Who is wanted more, RN's or LPN's?

  1. I have heard some time ago that LPN's were needed less. That places were taking nursing students in the jobs of LPN's and RN's were the ones that are were more in demand.

    More recently, a friend of mine who's fiance is a nurse told me that LPN's are being taught much more then before ( I don't know if these things are technically allowed) and are preferred than RN's because of the difference in pay. He said RN's were too expensive and the way things are going now, LPN's will just receive on the job training and RN's will find it more difficult to find work.

    What is more correct?
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    About Dezy

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 136; Likes: 82
    fitness coach ymca; from CA


  3. by   Fiona59
    You need to qualify your post. Don't you live in Canada? The job market and hiring practices differ widely across Canada and then again in the US.

    Everything taught in PN School is "allowed" within their scope of practice.

    Some feel that RNs in the province of Alberta have priced themselves out of the market. UNA bargained well for their members but not so well for the taxpayers.

    With the ever dwindling healthcare dollar it makes sense to utilize staff to their full scope of practice. Back when the degree became available, it was determined that these few RNs would work in management. We've all seen how that worked out in Canada. The death of hospital based education, the death of the two year diploma RN. Now it's a degree for every RN and two years at college for LPNs. So yes, it makes sense to reduce the number of RNs on the floor whenever possible.

    I've worked surgical units where there have only been two RNs on the floor out of nine nurses. As long as an RN is on the floor to take charge it works. No patient care was compromised. Other units are a 50/50 split.
  4. by   HouTx
    I think your friend is making a valid point. All-RN staffs are very expensive, and with declining reimbursement, I am sure that many organizations are going to have to re-think their nursing staff mix to decrease cost. However, LPNs have a much more limited scope of practice and must be supervised by qualified RN staff. I am already seeing a revival of "Team Nursing" that has been popular decades before.... RN teamleader working with LPNs & CNAs to provide care to a group of patients.

    The type and amount of nursing staff needed is dictated by the patient care that has to be provided. RNs always have to be leading this effort in most settings... the only exception is physician offices, where the physician supervises everyone. From a purely financial aspect, it just doesn't make sense to pay RN wages for the performance of tasks that can be performed by lesser-paid staff under the supervision of an RN.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Since the person who originally posted this discussion lives and works in Canada, this thread has been moved to the Canadian Nurses forum for more local responses.
  6. by   Topaz7
    If you are talking Canada then I don't know, in the U.S. specifically Michigan, I'd say BSN's are wanted more than LPN's and RN's, at least in the hospitals. As a LPN there are only 3 things I cannot do that a RN can- IV's (with the exception that I can remove them, and draw up meds for IV just can't administer), Care Plans (except in LTC because the LPN's pretty much run nursing homes), and 'delegating', instead it is called 'assigning' same thing just a gray area. We are taught how to do care plans but in most places we can only "contribute" to them, again unless it's LTC that's a different story. In my opinion LPN's will never be phased out, because honestly I don't think RN's would want to do the job in nursing homes. 35-60 patient load is a lot when as a RN you could have 8 or less.
  7. by   Dezy
    I was going to post this in the Canada thread but I wanted a view on all over place. One area may be different from the next but this way I get kind of a wordly view. Does this mean going into bachelor or nursing science is a waste of money? I wanted this so I could do everything and anything in the field of nursing an now it seems like I won't be valued much at all, especially when they ate giving what are supposed to be, special tasks to anyone. ( my friend fianc is an LPN and does Iv s and much much more). Like... What's the point of doing all this if it doesnt get us anywhere
  8. by   caliotter3
    I think this varies by the attitude of the employer.
  9. by   Silverdragon102
    It will vary from local to local but if looking at working overseas or in the US and a visa is required then LPN will not meet requirements
  10. by   loriangel14
    When speaking of the scope of practice for LPNs it greatly depends on where you are.PNs in Canada go to college for 2 years and have a much wider scope than LPNs in the US.Where I work there are far more RPNs than RNs.
  11. by   Fiona59
    Let's see in Acute Care I can't be Charge (never would want that job btw!), pierce a blood or travisol bag, work in NICU or L&D (never had the desire to go there), oh and I can't hang chemo meds.

    Now, it takes two nurses of any description to hand blood or travisol, after that the LPN is still fully and legally responsible for their patient.

    No desire to be in a NICU or a delivery unit (small children just are not my forte)

    Chemo meds? Most nurses will never hang them in my hospital. We had to do a huge AHS study manual the other year. In that year since we've had one patient who required them and he stayed for three days and was assigned to the same nurses over the course of his stay. The LPNs also had a manual on oral chemo drugs which we'd all been handing out for as long as I can remember.

    So I'm seriously beginning to wonder why the heavy need for RNs on some units. Outpatients and day surgery units are hiring more LPNs as their older staff are retiring and positions are re-evaluated.

    I wish I knew what AHS was upto but I'm not psychic.
  12. by   Daisy_08
    Generally the RN is moving more into a leadership, less hands on role, the pt navigator for instance. RNs still are the only ones in high speciality areas (ICU's, L&D, ER, SICKKIDS, onc.) however this is slowly changing especially in the last few years. Where I work RPNs can start IVs, but cant do IV meds, that's a facility thing, as it is within the RPN scope of practice. It depends where you want to work.

    I am an RPN, getting my RN. I'm young, I enjoy school (as much as I hate it right now - currently procrastinating with AN), no kids, can afford school, make good while I'm in school so for me it was an easy option.
    Last edit by Daisy_08 on Jun 13, '12
  13. by   loriangel14
    It varies so much from place to place.We have RPNs in L&D and ER.RPNs can do IV meds and flush and access PICC lines.
  14. by   Fiona59
    Yup, AHS has LPNs in ER and I've heard down in Calgary they are in ICUs as well. Personal choice again. Never wanted to work there. I can see the appeal of ER though, the patients do leave eventually and the frequent flyers only stay a couple of hours instead of months!