Well I've been doing alot of research on this. And it appears that the real difference between RNs and LPN/LVNs is not so much in the clinical scope of practice as people think the difference is in the style of education. RNs are educated through the university route.They take college level language classes and English classes and biology and economics and are educated at a very professional level before nursing school. Where as LPNs are evaluated for basic competency in these areas (high school level). RNs are the college educated professionals with a college degree. LPNs are they everyday, more down to earth and more middle class, Nurses, who are highly knowledgeable
And skilled in there trade, who isn't going to know college level sentence structures, or the whole periodic table, but are very competent and highly knowledgable about real world everyday frontline nursing, with a vo tech diploma. I think RNs are paid more not because they are better Nurses, but because of there more professional non nursing educational background. From my experience as a CNA dealing with both LPNs and RNs, RNs tend to know alot about healthcare facility policy and procedure and are better at than LPN floor nurses do. But like I said when it comes to to Practice and skills, minimal differences.'
Apr 21, '13
Great post, Commuter!
People might want to take a look at how nurses are educated in Canada, as their system is somewhat different from that in the US.
Downsouthlaff, I just reread your post and honestly, I think you put forth a good faith effort and did not mean to disparage either RNs or LPNs and that saying that somebody is "down to earth and more everyday, but highly knowledgeable" is not a bad thing and I think I know what you were getting at there.
I think probably the question is unanswerable in a general sense. People themselves are very different. They bring a myriad of unique qualities, prior education post-high school, and cultural experiences with them. They become nurses like the people they are, which is for the most part, a good thing.
The standards set by the education process are to make sure that whatever type of personality one comes in with, they meet minimum standards for practice under the license they earn.
For me, I try to take people as they come, no matter what their degree or the letters after their name. This has helped me avoid embarrassment on one hand and expecting a level of expertise based on my notions of what a person with advanced education would display in their technical and interpersonal selves while in the work environment on the other.
I've felt like a doofus for unconsciously talking down to someone I assumed lacked expertise and been left holding the bag for expecting a higher level from someone based on their degree. Hope that makes a little bit of sense.
Last edit by nursel56 on Apr 21, '13
: Reason: add stuff
Apr 23, '13
It's best if people check their state's scope of practice for the most accurate information on the differences. In California, LVNs can become IV-certified and administer medications other than IVP, including hanging blood products. They do, in practice do assessments independently, in environments like home health and LTC.
Facility policies may further restrict what LVNs are allowed to do, but there is a difference between that and scope of practice.
AndyBRN, thanks for explaining the details about nursing education in Canada! I knew there were differences, but not the details.
Last edit by nursel56 on Apr 23, '13
: Reason: add something