Quote from susana07
Hi. I am considering becoming a nurse (I've always wanted to be). I would like to know 1) what exactly (besides pay and the degree) is the difference in the job of an LPN and an RN? 2)Do LPNs feel they are often disrespected by others in the field (I have heard this). and 3) Do LPNs generally get paid more for weekends and nights like RNs do?
Thanks for your time... I love this site!
I've been an LPN for 16 years and this has been my experience:
Hosp #1- I worked on a step-down critical care unit. As an LPN I was given my own pt. assignment 3-4 patients(telemetry, ventilator patients,ect). I was responsible for all their meds, treatments, etc. I was sent to class to learn how to read the tele monitors and I gained a lot of experience. This was a 15 bed unit and there were always at least two RNs on the floor and one RN charge nurse. As an LPN I was
1.Not allowed to hang blood(but I could monitor the infusion while it was running).
2. Not allowed to take a Drs order over the phone.
3. Mix IV medications or hang the first dose of an IV
4. Perform admission assessments
5. Change certain types of IV dressings
6. Push IV meds
7. Other things I can't remember right now but the above were the most common.
If my patients needed any of the above things done the RN charge nurse would do them, and yes, sometimes I would get vibe that they wished they had all RNs so they didn't have to help out in that way, but for the most part it was ok.
My second job, in a drug rehab, was way different. I was independent and was able to work without the constant direct supervision of an RN.
At hosp #2 I worked inpatient psych.
1. Not allowed to take phone order.
2. Not allowed to do admission assessments.
On this unit I would give all the medications, IVs, injections, ect. I did all the bloodwork, ekgs, and I ran a group meeting.
I loved this job and felt very respected by the RNs and MDs I worked with.
I now work in LTC and it is a different world. RNs and LPNs basically function in the same way. Not a lot of difference. In fact, my facility has 3 units and two of them have LPNs as managers.
As far as respect is concerned, it really depends on where you work. If you are in a hospital you may or may not be a little less respected. That's because your scope of practice is limited. In LTC, the LPN is very respected.
As an LPN, I have always recieved a shift differential, just as the RNs have, for working 3-11 or 11-7. In my current position I recieve a weekend differential.