RPN/LPN/RNA all the same??? - page 5

by willow2004 35,935 Views | 85 Comments

I've been looking for information on nursing and the different levels of nursing. I'm getting a little confused. Are RPN/LPN/RNA all the same??? Also, I heard from a friend that Practical Nursing is going to be phased out in... Read More


  1. 1
    I just finished school this year in ontario and my scope of practice is broader than what my fellow coworkers were when they finished (i worked as a ward clerk)

    RPNs can start iv's, do major wound care, etc as long as they have been trained... St Joes, McMaster etc in hamilton have started now hiring RPNs... there are less and less RN students every year and increasing in RPN students... and until they shorten the bridge programs they won't have very many more RPN's bridging to RN...

    nursing will have to change... but i do not see the RPN's being phased out...
    Fiona59 likes this.
  2. 0
    Quote from Fiona59
    This question is aimed at Canadians to answer. The employment and education of nurses up here is very different to that of the US.

    The CNA is looking at having the PN become the entry level of nursing up here, with nursing education being laddered from PN-RN-MSN-PhD.

    Our basic course for a PN is a miniumum of four college semesters and includes the first year arts completed by BScN students.

    While your input is welcome, I really doubt that most American posters have the knowledge to comment on nursing in Canada.

    To put it bluntly, if my province did "phase" out LPNs, they would be short roughly 4,500 acute care NURSES.

    Canada seems to have a lot of different titles etc. Very confusing. I do not see why all the requirements for RN and PN, when to finish the schools you only need a 63% average. At this moment I have Certificate in Practical Nursing plus a 2 yr AA degree. So, from what i'm understanding...I should be more than eligible to get an RPN license in Ontario. Since, the RPN is four semesters. meaning only one year of nursing classes really and the other year is General classes. This is really the same thing in USA to get on Certificate in Practical Nursing from a College, you have to have General classes, plus your sciences and an above average GPA to be even consider for the Nursing School. Then after that you spend a year doing only Nursing classes.

    Any information will be appreciated, because i'm looking to relocate to Canada soon.
  3. 1
    Quote from wannab06
    Canada seems to have a lot of different titles etc. Very confusing. I do not see why all the requirements for RN and PN, when to finish the schools you only need a 63% average. At this moment I have Certificate in Practical Nursing plus a 2 yr AA degree. So, from what i'm understanding...I should be more than eligible to get an RPN license in Ontario. Since, the RPN is four semesters. meaning only one year of nursing classes really and the other year is General classes. This is really the same thing in USA to get on Certificate in Practical Nursing from a College, you have to have General classes, plus your sciences and an above average GPA to be even consider for the Nursing School. Then after that you spend a year doing only Nursing classes.

    Any information will be appreciated, because i'm looking to relocate to Canada soon.
    The only way really would be apply to the province and let them assess your transcripts. You will need to sit the PN exam for Canada
    wannab06 likes this.
  4. 2
    Hello. I am a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in the Province of British Columbia, Canada. I am also a nurse-educator on faculty in a BSN program. Additionally, I was one of the designers of a Bachelor in Psychiatric Nursing 4 year degree in BC. I would like to jump in to this conversation.

    RPNs are recognized in the 4 Western Provinces of Canada as well as the 3 Territories. Our history stems from the old British system of training nurses to work with psychiatric patients. We have always accessed a separate, viable stream of psychiatric nursing education. RPNs started out just as the RNs did with diplomas, then by the 1980's we had our first Bachelor of Heatlh Sciences degree in Psychiatric Nursing, in Canada. Since then, we have degrees in each of the 4 provinces that recognize us. We have been identified by the Canadian Institute of Health Information as the best suited, best prepared nurses to work with individuals, families, groups and communities who are marginalized by their mental health and/or mental illness challenges. We no longer simply work with solely with the chronic or acutely mentally ill. Our careers are diverse and dynamic. We have our own provincial regulatory bodies and a national one. We are recognized by the Canadian Nurses Association and the Government of Canada. There are many job opportunities for RPNs here in Canada as well as in many other countries (especially those previously in the British Commonwealth).

    If you would like more information about us, try the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia, www.crpnbc.ca . You will find a number of us speaking at the European Psychiatric Nurses Conference in Malta this November, 2008. We host a World Congress of Psychiatric Nursing in Canada every 2 years. This year it was held in Regina, Saskatchewan in May.

