The two kinds of nursing designations in America are LPN and RN. An LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse, also known as Licensed Vocational Nurse, takes two to four years of study. Some hospitals have diploma programs where they train people for nursing on the job. He/she must take the NCLEX-PN which is a State Licensing Exam required to work. LPN or LVN commonly works at Nursing Homes or Doctor’s offices. They provide direct patient care, passing oral medications or completing treatments. The LPN’s hourly wage is quite lesser than of the RN. LPN’s are supervised or assisted by the RN regarding care.
However, being an RN or Registered Nurse takes two to three years of learning. It is a necessity for an aspiring RN to pass the state exam NCLEX-RN. NCLEX stands for National Council Licensure Examination. Once a person has their degree in nursing, and has passed the NCLEX-RN, they’re qualified to practice as a registered nurse. A Registered Nurse works at Hospitals, Home Health Care, Nursing Home, Clinics, and sometimes, Insurance Companies. They provide direct patient care, passing of medications, completing treatments, more advanced skills such as IV skills and IV medications. They practice independently regarding the role of a nurse. Registered Nurses may work in many settings, may be a charge nurse in a nursing home or hospital. May be the Director of a Nursing home or may be a nurse manager. However, these may need further education such as bachelor’s degree for many higher level nursing jobs.
Now that the roles of LPN and RN have been differentiated, it is necessary to research schools in around ones area that offer these programs. Many community colleges offer fantastic LPN programs that are very cost-effective. If one plans to pursue an RN, one can choose between 2-year ADN (Associate’s Degree of Science in Nursing) and 4-year BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) programs. Many 4-year BSN students take their first two years of pre-requisite courses at their local community college, and then reassign into a university for the lasting two years. This is a good way to decrease ones costs. But of course, be sure to contact program advisors, who are a great resource for planning your path and showing you your options.
For those who already have their LPN or RN designation and would like to complete their bachelor’s degree, many schools now offer accelerated degree completion programs (known as LPN/RN bridge programs). furthermore, there are distance learning options, such as the Regents program. If you are already functioning in the nursing field, these are viable alternatives to traditional degree programs and offer more flexibility.
References: Becoming a Nurse – RN or LPN; http://www.nursingjobshelp.com/rn_or_lpn.htm
Comparison of LPN and RN roles; http://www.mstc.edu/pdf/ComparisonLPNandRNroles.pdf