I've been reading this board a while and I see the LPN vs. RN debate come up quite often. I am really interested in the history of the two levels of nursing. Why is there a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Registered Nurse? I don't see two tiers in other areas of medicine. I don't see a practical medical doctor and a medical doctor. I don't see a practical pharmacist and a registered pharmacist. I understand the need for techs and assistants, but LPNs and RNs responsibilities seem so similar in scope, why do the two levels exist?