    I hope you have found this information helpful.

    Very truly,
    Melodie Hull, RPN, MSC, MED
    Canada
    linzz and Fiona59 like this.
  5. 0
    We may be confusing the issue somewhat by using the term RPN. In Ontario they are registered practical nurses.
  6. 0
    I have a question regarding this as well. If you are a US LPN, are you able to find work as a RNA in Quebec? Is there a need for them? Would you have to register with the Order of Nurses etc..

    I am currenty a pre-nursing student in the US and going for my RN. However, I really want to immigrate to Canada so one option is getting my LPN here (cheaper and faster) finding work in Quebec and then studying to be an RN there. (cheaper)

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks
  7. 0
    I am not sure that studying here in Canada is going to be cheaper as tuition fees are 3-4x higher for non-Canadians and even for those who are not residents of the province you are attending college in. You need to contact the Board or Nursing for the area you wish to work in to see what you need to do.

    Also be sure to check out the job situation carefully as some Canadian provinces are doing more hiring than others right now. In fact some hospitals in Ontario are even laying off until their budgets are known next spring.
  8. 0
    Practical nursing programs vary in length in Canada and yet they all write the same entry level exam.

    BC has the shortest LPN education of only one year. I believe Ontario has the longest.

    It is highly unlikely that LPN's will be phase out now that entry to practice for an RN is a baccalaureate degree. Rather it is more likely that the LPN role will be redefined.

    I haven't checked the scope of practice for every province but I think I am pretty safe in saying that the scope of practice for an LPN says they must work under the supervision of an RN or physician and they cannot work independently that is they work as part of a team.
    Scope of practice for an RN says that the RN can work independently, without supervision and can work with clients independently as a nurse. It is not a requirement that a medial care plan be in place for nurse to work with a client.
  9. 2
    Quote from RN_Canada
    Practical nursing programs vary in length in Canada and yet they all write the same entry level exam.

    BC has the shortest LPN education of only one year. I believe Ontario has the longest.

    It is highly unlikely that LPN's will be phase out now that entry to practice for an RN is a baccalaureate degree. Rather it is more likely that the LPN role will be redefined.

    I haven't checked the scope of practice for every province but I think I am pretty safe in saying that the scope of practice for an LPN says they must work under the supervision of an RN or physician and they cannot work independently that is they work as part of a team.
    Scope of practice for an RN says that the RN can work independently, without supervision and can work with clients independently as a nurse. It is not a requirement that a medial care plan be in place for nurse to work with a client.
    The term "under the supervision" is very hard to define or understand I think.

    I'm an LPN at a LTC facility in BC. When I am doing assessments, interventions, med passes/treatments, etc, there is usually (not always) and RN in the building. But I am responsible for my own residents. The RN does not watch me, check up on me or my work. I report to her at the end of the shift. If I run into something that is beyond my knowledge or scope, I will call for the RN. Otherwise my only real contact with the RN is report at the end of the shift. Is that "under direct supervision"?

    I also work in acute care and am paired with an RN and together we have 7-9 patients. I do my own assessments, meds, treatments etc. I do report to the RN (and am very glad he/she is there!!!!). I am apart of the team, but the RN is not in the room when I do my work, nor does she double check what I have done if I have not reported any problems. Is this "under direct supervision"?

    Also, LPN's in BC can do home health. I'm not 100% sure how this works as I have not done it. But I would assume that the LPN would visit the stable clients who already have a care plan--created by an RN/in collaboration with the LPN. I imagine the LPN would also report assessement findings to an RN manager, but they are still visiting the client by themselves, so is this "under direct supervision"?


    I guess what I'm trying to say is "under supervision" to me always sounds like someone is either watching what you do the whole time or double checking all your work when you're done. And this is definatley not the case for LPN's and RN' (at least where I work). Someone set me strait on what "under supervision" really means!!!
    Patient_Care_Asst and Fiona59 like this.
  10. 1
    It is much the same for me as well. I am an RPN in Ontario( registered practical nurse) and I work in a small hospital. While there is always an RN in the facility I am responsible for my own assessments, med passes and judgement and i am givem my own pt load. RNs get the same number of pts as the RPNs. If I run into something i am not sure of I will turn to the RN for guidance but they don't " check up" on me or directly supervise my work.
    Fiona59 likes this.


Top