What do RNs do that LPNs can't? - page 3

I'm not quite sure if I am posting this on the right board or not but here it goes. I am almost finished my pre-reqs for the ADN program but the waiting list is insane. So I wanted to get my LPN and... Read More

  1. by   florida gal
    depends on your state practice act. you can find it on your state's board of nursing
  2. by   mercurial1101
    We have a little joke where I live (Kentucky): The only difference between LPNs and RNs is ten dollars on the hour.

    Like everyone else said, it depends on state and policy. For instance, as an LPN in Kentucky I can give IV pushes, hang blood, chart in care plans, do assessments, etc.
  3. by   FA to CRNA2b
    My hospital system has an all RN staff. No LPNs whatsoever, so I think that job availability is limited for LPNs.
  4. by   nerdtonurse?
    In my state and hospital, (rural), I've hung blood with a second nurse (LPN or RN) to verify pt identity, started IVs, pushed protamine sulfate (scary, pt was in DIC), accessed portacaths and started Cardizem/Natrecor drips. I've changed out the TLC lines and caps, and do all kinds of care for trach pts, suctioning, etc. Keep in mind, I was certified by my hospital and precepted before I did any of these.

    What I can't do:

    Can't pronounce a pt (takes 2 RNs if no MD, and on night shift, there usually isn't)

    Can't start a care plan -- and I can only do a action, not an evaluation on an existing care plan (give me a break)

    Can't do the initial interview, but I can do the inital floor assessment

    Can't be charge nurse

    I also know if I was in a large metro hospital with more nurses, I probably won't have had half the experiences I've had so far. There are advantages in terms of experience with being in a rural area on the floors, probably not so much in the ER/trauma/OB area, since we fly out anyone who is in deep trouble.
  5. by   liriel
    As it has been said before it all depends on where you are and where you work. I am an LVN (what Texas calls their LPNs) on an oncology unit in a hospital in Texas. I do not triage, hang blood, start Chemo (though I do monitor patients getting blood and Chemo...and I take down Blood and Chemo when transfusions are completed). I do not pronounce death. I do IV meds daily, start IVs, tons of patient teaching, I do a lot....but in Texas LVNs do a lot. To know the exact differences you would need to go the the BON website for your state and look at the practice acts for RN and for LPN. I am back in school for my RN because the difference in pay in this area at least $10 an hour sometimes more for RN than LVN. Getting my LVN license has helped me tremendously in my BSN program because a lot of the information we get presented in class is not new to me now....its more detailed but much of it we at least touched on in LVN school. I think this makes it easier for me to retain what we are learning. Having worked on the floor I think I am a bit more confident doing my clinicals and not nearly as scared to ask questions. I was pretty nervous doing my LVN clinicals.....but now I am doing my RN clinicals I am quick to ask questions when I don't understand something. Good luck to you! I hope you enjoy your nursing classes as much as I am enjoying mine!
  6. by   missjennmb
    The benefit of getting an LPN first though is that it makes it easier to get into an RN program. I would do it for that alone. I got into a program starting next month, just by walking in, signing up, taking the (very tough for me) entrance exam, and paying my fee. RN programs in the area have a long long wait to get in to.

    I'm amazed at the poster who said they only got 1/2 a semester worth of credit for their LPN degree. I think you should seriously shop for another RN school... one that has an LPN to RN transition program. If I were to go the ADN route, it would take me 5 semesters start to finish, without having my LPN. If I take my LPN first (which I am) and then go to that same school's LPN to RN transition program (which I probably won't as I am hoping to go straight to my BSN) it would be a total of 6 semesters. (3 LPN and 3 RN) Granted i have some generic pre-reqs to do for it, but I had most of them already, and am going to be doing the rest while doing my LPN as I have the LPN gen ed classes done already. 1 extra semester, a bit more clinical and on the job training experience... I'll take it. I should say though that hospital jobs here for LPNs are limited. I've only seen 1 hospital that uses them in the actual hospital (the others use them for their doctor's offices and rehab facilities). Im still pretty happy about my decision to go LPN first though. IF nothing else its an extra year of making better than now money, which will help me get through school with less of a crunch.
  7. by   DelanaRN
    I think it depends on what you want for yourself.

