Difference Between a LPN and a RN

By Lanee’ Blunt

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) can finish training, get certified and begin working in a short period of time. Licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse LPNs or LVN provide basic nursing care to their patients, and work under the direction of doctors and registered nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A registered nurse (RN) has more responsibilities a greater work load and is paid more than a licensed practical nurse.

Job Duties
The job duties of a LPN include nursing tasks under supervision of a RN. They administer nursing procedures, such as checking a patient’s blood pressure, sterile dressings, compresses, enemas, suppositories, tube feedings, catheterization, diabetic care, oxygen therapy and pre-and post-operative care. LPNs set up prescribed medication in accordance with patients medical care plans.

A RN’s duties include giving patients medicine, treatments, helps patients with diabetic care, pediatric, operate medical equipment, record patient’s medical histories and symptoms. Registered nurses set up plans or contribute to existing patient plans and consults with doctors and other healthcare professionals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Requirement
A LPN is required to complete and accredited program. These programs are found in community colleges and technical schools. The LPN training program can be completed in a short period, about a year. Once the program is completed and then a certificate is issued and the remaining requirement is to take the National Council Licensure Examination NCLEX-PN to get a license to work as a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse.

However, a registered nurse takes one of three paths a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN), and associates’ degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing school. The nursing program can take between two to four years to complete your degree in nursing. In all states registered nurses must have a nursing license. To qualify for a license, nurses must graduate from an accredited nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination NCLEX-RN.

See also


[Image of a RN]. (n.d.). Retrieved from