RPNs/LPNs vs. RNs - page 5

by rant

11,004 Views | 55 Comments

I know this has probably been discussed a fair amount on this forum, but as a RPN/LPN that is currently bridging to become a RN, I wanted to share my experiences, questions, and conclusions about the inherent differences between... Read More


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    So what I'm reading is that my three years of college to get my RN isn't worth any more than the RNA (registered nursing assistant here in Quebec) who went to a two-year technical program. Then why on earth would anyone bother to go for the longer program if they can get the same place with the shorter one? Seriously.

    When I began nursing, when the dinosaurs roamed but after hospital schools, there was a clear distinction between RNAs and RNs. The RNAs were truly assistants. They could do many things, like take vital signs, care for patients who weren't acutely ill, and so on. They could not give medications, couldn't assess, couldn't start IVs, etc. Now, they can do all that (except assess) so now how should I feel? If you can do everything I can do, why bother hiring me? That's what is going too happen.

    Facilities will know they can hire X number of LPNs, RNAs, or whatever the term is in the province and pay them less than they would pay the RNs. You haven't gotten any further ahead. in fact, you're saving them a ton of money.
    MissMcCoy and Fiona59 like this.
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    Vancouver Vocational Institute has been training PNs since 1948 and inthe 1970s that is the name they were known by: Practical Nurses.

    In Western Canada RPN is the term for a Registered Psychiatric Nurse.

    http://www.rpnc.ca/pages/about.php

    Traditionally they have been educated to the diploma level. In the last couple of years there has been comments in the media about making it a degree. That is why I say than none of the working RPNs have been consulted in the change in their education.

    People need to cease thinking that nursing in Canada revolves around Ontario and its terminology.

    And yes, I've met more than a few BScNs over the year who burnt out and left the profession. Jobs and their availability vary from province to province. The "cushy" jobs in Alberta go by seniority and the average BScN just doesn't have enough seniority to land one.
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    I like how I’m becoming the antagonist in this forum just because I disagree with most of the participants lol. Anyway, I just want to ask a question—if the moderator wants to turn this into a separate thread, then do so—but what is so threatening about new RNs (BScN graduates)? Now before you argue that you do not feel threaten I would like to point out that if you did not feel this is case then the anxiety, and interpersonal conflict between new RNs and other nurses would not exist. The reason why individuals go on the defense (in any type of conflict) is because they feel that the opposing side is threatening their self-worth. Not once did I ever claimed that new RNs are better than other nurses, in fact I asked for other nurses to be supportive rather than be scornful. New RNs should not be the scapegoats just because the deciding body (i.e., nursing colleges) made the “unfavourable” (to some) rules.

    "People need to cease thinking that nursing in Canada revolves around Ontario and its terminology." I only speak for what I know of my province, I'm sorry if that bothers you. I will endeavor to learn more about the different terminologies in hopes that I become more inclusive.

    "And yes, I've met more than a few BScNs over the year who burnt out and left the profession." And I'm sure there are equal amounts of BScN graduates that stayed in the profession as well. BScN grads are not an homogenous group. We all have different ways to cope with stress.

    "So what I'm reading is that my three years of college to get my RN isn't worth any more than the RNA (registered nursing assistant here in Quebec) who went to a two-year technical program." As I've stressed numerous times in my posts, all I contend is that there is a DIFFERENCE... I'm not questioning your worth or competence. In fact, I praise you for your experience, thank you for paving the way for future generations. I like how people nitpick certain part of my posts without really understanding the whole picture.
    ajaxgirl likes this.
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    Quote from kb14
    I like how I’m becoming the antagonist in this forum just because I disagree with most of the participants lol. Anyway, I just want to ask a question—if the moderator wants to turn this into a separate thread, then do so
    "The moderator" closed this thread for a cooling-off period due to the antagonisitic personal attacks that were being made. The Terms of Service at allnurses.com state:
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    "The moderator" was acting within those parameters and will do so again if this thread once again becomes a flame-fest.
    Fiona59, linzz, and petethecanuck like this.
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    Quote from Fiona59
    Got to love students. They are so idealistic.
    I feel a little saddened by this post.

