LPNs: Myths and Misconceptions (Part II) - page 4

by TheCommuter 8,269 Views | 33 Comments Senior Moderator

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) have impacted healthcare in an integral manner in various countries for many years. In fact, the role of the LPN has existed for several generations. However, LPNs are still largely... Read More


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    Most of the "misunderstandings" people have are the result of the large nurse's unions and the academic power lobby teaching the misunderstandings to their students. I think the only reason their decades long efforts to get rid of LPNs and demote ADNs who pass the same test have failed thus far was the demand for nurses. Since that is now over with, they may now finally succeed. Then they will spin it as "employers of nurses have finally come to their senses" rather than the supply and demand principle.

    I do understand the question that is asked "why bother to get your RN or BSN if there's no difference?". There are differences. This document attempts to name what they are. You'll notice that most of them relate to research, community health, systems analysis, healthcare policies and confusing high-tech machinery today's nurse will need to master.

    The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education - Institute of Medicine
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    It all depends on what you want to achieve. I chose LVN primarily because I wanted to take in steps and see if I liked nursing. My choices were be a CNA or enroll immediately for LVN or take 1+years to do prereqs then nursing school THEN find out if I liked nursing.

    If I ended up being an LVN for the rest of my life it would be ok. It's not a bad life.
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    Thank you SO much for this. I start LPN school in August. I have heard the ignorant "why would you want to be JUST an LPN?" and we end up with a huge discussion. I plan to graduate next summer, become an LPN at our small town hospital up the street, and go to school part time for the LPN to RN, and eventually BSN. I want to be able to have that "name", LPN, ADN, BSN after my name. LPN's, to me, are real nurses. they do "almost" the same thing as RN's do, sometimes more in some cases and are under-appreciated by many. When I graduate, I will not say I am an LPn, or a RN....rather, "I am a NURSE.".
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    In September I will begin my LPN courses (a one year accelerated diploma program). I already hold a 2 year degree (and am also certified) in medical assisting, and a 1 year phlebotomy diploma (yes, a full year program in phlebotomy with externship). (Not to mention the years spent in ministry school - yes, I am an ordained minister.)

    In my years working as a CMA, it has been my unfortunate experience to be treated horribly by RNs. I was even told "You are NOTHING" because I am certified, not licensed. Well, the MA profession only has voluntary certification. If licensing were available I'd be first in line to take the exam! My phlebotomy experience and education meant nothing. I was continually insulted in front of patients, but do you know what? The negative reflection was not on me. Patients didn't like it and would say so too. Many patients asked for me specifically because, quite frankly, I had more experience and intensive training in phlebotomy, and they far preferred for me to do their draws (pain and bruising issues).

    After working in the medical field, I realized that I wanted to do more...I wanted to be a nurse. I am 54 years old though and was able to get accepted into an LPN program. The waiting list for the RN program in my area is 3 years.

    After thinking about it very hard, I decided to go the LPN route for several reasons. First, the fact that I will be a nurse in a year. At my age I DO need to think about how many years I will be in school, costs, length of waiting lists, etc. I mean, at 54 if I wait 3 years just to start the RN program....well, you get my drift! I don't want to start my nursing career in my 60s (even though there's not a thing wrong with that, for me it's just not in the program). Second, I decided that I'm not sure I even want to be an RN. My greatest desire is to work bedside with patients. I have worked as a volunteer at a nursing home in my area for many years, and found my greatest satisfaction there.

    Even though I am fully capable of becoming an RN, I feel that it is my calling to be an LPN. It is a calling with a long and noble history and I will be proud to be an LPN some day. I see a need for bedside nursing in LTC and I hope to fill it.

    I have to admit that I have been a bit disheartened to read about the animosity between RNs and LPNs. I hope it isn't something I have to deal with. If I run across it, I will just keep in mind that I am following my dream and my path, not the one someone else thinks I should take and keep busy with my patients. If I keep my mind and heart on them I won't have time for any nonsense.

    I am extremely appreciative of this series of articles! Kudos to the author!
    Last edit by LilacHeart on Jul 22, '12 : Reason: trying to correct "autocorrect" LOL
    TheCommuter likes this.


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