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Tell me why an LVN/LPN is a "real nurse"

LPN/LVN   (14,959 Views 57 Comments)
by PrettyNerd PrettyNerd (Member) Member

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lulu67 has 13 years experience as a LPN, LVN and specializes in school/home health/behavioral/prison.

34 Posts; 2,167 Profile Views

I completely understand you and I get it too- it’s like “What does the N stand for anyway?” Have you ever looked at the shift over the last century of what the RN’s role has been and how it’s changed? It’s crazy. Even for the LVN and CNA’s - many older (now in their 70’s)LVN’s I’ve met told me they felt like all they were was just a glorified CNA. There certainly have been many changes for all nurses in every scope- 

 I’m also an LPN/LVN- I too get that crazy 💩 but really, it is just uneducated people or occasionally it’s very rude people.

I got my LPN in Idaho- For my first 5 years as an LPN I was working full time in a psychiatric facility all the while carrying a second job at a SNF.. or working Home Health or working at a women’s prison. Later I moved to California and the transfer title became LVN.

As someone else stated earlier, we just need to be the best nurse we can be.. that truly is what matters-

Anyway, I started out attempting to get my RN so I took all the pre/core requisites - and then ended up in a different direction bc I was told my chances were poor for trying to compete with a younger population to get into the RN program- I was a non traditional student at the time and the advisor had little faith in me bc I had only a 3.5 GPA and the competition would be younger and with fresh AP classes behind them and many with 4.0’s and it would not really be smart- he suggested I repeat a few B grades and turn them into As. So here I am now and I’m very, very happy with how my life turned out- 

I now work at a high school of 3200 students in a very large city and I work full time at my school with an RN in the back office...And I love my job(tho it is very exhausting at times) The RN primarily does the paperwork and I handle pretty much everything else. She attends the 504 or IEP meetings with parents and counselors (or I do if she’s unavailable) and of course she creates the care plans. We both are responsible for the health of the students directly when it comes to their physical or even mental health but I’m primarily up front so I handle the majority of it.. We try to foster an environment that helps the students feel emotionally comfortable and accepted... As we all already know, Teens are sometimes a hard group to help because of not just the raging hormones but sometimes there are so many layers to peel back (every child is so very different) to build a rapport and gain their confidence and trust so we can help- 

Additionally, The RN and I both share the responsibility of caring for both staff and the kiddos and we work as a team together when any emergency arises.

I also work with the parents regarding f/u’s and registering their kids with the proper immunization records and then the filing and charting as well as the data entry of these records are my responsibility as well.

And still, many of the parents or staff have asked if they could speak with nurse when they enter my office- many of the staff to this day are surprised when I state, can I help? I’m a nurse too. It’s crazy bc I’ve been there for 8 years now. It has boiled my blood too bf -especially when only the “School Nurse” gets the acknowledgement of “School Nurse Appreciation Day” with nice comments, cards or gifts or whatever from the parents and even the district office. Apparently, I’m not credentialed so I’m not worthy of a card and saying thank you to. Go figure.

But it is just a lack of knowledge I believe and I realize too it technically is scope of practice as well as credentials and degree status but it’s also experience. I’ve had to show RN students how to give shots or even do an IV just bf their graduation date for many years where I work now or even on their med/surge rotation- when I was a student LPN. It is simply bc they do not focus on skills in their program. Instead, as someone already stated, they focus on management, care plans and delegation and that’s primarily the difference- 

Nevertheless, we all matter and we are all NURSES-🌸🦋

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Glycerine82 has 3 years experience as a ASN, LPN and specializes in SNF/Rehab/Geri.

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Nurses are nurses.  Each of us may hold a different type of degree and we have one of two different licenses. 

LPNs care for patients with expected outcomes and RNs have more training/education that allows them to become experienced at caring for sicker, more critical patients. 

RNs often work the same role as an LPN depending on the facility and job. LPNs have a more limited scope - in some states, it's more limited than others. (I happen to work in the most liberal state there is and the only thing I can't do is IV push)

Furthermore, there are awesome nurses and there are crappy nurses.  Some have 3 letters some have 2. 

I used to let it bother me that I wasn't an RN but I don't anymore.  I learn from anyone I can, whether or not they are a CNA, MD, RN, NP or janitor.  If you've something to teach me, I will listen because it will make me a better nurse. 

 

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Fiona59 has 18 years experience.

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1 hour ago, Glycerine82 said:

Nurses are nurses. . 

LPNs care for patients with expected outcomes and RNs have more training/education that allows them to become experienced at caring for sicker, more critical patients. 

RNs often work the same role as an LPN depending on the facility and job. LPNs have a more limited scope - in some states, it's more limited than others. (I happen to work in the most liberal state there is and the only thing I can't do is IV push). . 

