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Why do LPN's get so disrespected?

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I was working today on my unit and I overheard a Doctor talking to a Tech's and a Charge Nurse the conversation was about our facility never hiring LPN's. They were saying they can hire Tech's and expect them to move up the clinical ladder to become RN's hopefully BSN's where LPN's are just tech's who were stupid enough to pay money to make $3 more an hour and get to call themselves Nurses, the charge nurse laughs and says," yea, LPN mean little pretend nurse,they're just Nurse Assistants they have to have a RN over them. They look at LPN's as just tech's who were stupid for paying for the first semester of nursing school because that's all they learn he says it's like they got into Nursing school and dropped out after the first year. I was so shocked to hear this, I looked over at the patient and she said wow, maybe I should tell my daughter to drop out of her LPN program. I apologized for the stupid comments but the thing is I hear this ALL THE TIME about LPN's even the Nurse Manager said they do not hire LPN's in hospitals cause it's a waste of money and they're under educated. I am so sick of this I'm better than you mentality and the funniest thing of all is I bet the Doctor talks about the Nurses with his fellow Doctors. Why are LPN's so disrespected? I have even been told jokingly after I made a silly mistake charting that if I keep making mistakes they're gonna have to stick me over at the LTC with the LPN's and everyone laughed. I thought they're just being silly but I hear comments like this all the time, especially from RN's they roll their eyes and say ugh, I hate LPNs. What exactly does a LPN do, and aren't they Nurses or Nurse assistants


Specializes in Hospice, Adult Med/Surg.

I don't know why, but as an RN, I have worked with some wonderful LPNs who leave a lot of RNs in the dust in terms of knowledge, skill, and patient care. Not all of them, but a lot of them, because a lot of them are older nurses with tons of experience. I hate to see them disrespected too!:angryfire

An LPN is a licensed Practical NURSE.(LPN) That doctor was an idiot. Although they dont have an extensive amount of training as Registered Nurses. There roles are just as important to the hospital as anyone else. If they got rid of the LPN, who do you think will have to take on those responsibilities? Everyone else! And of course there would be much b**ching and moaning about being overworked if that ever happened. Next time that happenes, I would pull them aside and explain to them how hurtful their comments are.

I am so sorry you have to deal with those type of comments. I am an RN and I've seen many LPN's who could run circles around other RN's. My previous boss had that same attitude and I witnessed many occasions where she would slam an LPN with a spontaneous smart-as* comment. As far as co-workers, I think the way to handle it is to confront them in a professional manner--at least to let them know you heard what they said and it was disrespectful and unprofessional. I knew an LPN who did that to an RN she worked with and that RN changed her actions. Afterwards, several of the RN's went up to the LPN and gave her Kudos! Not all RN's are like that co-worker. And I think it is also up to the RN's who agree to back up the LPN's when they hear that type of talk.

Wow that's a shame that the patient overheard, How can an RN make fun of an LPN when Doctors probably talk behind their backs about them? I don't get how people in a field to help people can act like this.

That was mean and very blatant.I don't know what to tell you, but to keep your head up high.You're good at what you do:).


Specializes in LTC Family Practice.

Sometimes it's the trickle down effect, if management feels this way then it will happen. As an LPN, I've worked in environments where we were not appreciated and many where we were.

I'm PROUD to be an LPN, I graduated in '72 and I'm now returning to nursing after a long absence, what surprises me most after years of hearing LPN's are on their way out, is that our scope of practice has expanded (as I scratch my head).

There is room for both LPN's and RN's and I hope that one day management will figure that out and value all of us.


Specializes in Hospice, Adult Med/Surg.

One of the pp's made an excellent point: Many doctors don't respect RNs either. I have had several doctors talk down to me and treat me like an idiot. It hurts. I am not dumb because I am not a doctor. I am not less of a person because I am not a doctor. I CHOSE to be a nurse instead of a doctor for a reason. I actually had a doctor call me by the wrong name once when he wanted to discuss a patient with me. When a male nurse who I was working with politely told him my real name, do you know what that doctor actually said??? He said, "Oh, well. Who cares, as long as they come when you tell them to." :angryfire Talk about disrespect!!! And I won't even get into the difference between how some male doctors treat male nurses and female nurses. ARGHHHH!!!!

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

I don't hear it a lot, but I'm sure it's out there. RNs can be arrogant and people try to make themselves feel better by bringing down others.

