The research paper compares and contrasts the scope of nursing practice between licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) in the United States. Both LPNs and RNs possess the attitude of caring to patient care and are both responsible for promoting and meeting the welfare of their patients. RNs have the responsibility in supervising LPNs due to the limitation of the scope of their educational program.
Most RNs started their career in nursing as LPNs because LPN education program requires only nine months to one year in training. The paper also discusses the roles and responsibilities of LPNs and RNs, the educational programs offered to LPNs and RNs, conduct and accountability of LPNs and RNs and their respective employment and salary in the health care industry. Licensed Practical Nurses versus Registered Nurses
State boards of nursing in the United States are responsible for creating scope of practice regulations and releasing licenses for nurses in the United States. There are similarities and differences in the nursing practices between licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN). The similarities include working between 36 and 38 hours per week on average, increase in shares of LPNs and RNs working in offices and clinics of physicians, both are aging with LPNs being slightly older than RNs, and small percentage of males of both workforces.
The differences between LPNs and RNs include: the LPN workforce is smaller than the RN workforce, growing percent of RNs are immigrants, while fewer LPNs are foreign-born, RNs work in hospitals in large percentage than LPNs, increase in percentage of LPNs working in personal and nursing care facilities, and the percentage of RNs working in the private sector was smaller than the percentage of LPNs working in the private sector (Seago, Spetz, Chapman, Dyer & Grumbach).
Conduct and Accountability of LPNs and RNs All nurses whether RNs or LPNs shall have the knowledge and understanding of the nursing laws and rules, perform within the legal framework of nursing practice, and have responsibility and accountability for the quality of nursing care given to patients based on and limited to range of education, competence and nursing experience. LPNs have a dependent role in providing patient care only at the communication or direction of the RN, doctor or dentists. LPNs get commands and supervisions as needed when executing new or unfamiliar nursing practices or techniques. The RN has the main responsibility for the direction and supervision of the nursing care given by the LPN.
Both LPNs and RNs must exercise professional and sensible judgment in recognizing whether the performance of a given action is within the component of nursing practice for which they are trained, licensed and clinically competent to perform. An LPN is responsible to get commands and supervision when executing new or unfamiliar treatments or procedures and should tell the RN or his/her supervisor that he or she is not trained to perform the treatment or procedure. All LPNs and RNs are required to collaborate with other health care team members (Morgan).