Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are both important members of the healthcare team. However, they have different levels of education and training, and their job duties vary accordingly.
Registered nurses (RNs) have a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) or an associate's degree in nursing (ADN). They are responsible for providing direct patient care, such as administering medications, monitoring vital signs, and providing wound care.
RNs also work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to develop and implement patient care plans.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) have an associate's degree in practical nursing (ADN) or a diploma in practical nursing. They are responsible for providing basic patient care, such as taking vital signs, assisting with bathing and dressing, and changing dressings.
LPNs also work under the supervision of RNs and doctors to provide direct patient care.
In the United States, RNs are licensed by the state in which they practice. LPNs are also licensed by the state, but the requirements for licensure vary from state to state.
The average salary for RNs in the United States is $73,300 per year. The average salary for LPNs in the United States is $47,480 per year.
The job outlook for both RNs and LPNs is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of RNs will grow 15% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of LPNs is projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
If you are interested in a career in nursing, there are many factors to consider, such as the level of education and training required, the job duties, and the salary. Both RNs and LPNs play important roles in the healthcare team, and the best choice for you will depend on your individual goals and interests.