    Fiona, I can -- within an intellectual realm only -- understand your frustration with the students/new graduates that you work with. I can imagine their newness, percieved unprepardness, and insecurity must become very old and tiring, fast. It is only through the goodness of the older, more experienced nurses that we can get through an hour, let alone a shift. I owe my (very small) success to nurses like these. Without them, I would be dead in the water, long ago.

    I can conceptualize that the unexperienced nurses are frustrating to deal with. However, we are truly doing the best we can with what we have. We don't have the years of experience behind us that you do. Often, we don't have the wisdom of thought to think ourselves through tough situations. We need to rely on you to make it work. So when you call us idealistic, you are very right. Because all we have, in the beginning, are our ideas.
    CuriousStudent1108 likes this.
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    I think with new grads, the frustration in not with lack of knowledge, but just that a very few(not all) students are making it difficult for those students who really want to learn and fit in with the unit.

    The other issue is understaffing which happens often and it leaves nurses just plain tired and frustrated with everything.

    To end on a positive note, there are many nurses that love to teach and take the time to do it. Many of these types of nurses are on this board which makes it a valuable resource for students and experienced nurses alike.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    I don't understand what is being argued about here...

    New grad BScNs are not as good as experienced LPNs? Nope, I disagree
    Experienced LPNs are better than new grad BScNs? Nope, I disagree as well


    How about each classification and experience level brings it's own pros and cons to the floor. Nurses need to work together both for policies and for the betterment of patients. Arguing about who is better is so counterproductive.
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    Rant: I'm replying here because I'm not sure if you can access PM yet.

    What I meant is students who are still in their classrooms are so idealistic. I was even one once. They tend to believe what their instructors tell them. They often (unless they have worked as an NA before or during nursing school) have no basis for reality. They come onto units vowing to never take shortcuts, never have an off day, etc. Many believe that they will have the pick of the job market. There is very little educational time spent to the realities of the union system and seniority and how it affects what job will be open to them.

    Most of us have had the "perfect nurse" arrive as a student in a group only to observe them flounder, refuse to accept assistance when offered and then crash and burn. I had a "born" nurse in my intake. She crashed and burned on her med/surg rotation and walked away from nursing school.

    Experience shapes us. When you complete your education you will have a better idea of what Linzz, Lori, and myself are trying to open your eyes to. After you have experienced the futility of dealing with your registration body and union then you will understand our attitude of fatalism. The ivory towers of academia and regulatory bodies takes away individual power.
    linzz likes this.
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    I wish that I had worked as nurse assistant during school because I was very shocked when I graduated with everything about nursing and it was so overwhelming. Maybe this was just my experience.

    I do think that all schools just aren't able for many reasons to really tell new grads just how tough it will be, at the very least, until one gets some experience and seniority built up.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    Quote from linzz
    I wish that I had worked as nurse assistant during school because I was very shocked when I graduated with everything about nursing and it was so overwhelming. Maybe this was just my experience.
    It's not just your experience. It's actually the most common experience of new nurses. One only has to read a few of the threads in the First Year After Nursing Licensure forum to see that. I've lost count of the number of times I've read comments like, "If I had known what nursing was really like..." and "Am I the only one who needs 2 hours for a med pass? Am I the only one who stays more than an hour after my shift to get my charting done? I don't know how the others do it." And "I thought there was a nursing shortage."
    Quote from linzz
    I do think that all schools just aren't able for many reasons to really tell new grads just how tough it will be, at the very least, until one gets some experience and seniority built up.
    Do you think it's that they aren't able, or that they don't want to? After all, if they were truthful about working conditions and the realities of working on the front lines, they might scare off most of their students. The other thing is, most of them have been away from the realities of front line nursing for so long that they have no clue what it really looks like.
    Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on Jun 16, '10
    Fiona59 and linzz like this.


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