What Is The Difference Between A LPN And A RN?

In taking the nursing career path, you should think about whether you want to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). Registered nurses hold seniority over licensed practical nurses and are often the one who assign tasks and manages the LPNs in a health care facility. However, if you want to start your career in nursing early, you can pursue becoming a LPN first then becoming an RN later.

If you are a bit confused on which is which, here are the main differences between licensed practical nurses and registered nurses:

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

LPNs are nurses who are more hands-on with patients. These are the nurses whom patients are most familiar. To become a LPN, you should undergo a training program that for one year. You can get this training from a vocational or community college. After your one year training, you will receive a diploma. After that, you should prepare for the National Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses. Once you pass, you are already a licensed practical nurse.

LPNs work in direct patient care. They work in different healthcare facilities like nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and many more. They work under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians. Most of their tasks include checking blood pressure, taking pulse rates, taking temperature, administering medication, cleaning and bandaging wounds, giving shots and monitoring patient condition. LPNs have a median annual salary of $40,110.

Registered Nurses (RN)

Registered nurses undergo more advanced training. This ensures that they are more prepared for more duties and responsibilities. They take on patient-care jobs, administration and management roles. RNs can get an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree to start their career. Such programs can be taken in community colleges and traditional colleges. After completing the degree, you shall take the national licensing examination for registered nurses. Once you pass, you will become a registered nurse already.

Registered nurses can provide direct patient-care but usually have a lower task load than licensed practical nurses. Registered nurses do not take temperatures or administer medications but they can if needed. As a RN, your job is to develop patient care plans, manage LPNs, nursing assistants and aides and assign tasks to them. You must ensure that your nurses are well trained and there is always an efficient working environment in the healthcare facility. RNs have a median annual salary of $57,280.

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