BTW the reason LPNs aren't favored in hospitals is that the Joint Commission mandates an "RN Level of care for hospitalized patients" (or something like that, not a direct quote). Surely hospitals to save a buck would naturally favor LPNs were it not for that mandate.

pagandeva2000, LPN

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

Not sure, but it seems to stem from the duties being so blended in that it is truly difficult to seperate at times. I don't care HOW you slice it, an LPN does do assessments (AKA data gathering) on her level of practice. We are equally as responsible if we administer a medication or treatment that is not safe, are subject to disciplinary action by the BON the same as an RN.

I usually either take the bull by the horns (my usual action), or if an RN really feels that she has no use for me, then, I let her be the RN (meaning that she has to do it all). At some point, they realize that we are a TEAM and can each utilize each other's experience and talents.


Specializes in Wound Care, LTC, Sub-Acute, Vents. Has 5 years experience.

I make $10+ more than my CNA. And the RN makes $5 more in my facility. I am in new jersey and there are so many lpn-rn bridge programs here. An lpn can apply to the bridge and after 1 year, they are eligible for the nclex-rn. So you tell me, is that 1 year (2 semesters) would really make us a real nurse all of a sudden? I don't think so!

Plus, I know many LPNs who carry higher degrees in another field so they are definitely not under educated.

Those ignorant people are just that ignorant! Anyway, who do think will take care of the baby boomers in LTC?

Wow. I love the LPNs I work with. One, in particular, has been working on the unit longer than the vast majority of the RNs and is my go to person. She knows her stuff. Let's be honest, my 4 years of school and 6 months of experience, compared to her 1-2 yrs of school and 20 years of experience...if things go wrong she'll know how to handle it better than I would.


Specializes in A myriad of specialties.

agldragon said:
plus i know many lpns who carry higher degrees in another field so they are definitely not under educated. those ignorant people are just that ignorant! anyway, who do think will take care of the baby boomers in LTC?

Damn straight we're educated! I am an LPN with a BS in psychology and some master's study beneath my belt too--many rns don't even have a BS!! So tired of the belittling remarks and general disregard for us lpns! Wonder if the pas or nps get belittled too (because they just didn't continue on to get the MD)?

I've believed for years that cmas need to be replaced by the lpns so that total nursing care is provided. The fact that we've been getting phased out of hospitals as well as medical clinics in favor of hiring cmas irks me to no end.

iluvdetroit said:
He said, "Oh, well. Who cares, as long as they come when you tell them to." :angryfire Talk about disrespect!!! And I won't even get into the difference between how some male doctors treat male nurses and female nurses. ARGHHHH!!!!

Ugh, you should have told him you weren't a dog. With that sort of attitude, I have a feeling women in nursing aren't the only females he treats that way.


Specializes in ED, Med-Surg, Psych, Oncology, Hospice. Has 30 years experience.

I have 2 LPNs who work me, where I am the only RN. We are small hospital and we cover it all, in-pts, registration, respiratory therapy and ED. I sometimes have a 2nd RN and only LPN. I wouldn't trade ANY of these LPNs. They are knowledgeable, caring, and more than competent to care for our patients. I worked one place where an LPN asked the DON when she could get on 1st shift. She was told never because she (the LPN) wasn't qualified to handle the floor while her "nurses" were off the floor. What the H***?? To be so disrespected by the DON is inexcusable!

PostOpPrincess, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

That makes me sad. My mom was an English Professor. In the early 80's, she wanted a more flexible schedule and loved the idea of nursing--she wasn't in the mood to take her time either (ADD as well, like me =)--so off she went for her LPN!

She was an LPN for 5 years, and then went on for her RN. She is now retired. She is a brilliant woman who performed exceptionally as an LPN and then an RN.

I can only hope to be as good as her someday.

Jo, daughter of a former LPN, and proud of it.


Specializes in LTC, Disease Management, smoking Cessati. Has 28 years experience.

Whoa!!! No disrespect from me to LPN's. I worked my butt off to become an LPN and then I went back years later to become an RN. I've seen LPN's work circles around RN's at the bedside. I wear both pins proudly! Let this junk roll off your back, hold your head high and never let anyone make you feel bad!!!

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

agldragon said:
Plus, I know many lpns who carry higher degrees in another field so they are definitely not under educated.

Agreed. I'm still a pretty green rn, and I've learned a lot from the lpns I work with. Quite a few of my co-workers are on their second degree and/or career.

Those ignorant people are just that ignorant! anyway, who do think will take care of the baby boomers in ltc?

Not them.