The Difference Between LPN and RN

Most people simply refer to them both as nurses, but there is a major difference between an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and an RN, a registered nurse. In a nutshell, a RN is a more advanced medical practitioner than an LPN. Starting with the amount of schooling they must have, an LPN must attend an accredited training program for about a year, whereas a nurse, akin to a doctor, must have a college degree or equivalent degree (Associates, Bachelors or approved diploma) LPN’s and RN’s are have different experience and practical levels. Basically an RN is more of a medical professional whereas an LPN


An LPN generally finishes their education in a year or so, whereas an RN takes years to complete their education. An RN’s education is more advanced. While an LPN learns to administer basic care to a patient, their main function and their training centers around making sure the patient is comfortable and sanitary. An RN on the other hand will actually administer medicine and offer medical insight and information to a patient. The main difference lies in their functions and duties.

LPN Duties

• Offer basic nursing care, such as check heart rate or blood pressure
• Keep the patient comfortable, make sure they are warm or cool, change their position in bed if necessary and so forth
• Keep patient clean, help them bathe, change undergarments and help go to the bathroom if needed
• Help patients dress, change dressings on wounds or scars
• Keep doctors and Registered Nurses informed of status of patients
• Discuss basic healthcare with patients

RN Duties

• Administer medicine
• Administer basic medical treatments, such as finish sutures, handle basic medical procedures and so forth
• Coordinate medical treatment with doctors and other healthcare providers
• Oversee other healthcare workers, including aides, orderlies, LPN’s and other home care providers
• Instruct patient on medical care and post treatment care for illnesses or injuries

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