Differences Between Registered Nurse and Practice as an LNP
An RN (Registered Nurse) refers to a nurse who has qualified in a university or college nursing program. In addition, he has passed the . The key role of RNs is to assist groups, families, and clients to curb disease and acquire health. They carry out activities related to the care of the injured and sick in health institutions. Some RNs work in private hospitals, government hospitals, or healthcare companies.
The majority of the RNS first practice as LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurse) or LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse). The practice scope of registered nurses depends on the regional association or college, and the government operating in a particular region. These bodies stipulate the legal practice and tasks.
The term LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) is mostly used in Canada and US (Smeltzer et al, 2010). It refers to nurses who care for the disabled, convalescent, injured, and sick, and they are given directions by physicians and registered nurses. This paper aims at discussing the differences between LPNs and RNs regarding management and leadership, professional responsibilities, and education preparation to engage in evidence-based practice. Moreover, there will be a personal reflection of the journey from LPN to RN.
Management and Leadership
RNs are expected to perform higher compared to LPNs. The roles of LPNs are more task-oriented. On the other hand, RNs are supposed to see the larger picture. RNs are required to scrutinize issues more deeply, as well as assess all the underlying conditions. They are obligated to consider the patients here-and-now condition. Usually, registered nurses are supposed to perform the first patient assessment. Afterward, LPNs can perform their assessment.
However, the initial one has to be performed by the registered nurse (Williams & Gallimore, 2008). RNs and LPNs can work together during patient assessment. The registered nurse is the only one who can formulate the patients diagnosis, and plan how the entire care will proceed. Furthermore, the care plan is formulated by the registered nurse, and he also starts the necessary nursing actions to offer healthcare.
The LPNs are obligated to oversee the implementation of the care plans developed by RNs. The registered nurse can instruct the LPN regarding the measures for nursing. However, the LPN can only carry out those obligations that are within their practice or license scope (Unruh, 2009).
LPNs are supervised directly by registered nurses, which is dependent on the employment place. It is worth pointing out that LPNs and RNs have to work cooperatively. During home care, LPNs have to inform and call registered to seek their confirmation before making any transformations to the healthcare plan.
The duties of LPNs and RNs are similar. However, registered nurses carry out more medical obligations; the roles of RNs are more to the roles of LPNs. LPNs principal practice scope is bedside care.
RNs have the ability and authority to carry out some tasks which LPNs cannot. Some of these responsibilities include drug titration, hanging blood, hanging chemo, and . It is, however, worth noting that the variation in tasks differs from one nation to another.
The roles carried out by an RN are independent. They engage in activities such as patient treatment, creating awareness to patients, offering emotional support and counseling to the family and client, documenting medical histories, assisting with diagnostic examinations, providing medications and treatments, operating machinery, analyzing tests, follow-ups, and creating care plans. The roles for LPNs are less than these, and they work under the instruction of RNs.
Educational Preparation to Participate in
The principal variation between RNs and LPNs education is that registered nurses require a considerably longer training period. Registered nurses attend school for three or two years more, which is not the case for LPNs. LPNs can complete nursing schooling in a year or even months. The majority of registered nurses undertake either associate degrees or BSN (Bachelor of Nursing). Associate degrees require two years for training, while BSN requires four years (Ingersoll, 2010).
For an individual to register for an RN nursing program, he should possess a GED or a diploma from high school. Furthermore, an individual has to pass the NLNE (National League for Nursing Exam) before being accepted for an RN nursing program.
For a person to be approved for a registered nurse training program, he should demonstrate the ability to handle numerous responsibilities and his schedule should be flexible. The training involves daylight programs. On the other hand, LPN training sessions are extremely flexible. In addition, an individual can choose a weekend, evening, or part-time hours. Some RNs are allowed to take the LPN assessment. In case they qualify, they are permitted to work as LPNs are they progress with RN training.
Personal Reflection: Personal Journey from LPN to RN
The practice scope and time required for training as an LPN are extremely limited. After practicing for some time as an LPN, I became aware that the performance expectations are greater for RNs (Yoder-Wise, 2013). Irrespective of the fact that LPNs and RNs carry out similar responsibilities, RNs have additional medical roles. Consequently, I decided to train as an RN. This allowed me to take extra responsibilities and advance my career.
As an LPN, I was required to carry out bedside care. However, as an RN, I have a greater role. I am supposed to scrutinize issues more keenly and identify the underlying causes. I am always required to be the first one to assess a patient. Moreover, I should oversee the activities LPNs are carrying out, instruct them, and support them (Harrington & Terry, 2008).
One of the key lessons I have learned is that effective communication is exceptionally vital between LPNs and RN. This ensures quality, safe, and prompt healthcare. Moreover, there is a need for collaboration and cooperation between the entire team of healthcare experts. This ensures that patient needs are identified and met on time.
It is worth emphasizing that both RNs and LPNs have an obligation of offering appropriate and safe nursing care to all patients. In this regard, these nurses require adequate resources and support to carry out these obligations effectively. In the healthcare setting, both nurses have to interact, which calls for cooperation, collaboration, and effective communication. In settings where collaboration is required between RNs and LPNs, the delivery models should enhance collaborative practice, which ensures delivery of appropriate and safe client care. With the increase in healthcare needs, there is also an increase in the depth and breadth of the necessary competencies. This implies that RNs should offer additional support to LPNs.