    I have an associates degree with course emphasis on business. When my husband PCS'd to Missouri I was all set to complete my bachelors in business administration/management. However, I did some research on the state board of nursing website and found a wonderful LPN school about 15-20 miles from my house that had an accelerated program (completion in less than a year), a 100 percent NCLEX pass rate the previous year, and provided IV Certification. I began self study for A&P and Med Term classes last summer and tested out of as many tests as I could at the school prior to full time classes beginning last August. I graduated with my LPN Diploma June 21st. Took my NCLEX PN July 9th and found out on July 11th I passed with the minimum number of questions.

    I did not go into LPN school necessarily planning on continuing on to RN.
    I needed to find out if nursing was for me. My instructors were fantastic and they encouraged us to go on if we wanted to make nursing a career. A university about 35 miles north of my current home offered an LPN to RN Bridge. It too was/is an accelerated program. I applied for the bridge program in January of this year...prior to even completing my LPN degree. I got my 3 letters of reference in, did all my paperwork, and scheduled myself for the 5 proctored nursing exams the university required in May. They take the top 40 of approx 250-300 LPN applicants per year and base the people they accept on test scores from highest to lowest. I found out June 1st I was accepted into the RN Bridge program with the understanding I would have to obtain my LPN License prior to clinicals beginning in August. I start full time RN classes tomorrow and will graduate with my RN/ADN May 9th of next year. So really, in less than 2 years of actual schooling, I will have acquired my RN when I would have still been on the waiting list otherwise.

    Having said that, even if I had not been accepted into the RN program, I in no way would regret obtaining my LPN license. In all the programs/classes I have been in, none before have ever given me such a sense of satisfaction. Additionally, we had multiple companies come try to recruit us to come work for them as soon as we graduated. What other career gives you that opportunity. Jobs waiting upon graduation?! In this job market, that is amazing. My career choices would have been in hospice, home health, long term care, and because I work in a hospital PRN answering phones, even the hospital HR requested I come work for them as an LPN. I am VERY proud to be an LPN.

    In answer to your other question, as an IV certified LPN I can do everything an RN can do except Administer blood or chemotherapy, and push IV meds. I can do piggybacks, start IV lines, put in NG tubes, suction trachs, and oh so much more!!

    My humble opinion is educating yourself is ALWAYS a good thing.
    Hope I helped some. Good luck in your decision.
  8. by   june2009
    In PA, LPNs can do everything except blood products, chemo, IV push meds, hang tpn. We also "gather data" not "assess". LPNs usually work in long term care vs. a hospital setting.
    In the facility a just quit, the LPN's aren't allowed to do a lot of things that they are legally allowed to do in the state of PA.
    I'm not allowed to start IVs, give heparin injections (sq), give flu shots, administer and read PPDs, call docs and take verbal orders, I can't even take off written orders from physicians.
    One place I worked, the LPNs weren't even allowed to hang a bag of 0.9%NS.
    It depends on the state and facility.
  9. by   starrynites
    I agree.. I am in my mid 40's and have to work and pay bills. I can't afford to take the 2 yr..route at my age. ALso.. I have an RN friend.. who is so.. stressed out in the hospital .. her health is suffering because of that stress. I have a question... What do LPNS in home care genrally do. I would like to work with Hopice. Also... One more question. The school I am going to attend.. is 12 months diploma for lpn. Do Lpn diploma programs require algebra? My friend went a long time ago.. in NJ.. and I really.. don't think she had algebra.. in her course. I just want to add... not everyone wants the added responsibilty of RN. My friend was a straight A nursing student. She is now.. the most stressed out RN I know. She loves her patients..but takes her work home with her. The hospital over works her.. and is calling her house 24/7. I rather make 17-20.00 an hour doing home care.. and not be worried about the money.. status associated with the level of stress an RN has. Sure...she makes a great living..and she desserves it.. but the added stress and all that is on her shoulders.. I wouldn't worse on anyone. Sometimes.. your health and sanity need to mean more. HUGS
  10. by   ItsTheDude
    Quote from TiggerBelly
    Here's my question- In a hospital setting, what exactly can an RN do that an LPN is not licensed to do?
    around here, lpn's have the wrong license to get a job in a hospital, they only hire rn's, with very few exceptions.
  11. by   Fiona59
    In my province, hospitals units are roughly a 50/50split. The only difference is piercing the blood or travisol bag and attacing an IV med to a PICC (it's changing by the end of the year). We admit, assess. discharge, teach, start IVs.

    Depending on which part of the province you live in there are no areas closed to an LPN. It often depends on what the LPN wants to do for employment. I'd never work ICU, Oncology or L&D but those are my choices.

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