Print Posted 05/28/2016 in Category 1

Difference Between LPN and RN

Difference Between LPN and RN

5 Basic differences between License Practical Nurse (LPN) and Registered Nurse (RN)

 “Licensed Practical Nurse” is what the acronym LPN stands for, this set of Nurses don’t require a great deal of formal training when compared to the RNs registered nurses. They are required to carry out specific medical duties, but are not assigned tasks like an RN. They usually work under the watchful eyes of an RN. An LPN program virtually takes one full year to complete. They examine patients, study crucial symptoms, and help with processes like catheterization and wound care. LPNs work in nursing homes, home health care, clinics and hospitals.

Registered nurses on the other hand are required to perform a variety of duties, but of all, the most significant is to focus on all the needs of their patients as well as to make sure that they get enough comfort in a safe environment. They are usually trained to takes note of the orders issued by a doctors and performs them appropriately. RNs are in-charge of the patients; they carry out evaluation and create care plans taking into account their patients conditions. Also they are in charge of providing immediate care when the need arises. RNs typically take leadership positions and employ critical thinking to offer appropriate medical services. RNs have opportunity to specialize and advance their career, therefore they can tailor their job to match their skills and interests as they progress.

Let’s look at the basic differences between RNs and LPNs.


The path to become a practical and registered nurse usually differs.

•LPN- In order to become a licensed practical nurse, you are required to obtain a high school diploma or GED to enroll in an LPN education program. Afterwards, you must complete 9 to 18 months of training and successfully pass a state licensing assessment paper.

•RN- If you want to become a registered nurse, you need to get a bachelor or associate degree from a certified nursing school and afterward pass the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain RN licensure.


Training program for the two professions are quite different when it comes to cost, complexity of subject and duration.

•LPN- The coursework of LPN training program is less extensive and deals with topics such as psychology, food and nutrition, anatomy, biology, chemistry, fundamentals of nursing, pharmacology and human health and diseases etc. Clinical internship is usually a vital part of this course.

RN- RN coursework are similar to the LPN programs. However, registered nurses study the topics in-depth and thoroughly. The primary focus is of RNs is on psychology, community health, social sciences, critical thinking and leadership skills, In addition to an intensive practical training.

 Scope of Practice

•LPN- LPNs perform their duties under the watchful eyes of registered nurses and doctors. Their level of practice is limited; they could choose to become RN after obtaining some experience and education.

•RN – registered nurses with master’s degree have far more career prospects. They can become nurse specialist, nurse administrator, nurse specialist or nurse educator. Also doctorate degree holders can make careers in practice, policy, administration, and education.


•LPN– Most LPNs are employed in physicians’ offices, nursing care facilities, home health care facilities, community care facilities as well as medical and surgical hospitals. They can also comfortably work in psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, dialysis centers and blood banks.

•RN– RNs are majorly found in general medical and surgical hospitals. They might also find jobs in physicians’ offices, nursing care facilities and home health care services; In addition, they can choose to offer service in correctional facilities, government agencies, educational services, administrative and support services, and military forces.

 Duties and Responsibilities

•LPN- A practical nurse concentrates a lot more on carrying out important duties, like taking note patient’s crucial signs, heart beat and blood pressure. An LPN doesn’t do the job by herself/himself; instead s/he is actually supervised by a registered nurse. They usually are restricted from taking crucial decisions related to patient’s treatment or starting IVs.

•RN – An RN carries out a lot more complicated tasks like dealing with medications and other drugs in addition to the medical tests and reports of a patient. They also perform additional duties and can also perform administrative and managerial responsibilities. They could perform various responsibilities independently with no prior guidance or directions.

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