'am a new LPN started on med/surg in Aug. of this year. Everything is still so new. The only things I can think of off hand that I can not do are hang blood and do admission assessments, I can do my own admission physical if I have time, if not the charge nurse who is always a RN does it. I have never been shown any kind of disrespect by my co-workers, alot of times on my shift which is 3-11 there is only 2 LPN's including myself. I feel fortunate that I have all this experience in which to pull from. I work with alot of wonderful nurses and doctors. I feel in my soul I have made the right decision for myself at this point in my life. Good luck to you!
  7. by   PLTSGT
    Quote from susana07
    Hi. I am considering becoming a nurse (I've always wanted to be). I would like to know 1) what exactly (besides pay and the degree) is the difference in the job of an LPN and an RN? 2)Do LPNs feel they are often disrespected by others in the field (I have heard this). and 3) Do LPNs generally get paid more for weekends and nights like RNs do?
    Thanks for your time... I love this site!

    1) In LTC, if you're a staff nurse then it's pretty much the same. But generally speaking, it varies from state to state.

    2) Mostly frustration on the RNs part because the RNs need to fill up the void where the LPN can't. I've heard RN talking negatively about LPN that they send to our unit. I get a little offended not because I used to be an LPN but because the LPN cannot do anything about their limitations and besides the LPN is older.

    3) A lot of places will pay shift and weekend differential. That's nice. But for me, I'm done with that. It's a little depressing to work 3-11 or 11-7 especially during winter.
    Last edit by PLTSGT on Dec 23, '07

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