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Licensed practicing and the Registered nurses (LPN and RN) do more or less the same job. It is most apparent though that the higher cadre RNs wield advanced professional qualification compared to the LPNs thus recommendation of the latter to offer medical care to patients without close supervision. In her article LPN to RN you can do it!, Suzette M. Renfrowemphasizes on the need of the LPN to advance their education so as to graduate into RN. This article highlights therefore the differences between RN and LPN as well as privileges of the former.
Unlike the RNs, the LPNs are only allowed to give medications, administer direct patient care in a hospital, home health agency or nursing home or simply work in a medical doctor’s office. Additionally, their work schedule is packed and healthcare programs where they work are highly inflexible since they largely provide direct medical care to patients within the medical facilities. The kind of limitation is attributed to their (LPNs) elementary medical training in basic care giving. It is most notable that this is not the case with the RNs at all. The higher cadre nursing personnel are presented with a wide range of healthcare programs to choose from depending on what they deem excellent and suitable to their career live and schedule.
Most importantly, RNs have the liberty to control their career but not the LPNs. An RN has the capacity to choose a specific population she would like to serve. They can make selections of choice from pediatrics, geriatrics, diabetics, transplants, rehabilitation mentally retarded and IV therapy. A well qualified registered nurse can serve as a patient advocate, a legal consultant, as a parish nurse, a medical researcher among the others. Due to the large size of the field, employment opportunities are adequate. The possibility of controlling one’s career has been increased by the shortage of the RNs.
Similarly, RNs’ salaries are slightly higher as compared to LPNs’ salaries. The RNs holding advanced diploma in nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) who work as clinical specialists or chief nursing officers earn approximately $76209 and $167387 respectively- a positive reward that improves their lifestyle. On the other hand, LPNs earn an average salary of about $31,530 in various states. The LPNs are also cut off from many privileges at the workplaces hence their motivation to become RN through higher education.
Apart for the excessive privileges they are entitled to, RNs command a lot of respect and an outstanding esteem in the nursing professions compared to their LPNs counterparts (Suzette, 2007). Considering that they perform specific tasks that LPNs do not carry out in the scope of practice, RNs have unlimited job opportunities in all federal states of the United Stated of America (Harrington & Terry, 2009). Besides job security in the profession of nursing, RNs are the potential sole beneficiaries of the financial aids and scholarships released by the federal government to fund education of healthcare personnel in the nursing career. Unfortunately, the LPNs are not eligible to such financial aids unless they attain the status similar to that of RN.
In conclusion, there are clear differences between RNs and LPNs in terms of the privileges, occupational benefits, professional qualification, and the scope of their nursing practice. Graduating from LPN to RN requires a long term plan, experience and hard work as illustrated by Suzette. It involves simultaneous working, schooling and taking care of the family.