Quote from JNEB
I'm sitting here looking at the LPN Program and the RN Program my CC offers. I can't decide which to pursue. On the one hand with the LPN, I'll graduate sooner, but make less money. How did you choose LPN or RN? I worry mostly about my own abilities with the Pre Req's. I havn't been in school in nearly 6 years, so I have some fears I won't be good enough for the RN program. What are the major differences in the 2? Thanks!!
First I'd like to encourage you to stop feeling as if you are not "good enough for the RN program". Stop what you are doing, go stand in front of a mirror, and forgive yourself for even thinking you are not "good enough".
While still looking at yourself in the mirror, make good eye contact with yourself, and say the following words: "I, JNEB, am good enough as a person to become whatever I want to become! Nothing can stand in my way of doing whatever I want to do, including becoming the best damn nurse I know I can be."
The difference between being a LPN vs. RN are established by each state's board of nursing guidelines. You can call your current state's board of nursing, ask for the legal department, and tell them you want to become a nurse so could they send you a copy of the differences their state establishes for the two types of nurses. They will be more than happy to oblige you.
I've worked in some states where the LPN does everything the RN does except IV push meds. I've worked in states where LPNs have been prohibited from starting IVs, giving IV push meds, and doing initial admission assessments on patients. It all depends on the given state's laws for each nurse. In many rural areas hospitals, LPNs are not limited in their scope of practice. At least they weren't back in April 1992 when I did a travel nurse assignment in Williamston, NC.
I've worked as an agency nurse for Indiana Medical University Center where they allow their Patient Care Techs to draw labs and discontinue IV sites, monitor IV sites, but if those same PCTs go to another Indiana hospital, they may not be allowed to perform the same tasks.
So there is no cut and dry "do and don't" national scope of practice for nurses. It's all up to the state, the county, the hospital, the demand for nurses in a certain region, etc.