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LPN and RN: What are the differences?

Nurses   (3,859 Views 13 Comments)
by dRkazN dRkazN (Member) Member

dRkazN specializes in Med-Surg Tele.

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I was thinking about a story someone told me the other night, and it had to do something about LPN and RN differences. Where I work at, they tend to give the LPN's a lighter load than RNs. The other night a patient was taken away from an RN because he was thought "stable" but then had a psychotic episode later that night. The RN was chuckling as she told me that since he was taken away from her because someone said during the day shift he was "stable". HA!

But anyway, the point is here: what is the difference? And does it happen anywhere else?

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jjensen specializes in Cardiac, Hospice, Float pool, Med/Peds.

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We actually don't have any LPN's at the hosptial where I work... They cannot do assessments, hang IV's or give IV push meds... I have not worked with LPN's since a nursing home when I first started nursing...

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classicdame is a MSN, EdD and specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

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the difference is the state's nurse practice act. In my state RN's must do original assessment and, in acute care setting, do the assessment every 24 hours. RN's must plan care and teaching, do blood transfusions, IV insertions (there are exceptions here), and many other invasive procedures. They cannot give medications for cardiac arrhythmias or narcotics by IV. RN's delegate to LVNs. Some of the tasks are the same, but it is the RN who determines who DOES the tasks.

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Lorie P. specializes in Med/Surge, Private Duty Peds.

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it depends of the state and facility one works at. there are a ton of threads on this very subject, search an and you will get many of your answers there. but the major difference is the state you live in and the nurse"s practice act and scope of practice.

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ohmeowzer RN is a RN and specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

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we don't have LPN's anymore at the hospital where i work.

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NurseKatie08 has 11 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Geriatrics, Transplant, Education.

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It depends on the facility and state board of nursing. Where I work (sub acute w/in a nursing home), we're all staff nurses, whether RN or LPN. The only main difference at my facility is that I can pronounce death (with an MD order for RN pronouncement, given that my facility doesn't have an MD in house at all times), and the LPNs cannot. The LPNs also cannot do IV pushes, however typically if anyone were sick enough to need an IV push med, they wouldn't be in our facility anymore.

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mama_d has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in tele, oncology.

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As others have already said, it varies widely from state to state.

Where I work there is practically no difference. There is no difference in assignments, since it's required that a RN assess the patient every 24 hrs we trade off patients (RN days, LPN nights or vice versa). RNs have to sign off on initial admit assessments and care plans. I work on a tele floor, so we routinely care for unstable patients. I also can get pulled to step down, although I can't get hired on there (go figure). I get people on drips of natrecor, lasix, nitro, dobutamine, dopamine, cardizem, amiodarone, insulin, heparin...you get the idea. I get new onset rapid a-fib, fresh strokes, new MI's, post-cath, etc.

I can't do IV push meds, spike chemo, or spike blood; I can monitor chemo, monitor blood, draw blood from central lines, change line dressings, d/c central lines, start peripheral IVs. Although I'm not sure if I'm technically allowed to, I've done art sticks. I have on ocassion done some pushes when I feel it's warranted...BON allows LPNs to do so in my state in life-threatening situations, and if I've got an unresponsive patient with a glucose reading of 12, I'm not gonna hang around waiting for the next available RN, I'm pushing that D50 myself, then have the charge nurse co-sign it with me.

Where I'm at the biggest difference is that the RNs get about $7-10/hr more than I do. Which is why I'm getting my RN as soon as I possibly can!

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Lorie P. specializes in Med/Surge, Private Duty Peds.

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what is an lvn? i've never heard of this before... also i don't really understand the differences between cna and lna and lpn...

thanks :)

ma= medical assistant or medication aide, depends on the state/facility one works at.

cna= certified nurse aid

lpn= licensed practical nurse ( some states use this instead of lvn)

lvn= licensed vocational nurse

not sure what lna stands for

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flightnurse2b is a LPN and specializes in EMS, ER, GI, PCU/Telemetry.

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i think the LNA stands for "licensed nurse's aide/assistant"

i believe they call CNA's this in new hampshire... and not sure where else.

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dRkazN specializes in Med-Surg Tele.

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the LPNs we have can push IV meds so i guess it is different in other places

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