What More Responsibilites Do RN's Have?

  1. I keep reading that RN's have a lot more responsibilities (and may have even posted that myself after listening to others) than LPN's do. What are the additional responsibilities?

    I read that LPN's do almost the same thing that RN's do but for a lot less pay. I have even had nurses (RN's) tell me that. Is this true?

    As I am about to make my final decision regarding LPN school vs. RN school, I really need some answers.

    Many thanks for your replies and blessings to all.
  2. Visit mammaoftwo profile page

    About mammaoftwo

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 193; Likes: 11

    18 Comments

  3. by   anonymurse
    Well, if you have the choice (if you can afford the time and money for either one), I'd go for RN 'cause it pays more and you have more career choices.

    It's not like RNs have this huge weighty responsibility on their shoulders that LPNs don't.

    Both are totally responsible for patients' lives in many ways. If that stresses a person out, it doesn't much matter which they are, they'll be stressed.
  4. by   TazziRN
    It depends on the state and facility. Where I am LVNs cannot give IV meds except hep flushes, they cannot be the primary nurse for patients on cardiac monitors. Cannot work OR or PACU.

    They can work in any other unit per the facility's policy (some don't hire LVNs because they are limited in where they can work), they can do home care. Most LVNs I know work LTC or home care.
  5. by   BethBSN
    Quote from mammaoftwo
    I keep reading that RN's have a lot more responsibilities (and may have even posted that myself after listening to others) than LPN's do. What are the additional responsibilities?

    I read that LPN's do almost the same thing that RN's do but for a lot less pay. I have even had nurses (RN's) tell me that. Is this true?

    As I am about to make my final decision regarding LPN school vs. RN school, I really need some answers.

    Many thanks for your replies and blessings to all.
    According to my Leadership & Management class, LPNs cannot do the big initial assessment (but can do like ongoing), no IV meds, no admitting/discharging pts. Now that is what the class says, but have I seen LPNs do all of these & functioning like a RN? Of course. Either one you will probably be doing nearly the same thing, minus some select clinical areas, but for the sake of salary & future advancement, take the RN classes.
  6. by   crissrn27
    Around here LPNs are being phased out of the hospital setting, mostly LPNs work in staff nurse positions in the LTC setting. There used to be LPNs in management roles in LTC but that seems to be going away also. I was a LPN for awhile in LTC and did everything an RN could do in that role (staff nurse), but as a RN supervisor in LTC I did a lot of things for the LPNs that they couldn't do such as abt IV's, PICC flush, initial assessments, pronouncing deceased residents, etc. Depending on where you went to nursing school, there are certain things that aren't taught to LPNs in all schools, such as critical thinking skills, etc. In this area, it seems the LPN classes are more skills driven. Hope this helps!
  7. by   Tweety
    In floor positions where I work the bedside RN and the bedside LPN do essentially the same thing - the assess, do treatments, medicate, total care care, etc. The beginning RN is going to make $5.00 to $7.00 more per hour doing the same thing.

    Keep this in mind when deciding what to do.

    Also note that only RNs in the hospital tend to advance beyond the bedside to charge nurse positions and other positions of authroity and responsiblity and higher pay.

    Also note that accrediting organizations require RN level of care and many hospitals are limiting the amount of LPNs they hire, mine included. There is a freeze on hiring new LPNs. So jobs for LPNs sometimes are hard to come by for the new grad.

    LPNs rule the nursing homes and long term care facilities here in this county in Florida. They enjoy a wide variety of job possiblities. They make much more money that hospital LPNs, are in charge and have an awesome responsibility.

    My final word: get your RN for money and job opportunities. It's worth the extra time and money it takes.
    Also note that there are many LPN to RN programs and many get their LPN first, work as a nurse and get their RN afterwards.

    Lots to think about.
    Last edit by Tweety on Apr 26, '07
  8. by   Boston-RN
    As another poster stated, it depends on the state and facility you work at. At my facility I do the same job minus admissions, blood and IV push meds

    Some of the things the other posted not allowed at their facility we do at ours pts on TPN, Tele, hep drip, vents, central line mgmt, iv meds/pb or solutions etc.

    And I get paid $8-$10/hr less. I did LPN vs. RN because time was of the essence I am in a bridge program now but if given the choice RN all the way
  9. by   TheCommuter
    Pursue the RN if you have a choice in the matter.

    The level of LPN/LVN responsibility depends on the state's nurse practice act. In Texas, the LVN scope is extremely wide. With IV certification, I am allowed to give most IV meds (except vitamin K, potassium, and others), IV push, IVPB, midlines, PICC lines, etc. I am also permitted to do the initial assessment, as long as it is not in an acute care hospital.
  10. by   Myxel67
    The classic statement of the difference between the RN and the LPN is that the LPN learns HOW, but the RN learns HOW and WHY.

    Critical thinking skills are not unique to registered nurses. You can't run a household and raise children without critical thinking skills.
  11. by   txspadequeenRN
    do people still believe this garbage.....cause i guarantee if i know how i definitely know why!!!

    Quote from myxel67
    the classic statement of the difference between the rn and the lpn is that the lpn learns how, but the rn learns how and why.

    critical thinking skills are not unique to registered nurses. you can't run a household and raise children without critical thinking skills.
  12. by   Myxel67
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    do people still believe this garbage.....cause i guarantee if i know how i definitely know why!!!
    this might be true for you, but not for all lpn's and probably not for all rn's either.
  13. by   Nursebarebari
    My facilty do not realy use LPNs. The few ones we have are very limited in what they do do. They get the easy patients. They do not do admission, discharge, patient teaching. They don't get patient on bipap, trach, vent, or patient on morphine drip. And if their patients condition change, the RNs take over. Last night one of the LPNs patients was ordered to be transfer to tele. for cardiac monitoring, I was the one that endorse the patient to tele. There are so many other things that LPNs do not do at my job. However, in the the nursing home the difference is not much at all. Salary wise, the difference is $12 bucks/hr. $34.50/$22.39 base
    Last edit by Nursebarebari on Apr 29, '07
  14. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from hajiagambo
    My facilty do not realy use LPNs. The few ones we have are very limited in what they do do. They get the easy patients. They do not do admission, discharge, patient teaching. They don't get patient on bipap, trach, vent, or patient on morphine drip. And if their patients condition change, the RNs take over. Last night one of the LPNs patients was ordered to be transfer to tele. for cardiac monitoring, I was the one that endorse the patient to tele. There are so many other things that LPNs do not do at my job. However, in the the nursing home the difference is not much at all. Salary wise, the difference is $12 bucks/hr. $34.50/$22.39 base

    In New York, we do vent patients and trachs, but we don't do most of the other things you mentioned. We can administer blood products through the facility, but it is not mandated by NYS. Of course, no IV push, except heparin or normal saline, and we do hang potassium (much to my dismay).

close