 

I wish that was true.  My patients when they take a turn for the worse aren't re-assigned to an RN.  They are mine, even when the RAAPID team shows up, they remain mine.

We joke that the only difference between an RN and LPN in my province is $15/hour, the ability to take charge in Acute Care, spike a travisol or blood line and push cardiac drugs (and only RNs with additional education are permitted to).

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Ella26 has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Allergy and Immunology.

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I completely understand where you’re coming from. 

I progressed from CNA>LPN>RN>BSN. Took over a decade. 

I was an LPN for about 3 of those years. I have been told more than a few times...

”An LPN is not a real nurse”... it did hurt my feelings as I had worked extremely hard for that designation. 

I’ll be honest, those statements did motivate me to further my education, because I didn’t like that being said to me.

Since becoming an RN, I try to make LPNs feel accepted and respected because I never want an LPN to feel the way, I felt. 

 

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fibroblast has 5 years experience.

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On 8/18/2017 at 9:18 PM, PrettyNerd said:

Hey allnurses!

So today I was upset by a comment/question one of my coworkers made.

I am currently working as a CNA but I graduated from an LPN program and passed the NCLEX (currently looking for an LPN job). I don't want to let people know that I passed the boards or that I'm looking for a job, so as far as they know, I've only graduated from the program.

Anyway, today one of my coworkers asked me if I was a nurse, I said "no, not yet" she then asked "but you went to school to be a nurse right?" I said "yes I did" she then asked "so are you going to be a real nurse, or just an LPN?" I was VERY bothered by this question and I absolutely DESPISE when people don't see LPNs as nurses.

LPN, for people who are ignorant, stands for Licensed vocational NURSE! LPNs need to take and pass the NCLEX (the board examination that "real nurses" take) to be able to work as a NURSE. We need to apply and get accepted into a program which is NOT very easy. We study human anatomy, physiology, microbiology, AND pass those courses with A's or B's to get into a program. We spend clinical hours in various settings not only shadowing nurses but also getting hands on experience as the role of a NURSE. We've been in clinics, hospitals, long term care facilities, sub acute, psych units. I've passed meds (PO, SQ, IM), I've seen a live birth (assisted as much as I was allowed), Did trach care, reported with other nurses/doctors... I mean, I'm not going to go on and explain what I did as an LPN/LVN student. Point is, I went to school to study to be a NURSE, period. I passed the NURSING board to practice as a NURSE in my state. I really hate to be label as "just an LVN", "LVN" or "Not a real nurse". I'm a NURSE, darn it! And just because I did LPN/LVN doesn't mean it was easy, it was a very complicated, long, difficult journey!!

So, Why do people think that LVN's are not nurses? Is there a reason I don't know about as to why LVN/LPNs are not respected as "real nurses"?

Just wanted to know reasons why we ARE nurses. Maybe there's something I don't know.

Also, just to have reasons to tell other people why we ARE nurses. The only thing I was able to tell my coworker was that we do everything "real nurses" do except IVs (even then some states can do IV's).

Thanks guys, just a little annoyed, can't formulate words that well lol

LVN's have a LICENSE to practice and can take orders from an MD. In LTC, LVN's do initial assessments and do a full on admission. But not in an acute care setting. But they are real lives with real changes of condition.  We can give I.V. medications through a central line, but no I.V. pushes or blood transfusions. No non nurse can do this. 

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87 Posts; 517 Profile Views

Of course an LPN is a “real nurse.” You know that, we know that!  Everyone knows that— so you have to just ignore stupid comments. 

When I was a child, I heard an adult say that those initials stood for “low-paid nurse” and “real nurse.”  He had been an LPN and later became an RN, and I know he was goofing around when he said it. Sure, it’s also insulting, but just shrug it off. 

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I'm an LVN and after decades of hearing about LVNs vs RNs and what's a true nurse blah blah...who cares. Also include that LVNs are getting phased out too BS. In the end, we are all on the same side along with the doctors, aides, assistants, and nurse practitioners. 

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I am a PMHNP and I work in LTC. People's name tags are hard to read casually, so I often don't know exactly who's who. 

Many times I have been surprised to learn that a highly knowledgeable nurse was actually an LPN.

Just like with MD vs NP, sometimes personal qualities can outweigh educational training programs.

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1 hour ago, Oldmahubbard said:

I am a PMHNP and 

Many times I have been surprised to learn that a highly knowledgeable nurse was actually an LPN.

This is true too. My coworkers include both. I remember that one nurse asked me to go do a TB triage. I was thinking “Um, why don’t you just go do it yourself??” until I realized she was an LPN and in our office it had to be an RN. I had no idea which of the two she was because we do 99% the same stuff and I just knew her as a coworker nurse. 

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