Major differences in tasks LPN vs. RN

  1. Hi, everyone.
    I'm currently in an LPN program, 4 weeks into it to be exact. I could either take my board and stop at LPN, or go for another year for my RN.

    School is a lot of work; I'm taking 17 credits and have five kids. I'm very exhausted already, and I'm sure it's going to get worse when clinical rolls around next week.

    My question is this: I'm contemplating to go on for my RN or waiting for a while and working as an LPN.

    Could anyone point out the major differences in duties between LPN/RN:
    In the med/surg setting
    LTC

    Or any other settings?

    Also, I have quite a nasty shoulder problem and so the bulk of physical work I would need to take into consideration as well.

    Thank you in advance
    Emma
    •  
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   SteveNNP
    In my area, SC, LPN's can't chart assessments [rn must cosign], do teaching, or push IV meds. Some can't start IV's, or perform the more involved procedures, eg complex wound care, etc. The pay is also about 60% of what a RN makes.

    Go for the RN. It'll be over before you know it, and the benefits will outweigh the added time.

    SteveRN21 ~ NICU
  4. by   Fiona59
    I remember from my course that there was a lot of physical work on the clinicals. Perhaps you better see if you can make it through the clinicals if your shoulder is that bad.

    Now don't go flaming me, I know that there are lots of jobs out there without heavy, physical duties (I have one). But you have to make it through the training to get to the job. Also, if your shoulder is a major issue for you, how will futurer employers look at hiring someone with a wonky shoulder? It will show up on pre-employment physicals, etc., and I do remember one employer gave us a pretty strenous physical before employment along with a safety course on how to use our bodies without incurring serious job related injuries.
  5. by   MereSanity
    In my area LPN's make only $5 less an hour. Also, depending on where you live LPN's can start IV's now (around here most do, I have taken an IV therapy course in my program), LPN's also can chart assessments without an RN co-sign in my area, do teaching, etc. So , I guess it just depends where you are located.



    Quote from SteveRN21
    In my area, SC, LPN's can't chart assessments [rn must cosign], do teaching, or push IV meds. Some can't start IV's, or perform the more involved procedures, eg complex wound care, etc. The pay is also about 60% of what a RN makes.

    Go for the RN. It'll be over before you know it, and the benefits will outweigh the added time.

    SteveRN21 ~ NICU
  6. by   SE_BSN_RN
    Quote from SteveRN21
    In my area, SC, LPN's can't chart assessments [rn must cosign], do teaching, or push IV meds. Some can't start IV's, or perform the more involved procedures, eg complex wound care, etc. The pay is also about 60% of what a RN makes.

    Go for the RN. It'll be over before you know it, and the benefits will outweigh the added time.

    SteveRN21 ~ NICU
    LPN's can't do teaching? Patient teaching? How dumb is that? Go for your RN. As soon as I get my year's worth of state residency here so I don't have to pay out of state tuition, I am so in RN school. I am fed up already of being told what I can and can't do.
  7. by   cardiacRN2006
    Can't you take your boards and become an LPN and then still continue on with the RN program? Lots of students in my program did that, and now they are in the 3rd semester with real nursing experience. Plus, the stats for my city claim that 100% of RNs who took the Nclex-pn passed the nclex-rn. There is no better study guide for the nclex then the nclex.
  8. by   txspadequeenRN
    This is a wonderfull idea!!!



    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    Can't you take your boards and become an LPN and then still continue on with the RN program? Lots of students in my program did that, and now they are in the 3rd semester with real nursing experience. Plus, the stats for my city claim that 100% of RNs who took the Nclex-pn passed the nclex-rn. There is no better study guide for the nclex then the nclex.
  9. by   RN12345656
    Quote from Emma123
    Hi, everyone.
    I'm currently in an LPN program, 4 weeks into it to be exact. I could either take my board and stop at LPN, or go for another year for my RN.

    School is a lot of work; I'm taking 17 credits and have five kids. I'm very exhausted already, and I'm sure it's going to get worse when clinical rolls around next week.

    My question is this: I'm contemplating to go on for my RN or waiting for a while and working as an LPN.

    Could anyone point out the major differences in duties between LPN/RN:
    In the med/surg setting
    LTC

    Or any other settings?

    Also, I have quite a nasty shoulder problem and so the bulk of physical work I would need to take into consideration as well.

    Thank you in advance
    Emma
    Emma...where do you live? LPN responsibilities differs from state and facility. Where I work the LPN can give IV push meds through peripheral and central lines, hang blood, chart, start IVs, draw blood from central lines and D/c central lines, and perform every and any procedure the RN does...Unfortunately, she gets paid alot less than I do. This really means nothing to you unless you work in my hospital.
    Is your shoulder injury a new issue or is it going to be a chronic one? This will make a difference when you are deciding.
    Long term care (LTC) is very hard, demanding, physically & emotionally draining--that wouldn't be appropriate for you if your condition is always going to be an issue.
    Med/Surg is just as equal as LTC.
    Your best bet is a Dr's Office... It all depends on what you find rewarding.

    Consider all your options..don't let anyone tell you NOT to finish LPN school.
    If it is a money issue (because money is the biggest motivator)...start RN school after you receive your LPN. The choice is up to you! There isn't a right or wrong path to take!! Good luck!
  10. by   Fiona59
    If LPN's didn't "teach" half of the patients here would never get discharged from hospital!
  11. by   DYatesRN
    Quote from Fiona59
    If LPN's didn't "teach" half of the patients here would never get discharged from hospital!
    Not here, because the hospital I work at has no LPN's...only clin tech's and RN's. The patients here certainly aren't waiting to be discharged by LPN's. Go for your RN, it really isn't too much longer and the pay, respect, and benefits are better. Keep on going!!!! I took a 10 year stop before I made the transition. You can do it!!!
    Last edit by DYatesRN on Sep 17, '05
  12. by   Tweety
    Don't stop at the LPN. By the time you graduate you'll be on a roll and I advise to keep on rolling no matter how tired you are.

    The RN has a wider variety of job opportunities and better pay.

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