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Can someone pls clarify the difference?

Okay so I know what an RN is and a LPN, and the difference is an RN can insert IV's and have more responsibilities, so can an LPN work in the hospital or ER? also, if I become a LPN, how much more school and tests would I have to do to become an RN?

Now im confused I dont know what a CNA is? is that only nursing homes?

thanks in advance!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

The LPN scope of practice is dependent upon the state in which the practical nurse is working. I live in Texas and attend school in Oklahoma. Both are states with wide scopes of practice for LPNs.

I have been an LPN/LVN for nearly four years, and I am scheduled to graduate from an LPN-to-RN bridge program in a few short months. Everyone in my class is an LPN who wishes to complete his/her RN degree. Some of my classmates are employed in emergency departments of local hospitals, and they start IVs all the time. Other LPNs in my class are employed as surgical scrub technicians and must manage IVs. However, some states have very restrictive scopes of practice that severely limit what the LPN can legally do.

An LPN who wants to earn his/her RN license has several options. You can complete an LPN-to-BSN program, which usually takes 2 years after all prerequisites are done. You can also complete an LPN-to-RN bridge associates degree program, which usually takes about 1 year.

A CNA is a certified nursing assistant. They are employable in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospices, home health agencies, and other venues.

Scope of practice varies depending on the state you are in. In Missouri, an LPN is or can be IV certified. LPNs cannot push medications and they cannot spike blood (they can monitor the patient, but an RN has to initiate the treatment). There are limits on chemo medication administration also. RN's have more leadership/management training. Very few hospitals in our area hire LPNs, but some do.

There are bridge programs you can take to become an RN once your receive your LPN license. At the community college I went to, the LPN course was 3 1/2 semesters (spring/summer/fall/ 1/2 spring). The RN program is 4 semesters (Fall/Spring/Fall/Spring). To bridge, the LPN's take a summer bridge course and then enter the second Fall semester with the current RN students. The only spots available are those that were created by 1st year RN students that failed/dropped/transferred. The biggest problem here is that there is usually a long wait list to get into the RN program. There are also other programs that bridge, and so long as you are at a school that is accredited and the credits transfer you can always bridge at another school.

There are also online bridge programs, but different states have different rules and always check with your BON to ensure they accept those online programs.

Hope this helps and hopefully someone from NY will come along to answer specifics to your state!

It does depend on what state you're in as to what you are allowed to do.

I am in Ohio. LPN's can and do work in hospitals... rare, but they do. You will most likely see a couple of ads for a LPN every few months on hospital job boards. You can start an IV, but cannot hang blood. In home care you cannot start an IV, that is something a RN must do. As a LPN you are more likely to work in LTC (long term care) facilities, home care, rehab, mental health facilities. Your pay is quite significant. As an entry-level LPN in Ohio you're looking at anywhere from $17-23 an hour. As a entry-level RN you're looking at $28-32 an hour. After one year as a RN and going into a specialty you can see the pay rise quite a bit.

As far as school, you're just going to go more in-depth on what you have already learned. Most LPN schools in Ohio you get your IV certification, and you're allowed to do IV's, others they don't do that until you're in a RN program. You will learn more assesment, and treatment skills. In Ohio, LPN's are not allowed to do an initial assesment on a patient or diagnose, those are only things a RN can do. So you're looking at more work as a RN, yes. However, it's building on what you have already learned.

CNA= Certified Nursing Assistant, or STNA= State tested nursing assistant. You typically will be in LTC and you assist in personal care and hygeine, documentation, possible vitals, but not often, this is left to the nurses, at least in Ohio. You may play a role in activities that are held throughout the day for residents in LTC. You will be responsible for overall monitoring their care and reporting any changes in condition to the nurse. You can also get a job in a hospital as a CNA. They generally have the same duties as in LTC, but you're in a hospital setting.

If I answered something that someone else has, sorry. I didn't read all of the posts before I replied.

Julz, do you know if an LPN in Ohio can work as an STNA? I have heard that you cannot if you are licensed. Is this true? I am licensed LPN, but cant find work in Cleveland area. Am considering STNA until I can find other. Any advice?

I don't think that you can. But don't quote me. I've actually never had that happen when I was in HR. We honestly always had work for new grads, and experienced nurses. Mayve try calling some places in your area and speak to HR, explain the situation. I would call places you're interested in working as a nurse, though. Tell them you have heard great things about their facility and that you would be willing to start as a STNA and work until a position comes open in nursing, that you would gain a great amount of experience in how their facility operates, and that you feel even though you are licensed, it will help you become more efficient as a nurse in their facility. Not only do you get to learn their policy and procedures, you get to interact one-on-one with the patients, they get to know you, which makes for a better patient-nurse relationship in the near future.

I personally would keep on searching. There really are lots of opportunities for new grads in Ohio. Again, you are also going to have to take what you can get. Sometimes, it's as little as 6 months experience, and giving the future employer confidence in your work ethics and knowledge as a nurse for them to hire you and "waive" their rules of only hiring nurses with one year experience under their belt.

When I worked in home care we did want nurses that had a years experience, but like nurses have to take what they can get, so do employers. A lot of nurses with experience hold on to their jobs because of the economy. We would test our nurses, and I mean really test their knowledge, geriatrics and peds, and as along as they passed and went through an orientation with the clinical nurse sup., they were good to go. Many of new grads were awesome! So, reassure them you know what you're doing, you would love an opportunity to get experience with THEIR company/facility, and that you are willing to go through any orientations, or trainings, that are needed to do so.

Again, call around in your area to see if you can work as a STNA, but not sure of the answer. Keep trying! You will eventually be living your dream! =)


Specializes in AA&I, research,peds, radiation oncology.

Julz, do you know if an LPN in Ohio can work as an STNA? I have heard that you cannot if you are licensed. Is this true? I am licensed LPN, but cant find work in Cleveland area. Am considering STNA until I can find other. Any advice?

Hi rude1s-Please try craigslist and type in LPN under search for. I saw several jobs listed there. HTH!!:twocents:


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