LPNs: Myths and Misconceptions (Part II) - page 3

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) have impacted healthcare in an integral manner in various countries for many years. In fact, the role of the LPN has existed for several generations. However, LPNs... Read More

  1. by   BrandonLPN
    There really are a lot of misconceptions about LPNs. When I was an aide in a large (magnet) hospital I genuinely had NO idea what LPNs were. We had a handful who had been grandfathered in years ago. They functioned as nurse techs. Their badges said LPN but they wore the maroon scrubs like us aides rather than the navy blue of the RNs. I (and most of the other aides) didn't know their role, and I never grouped our LPNs in the "nurse" category. I wasn't being disrespectful, I was just ignorant. I think there's a huge segment of acute care nurses who truly are clueless about what a licensed practical nurse is.
  2. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    I think there's a huge segment of acute care nurses who truly are clueless about what a licensed practical nurse is.
    Well, if the acute care hospitals are not using LPNs to the full extent of their scope of practice, then I cannot really blame some acute care RNs for not knowing.

    It is a crying shame and a travesty to utilize LPNs as aides or patient care techs when they can do so much more for the hospital.
  3. by   libran1984
    I would like to help with some misconceptions a lot of RNs have... Many RNs are unaware of what the LPN is able to do and believe that EVERYTHING the LPN does is liable under the RN's own licensure. Some of the more ignorant RNs would think when I have a failed IV attempt, then it is the RN who must claim responsibility for my failure, and that is just not correct since I have full authority to perform IV therapy . I work in an Emergency Department as a Primary Nurse and my license covers me for everything but the discharge of the patient and the initial assessment. The Hospital places further restrictions not covered by my state BoN that state I am not allowed to push cardiac medications (despite my mandatory ACLS certification). The Emergency Department I work at has a fair amount of LPNs working in it and most of our RNs understand our practice and role within the ED, however it is quite misunderstood by people who do not work LPNs frequently. I have a license and a scope of practice that holds me, myself, and I responsible for what I do!
  4. by   Fiona59
    Quote from adventure780
    I am glad I did my BSN as my ulimate goal is to become a NP.
    Just out of interest, why are you posting in the LPN area?
  5. by   nursel56
    Most of the "misunderstandings" people have are the result of the large nurse's unions and the academic power lobby teaching the misunderstandings to their students. I think the only reason their decades long efforts to get rid of LPNs and demote ADNs who pass the same test have failed thus far was the demand for nurses. Since that is now over with, they may now finally succeed. Then they will spin it as "employers of nurses have finally come to their senses" rather than the supply and demand principle.

    I do understand the question that is asked "why bother to get your RN or BSN if there's no difference?". There are differences. This document attempts to name what they are. You'll notice that most of them relate to research, community health, systems analysis, healthcare policies and confusing high-tech machinery today's nurse will need to master.

    The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education - Institute of Medicine
  6. by   tothepointeLVN
    It all depends on what you want to achieve. I chose LVN primarily because I wanted to take in steps and see if I liked nursing. My choices were be a CNA or enroll immediately for LVN or take 1+years to do prereqs then nursing school THEN find out if I liked nursing.

    If I ended up being an LVN for the rest of my life it would be ok. It's not a bad life.
  7. by   valgraves
    [FONT=book antiqua]Thank you SO much for this. I start LPN school in August. I have heard the ignorant "why would you want to be JUST an LPN?" and we end up with a huge discussion. I plan to graduate next summer, become an LPN at our small town hospital up the street, and go to school part time for the LPN to RN, and eventually BSN. I want to be able to have that "name", LPN, ADN, BSN after my name. LPN's, to me, are real nurses. they do "almost" the same thing as RN's do, sometimes more in some cases and are under-appreciated by many. When I graduate, I will not say I am an LPn, or a RN....rather, "I am a NURSE.".
  8. by   LilacHeart
    In September I will begin my LPN courses (a one year accelerated diploma program). I already hold a 2 year degree (and am also certified) in medical assisting, and a 1 year phlebotomy diploma (yes, a full year program in phlebotomy with externship). (Not to mention the years spent in ministry school - yes, I am an ordained minister.)

    In my years working as a CMA, it has been my unfortunate experience to be treated horribly by RNs. I was even told "You are NOTHING" because I am certified, not licensed. Well, the MA profession only has voluntary certification. If licensing were available I'd be first in line to take the exam! My phlebotomy experience and education meant nothing. I was continually insulted in front of patients, but do you know what? The negative reflection was not on me. Patients didn't like it and would say so too. Many patients asked for me specifically because, quite frankly, I had more experience and intensive training in phlebotomy, and they far preferred for me to do their draws (pain and bruising issues).

    After working in the medical field, I realized that I wanted to do more...I wanted to be a nurse. I am 54 years old though and was able to get accepted into an LPN program. The waiting list for the RN program in my area is 3 years.

    After thinking about it very hard, I decided to go the LPN route for several reasons. First, the fact that I will be a nurse in a year. At my age I DO need to think about how many years I will be in school, costs, length of waiting lists, etc. I mean, at 54 if I wait 3 years just to start the RN program....well, you get my drift! I don't want to start my nursing career in my 60s (even though there's not a thing wrong with that, for me it's just not in the program). Second, I decided that I'm not sure I even want to be an RN. My greatest desire is to work bedside with patients. I have worked as a volunteer at a nursing home in my area for many years, and found my greatest satisfaction there.

    Even though I am fully capable of becoming an RN, I feel that it is my calling to be an LPN. It is a calling with a long and noble history and I will be proud to be an LPN some day. I see a need for bedside nursing in LTC and I hope to fill it.

    I have to admit that I have been a bit disheartened to read about the animosity between RNs and LPNs. I hope it isn't something I have to deal with. If I run across it, I will just keep in mind that I am following my dream and my path, not the one someone else thinks I should take and keep busy with my patients. If I keep my mind and heart on them I won't have time for any nonsense.

    I am extremely appreciative of this series of articles! Kudos to the author!
    Last edit by LilacHeart on Jul 22, '12 : Reason: trying to correct "autocorrect" LOL