October 20, 2011
LVN vs. RN: Scope of Practices
Many nursing professionals begin their careers as LVNs (License Vocational Nurse) and later complete the requirements as a bridge to the RN. The role of the LVN has always been to provide direct care to patients in the medical setting. They usually work under the supervision of a physician or RN and perform lesser tasks than a registered nurse. The role of the RN (Registered Nurse) was specifically assigned to be a supervisory position. Educationally, RN’s must attend about 2 years of nursing school to obtain an Associate’s Degree. The Associate of Science in nursing programs lets a student to become a RN and earn more money quickly than a 4 years BSN program, which is more ideal for many students. LVN’s go through about one year of vocational training to have a license which allows them to do their scope of practice. Both LVN’s and RN’s take similar classes, such as Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Developmental Psychology, Medical Surgical, Pharmacology, Cultural Sensitivity, Leadership, Geriatrics. Each scope of practices must also attend clinical experiences, in which they give direct care of actual patients in nursing homes, hospitals and clinics for medical and surgical, labor and delivery, geriatric, and psychiatric patients. Despite the similarities, RN’s must take classes which LPN’s are not required to take. Some of these classes are on subjects such as Community Health, Role of the Charge Nurse, and Bio Chemistry. Most of these focus on theory and administrative functions. They also must attend classes which are fixed solely on the educational requirement toward gaining a degree, such as elective classes on arts or languages. Summarily, the actual medical educations of LVN’s and RN’s are nearly, if not completely, almost the same. There have been many references to patients in the clinical setting being safer under the care of an RN than an LVN. One thing is certain that...
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