LPN programs at community or technical colleges. As part of an LPN program, LPN candidates will take part in supervised clinical training in order to gain hands experience in the field. In addition to nursing courses, students will also take classes that focus on pharmacology, human anatomy, and biology. LPN programs are very much structured around learning how to perform the necessary skills required to take care of patients.
Check out LPN to ADN and LPN to BSN.
Registered Nursing programs on the other hand take anywhere from 18 to 36 months to complete. RNs must earn a professional nursing degree. The exact length of the program depends on the type of Registered Nursing degree one seeks to obtain. The most common professional nursing degree options for an RN include a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing), and a diploma from an accredited nursing program. It is important to keep in mind that in most cases, a BSN is preferred over an ADN and diploma programs. BSN programs usually take about four years to complete. ADN and diploma programs can take about two to three years to complete. Although the three routes vary, it is likely that all will focus on various clinical and hands-on training experiences, as well as classes on behavioral, social, and physical sciences. RN programs will also include courses on team leadership, legal and ethical issues, as well as research and pharmacology.
Learn more about LPN classes, courses, and curriculum.
LPNs who wish to further their careers and gain increased responsibility and pay can enroll in bridge programs. These programs allow for faster transition and certification in new nursing roles. Bridge programs include transitions from CNA to LPN, LPN to ADN, LPN to RN, LPN to RN Online, and LPN to BSN. Several online LPN bridge program options for current LPN's are available.
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Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses will encounter varying salaries depending on their geographic location. Salaries will be affected by a state’s cost of living in addition to how in demand LPN and RN jobs are in that area. In the 2016-2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), the average salary for an LPN is about $42,500 and the median salary for an RN is about $66,500.
RN and LPN salaries vary by area of specialization and years of experience. In most cases, the more years of experience a nurse has the more he or she will earn. Critical care specialties such as the intensive care unit (ICU), emergency department (ED), labor and delivery (L & D), and the operating room (OR) are highly paid specialties in nursing. Normally, there are more crirical care specialty positions available to RNs than LPNs.
Learn more about an LPN salary compared to an RN salary.
LPN and RN job responsibilities and duties can differ greatly. As required by law, RNs are responsible for overseeing LPNs. This model will vary by healthcare setting. In a hospital setting, for instance, a Registered Nurse might be assigned to six patients on a medical floor, along with one assigned LPN, and hopefully a CAN (Certified Nursing Assistant) who might be assigned three times as many patients. In this model, the LPN would help the RN administer medication (in most states this will not include IV). The LPN in this model would also assist the RN with wound care and ADLs (activities of daily living). The RN would focus on care plans, charting, updating physicians, and administering medication through IV. In the setting of a skilled nursing facility, the LPN would do all the previously mentioned duties, except IV medications. Meanwhile the RN would oversee the whole facility and all working LPNs.
In general, LPNs are responsible for providing basic nursing care such as checking blood pressure, inserting catheters, and helping comfort patients by performing tasks such as changing and dressing. LPNs work closely with RNs as they are required to report patient statuses to Registered Nurses and doctors.
LPN Job Duties
Licensed Practical Nurses are expected to be proficient in many skills, including the ability to be able to:
Learn more about the LPN duties.
RN Job Duties
In addition to all LPN duties mentioned above, some other skill sets for a RN include:
Learn more about LPN careers.
Both LPN and RN candidates will be required to pass certain exams in order to become licensed.
Once a state-approved and accredited Practical Nursing program is completed, LPN candidates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). When the exam is passed, candidates will be able to begin work as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Registered Nurses are also required to successfully complete a state-approved and accredited nursing program. After a program is completed, candidates must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). In addition, some RNs may choose to become certified in specialty areas such as critical care, emergency department, or labor and delivery. This option is usually available after working in a specialty for a certain amount of hours, normally about one year.
Learn more about the NCLEX-PN Exam for Practical Nurses and NCLEX-PN Practice Test Questions