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"LPNs are glorified CNAs"

LPN/LVN   (3,052 Views 26 Comments)
by nursetnc nursetnc (New Member) New Member Nurse

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I am in my last semester of an ADN-RN program. In my state you have the opportunity to become an lpn after finishing the second semester of an rn program. Having worked at a SNF as a CNA for years, I jumped on that change. I studied hard for the nclex-pn and was ecstatic and proud when I passed and officially became a nurse. Today I was at the hospital doing a clinical for my rn program and I mentioned to a patient's family member that I was already a nurse, an lpn, but I was working on finishing up my rn. She replied that "that's good because lpns are just glorified cnas anyway." Um... that really rubbed me the wrong way. While I have mad respect for cnas and believe that it's an incredibly important and meaningful job, I could not have been an lpn and been good at my job with just a cna education and experience. I have attended many lectures, studied many hours, and done hundreds of clinical hours to be able to sit for, and pass, the nclex. I know she didn't mean it that way, but it made me a bit upset to be called a "glorified cna" after all the hard work I've put into obtaining my nursing license. I don't think people really understand what it means to be a nurse and how much critical thinking and constant learning is required. Does anyone else have any similar experiences or thoughts on the situation? I'm interested to hear other's experiences!

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and works as a Staff nurse educator.

4 Followers; 4 Articles; 102,748 Visitors; 8,627 Posts

There is much about healthcare professions that laypeople don't understand. This isn't something you should let bother you- fight the big battles instead. Had this been your manager or someone up the chain, then it would be something to be concerned about. Patients? Nah. They don't know what they don't know.

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1,358 Visitors; 95 Posts

LPN's are not glorified CNA's

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a RN and works as a Retired.

10 Followers; 32,650 Visitors; 3,116 Posts

Any time someone makes a disparaging remark about nurses I suspect at some point in their lives they wanted to be a nurse.

I've heard more bs stories about people who couldn't complete nursing school because someone was out to get them, or some untoward event scuppered what would have been a brilliant career.  And (at least in my experience) these seem to be the same people who like to throw out little potshots at nurses in general.

Write this off as possible sour grapes.  You're a nurse.  She isn't.

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience and works as a case manager.

4 Followers; 68,683 Visitors; 6,203 Posts

That comment was made by a layperson, so who cares? They do not know feces from shinola.

Let it go. Nursing requires a very thick skin.

Best wishes.

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Orca has 24 years experience as a ADN and works as a Corrections RN/DON.

1 Follower; 25,766 Visitors; 1,759 Posts

22 hours ago, Rose_Queen said:

There is much about healthcare professions that laypeople don't understand. This isn't something you should let bother you- fight the big battles instead. Had this been your manager or someone up the chain, then it would be something to be concerned about. Patients? Nah. They don't know what they don't know.

These are the same people who will grab a housekeeper in the hallway for a medical issue because she is wearing scrubs. Just consider the source and let it go.

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698 Visitors; 262 Posts

When I was in RN-to-BSN program, a patient told me, "you'll make a good nurse one day".  My uncle once said that my RN cousin was "practically a doctor".  People frequently know only what they see on TV about healthcare.  Don't pay any attention.

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BrandonLPN has 5 years experience and works as a LPN.

34,987 Visitors; 3,358 Posts

People with the least amount of knowledge on a particular subject often seem to be the most eager to reveal their lack of knowledge.

I have a medical assistant cousin who frequently proves this in regard to her assertions re: LPNs. Apparently, I’m not allowed to administer narcotics, cannot touch IVs, and I am being phased out and MA’s are replacing me.

All news to me.

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and works as a Internal Medicine.

1 Article; 40,962 Visitors; 2,322 Posts

LPNs are in the same sense glorified CNAs as NPs are "just glorified nurses who know nothing but thick too much about themselves". 

The last I heard more times than I can count. From pretty much everybody, including those who should know better. So? 

You, like everybody else, got only one life. It is not wise to spend a moment of it musing about words of some blockhead. Or nincompoop, if you so prefer (yes, there is such word in English). 

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ocean.baby has 25 years experience.

2,011 Visitors; 85 Posts

BrandonLPN, you mean you haven't been phased out already?  I thought that was going to happen 30 years ago.  I have an ADN and I was supposed to be phased out about 20 years ago.  So far, I don't see us going anywhere.  

I worked with a nurse who had a BSN.  He repeatedly said that because his school was so difficult, they graduated 'almost' doctors.  

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downsouthlaff has 9 years experience as a LPN and works as a LPN Charge Nurse.

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1. CNAs should be glorified in my opinion for the work they do. 

2. No your not a glorified CNA, your a Licensed Nurse. It’s in your title. You are licensed to perform nursing functions that CNAs cannot. 

I know that the patients really don’t know better, but I also know how this can get under our skin. But you do learn to ignore these things after some time, because at the end of the day, they really don’t matter. Sometimes I’m so busy and tired of telling a dementia patient that I’m your nurse and so and so is your aide, when they refer to these aides as there nurse, I just nod and agree and get back to my ocean of charting to do so I can go home in time lol 

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T-Bird78 has 6 years experience.

14,022 Visitors; 838 Posts

CNAs are to be glorified for their work and their heart. Remind people what the L and N stand for in LPN—LICENSED practical NURSE. I have an aunt who was a patient care aide, going to pt’s homes to get vitals and assist with meal prep. She had two pts, so she worked 4 hours a day. She kept calling herself a nurse to my mom and other relatives until I asked her how many questions her NCLEX was and when she passed her boards. She quit saying that.  I also had a pt, two weeks ago, see the LPN on my badge and ask when I was going to finish my RN. I told him I had no plans to. I chose to become an LPN and will stay one. LPNs aren’t “glorified CNAs/MAs” nor are we “RN wannabes/RN rejects”. 

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