LPN stands for licensed practical nurse, a member of the medical community that provides general services to patients. An LPN may assist a doctor by performing such basic tasks as monitoring vital signs, dressing minor wounds, and recording patient data. The duties of an LPN aren’t specialized and can be learned within just a year of training. Though a licensed practical nurse is an invaluable member of the health care industry, it is ultimately more lucrative to parlay LPN training into attaining a BSN – Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing. Once the formal degree is completed, it is possible to begin a career as a registered nurse. Registered nurses enjoy more training, responsibilities, and career mobility than licensed practical nurses.
The main difference between licensed practical nurses and registered nurses is the amount of specialized training the latter receives. Both LPN and registered nurses work closely with patients, but the similarities end there. While an LPN will perform more basic duties such as collecting samples, monitoring data, and ensuring the accuracy of records, a registered nurse will perform more advanced tasks due to a more specialized background. Depending on their area of specialization, a registered nurse can work in an emergency room, an intensive care unit, or a physician’s office.
Due to their more diverse skill set, a registered nurse has the potential to earn significantly more money than an LPN. Registered nurses are also more likely to be offered promotions, supervisory positions, or other opportunities for advancement during their careers. Transitioning from LPN to registered nurse by earning a BSN is a great step to ensuring ongoing earning and advancement potential in your career.
The good news is the LPN training is often accepted as credits towards a BSN degree. Typical BSN degree programs take 4 years to complete, though the time frame will vary based on work experience and school requirements. Many schools offer programs that are specifically geared towards bridging the gap between LPN and registered nurse. It is often possible to take courses online, which is a good option for those with full-time jobs or other commitments.
As a student of nursing, you will be trained in the more complex methods and technique of various health procedures. Classes will be given in biology, physiology, pathology, and all aspects of nursing. After completing a BSN, graduates are eligible to sit for a standardized examination. Passing this exam is the final credential for becoming a registered nurse and reaping the benefits of all your hard work.
The number of elderly and disabled people is growing rapidly as the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement. over the next ten years the health care industry expects a large demand for registered nurses to work in all capacities, from hospitals to in-patient care. A registered nurse with years of experience can also move into different career paths, such as life care planner or health services management.
According to recent employment surveys, a registered nurse with a BSN can earn more than a licensed practical nurse. The average salary for a registered nurse is $64,690 according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.
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