The difference of nursing roles RN to LPN.

  1. As a current LPN to RN transition student, I clearly see that differences of a LPN vs. RN. As a LPN, a lot of my peers from school constantly say, " the only difference is that RN's can push drugs". I definetly know that is not so! There is a huge professional difference. Please tell me you experiences in reference to this. I guess I may have burned a few bridges, when replying to these responses.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   cmarsh333
    I absolutely agree with you. It may not seem that way when working, but when you really get down to it there is a difference. Take a look at the physical assessment for instance. I am an LPN just finished the transitions course and started clinicals. The one i am going to love is NOT having another RN "covering" me you know what i mean. Good luck to you.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I too did an LPN to ADN transition program. You are so right - there is a huge difference in the responsibilities of the LPN and RN. LPNs should not be offended as this is just a fact. Just as there is a difference between an RN and an APN. It is not one is better than the other. We are all members of the same patient care team.
  5. by   Queenietoo
    the only difference is that RN's can push drugs".
    I'm an LPN and I push drugs at my hospital. There a few skills I can't do such as D/C a central line, spike the bag on a unit of blood products. LPN's also do the RN assessments on new admits.
  6. by   jjjoy
    It would definitely be useful to hear more from LPN-RN nurses because if you're an LPN, you can't know what RNs studied. And if you got your RN directly, then you don't know what the LPN education covered. Thus, LPNs may feel like they are just as prepared as RNs and resent having different pay and being restricted from performing certain tasks. RNs, on the other hand, are often unaware of where their responsibility for the patient ends and the LPN's begins since their skills and responsibilties overlap. It's very different than working with a CNA who is clearly responsible to their patients' nurse(s).

    I'd love to hear more from LPN-RN nurses on this!
    Last edit by jjjoy on Mar 23, '07
  7. by   jodyangel
    Ok here goes. Again, not with Any intentions of being offensive. Just sharing my thoughts.
    I too always said there was no real differance between being an LPN and an RN. But now, as I am about to graduate in May my tune has changed a bit. I have been an LPN for many years and am very competant on the floor. I have a very intuitive sence which is fine tuned by my years of practice. But I just said to my hubby the other day that I feel I have learned sooo much this past year. I now understand much clearer "why" some things are the way they are. I don't know how else to explain it. I don't know clinicly if I've learned anything much new * except for the IV pushes lol*. But I look at patients differantly now.
    I would encourage all of the LPNs here to continue their education. I am most grateful for what I've learned and am continuing to learn.
  8. by   queenjean
    I am an LPN, transitioning to RN currently.

    The difference I see between LPN and RN is the critical thinking skills education. Not the *ability*, just the educational aspect and expectation. Some of this may be a difference in programs/schools; but I feel that my LPN coursework taught me the basics and was very very heavy on TASKS and hands on, clinical skills. I feel that my RN coursework and testing is thus far very heavy on assessment of a variety of areas and pulling everything together.

    I also feel I have learned a lot during this RN transition.

    However, I don't think one has to transition to RN to continue their education (not that that is explicitly what you were saying, jodyangel, I'm just expanding on what you were saying...). Last year I attended an indepth Basic Dysrhythmia class our hospital offers to all it's employees. It's basically the class that preps you for ACLS, or if you are training to be a monitor tech. I learned SO MUCH. I also recently re--subscribed to a nursing journal, and actually make myself read it from cover to cover the day that it arrives. If I want more information or understanding about a topic, I search for it on line. Sites like this one help as well. Once again, it has taught me a lot.

    I think that for a while after LPN school, once I got comfortable in my role as an LPN, I got a little complacent. I feel like I am a very good nurse now; but I think for a while my idea of being a very good nurse was that I was *good enough* and that was that. Now I feel that part of me being a very good nurse is knowing that there is *always* something new to learn, and I should always be trying to improve.

    On the other hand, I can understand the point of view that there isn't much difference between an RN and an LPN. Especially in certain circumstances, the differences are negligible, and not easily attributed to simply a difference in education. For example, on my shift last night, I was the most experienced nurse on the floor. All the other nurses had been nurses for less than 3 years. My covering RN graduated from school 3 months ago. I've worked in acute care for almost 7 years as an LPN. When it came time for my covering RN to do my care plan updates, I ended up going through and redoing some of them--he just is still really new, and missed some things. I think that he has been educated to pull everything together and look at the big picture; but it's all still mostly theory for him, and in reality he hasn't quite gotten there yet. Educationally, my LPN program did not focus on this *big picture* (that is what your collaboration with the RN is for), but the reality is that I had a lot more acute care experience than this fellow, and was able to see the big picture better.

    I'm so glad I went back to school to get my RN, and I will probably at some point go back for my BSN, even though it won't change my payscale any. I feel like I can attribute a big improvement in my thought processes and my expectations of myself to my RN education; I expect that I will again find an improvement with the transition from RN to BSN (and then BSN to MN? Who knows where it ends?).
    Last edit by queenjean on Mar 25, '07

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