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Differences Between Vocational and Registered Nurses: Jobs & Career Outlook

Differences Between Vocational and Registered Nurses

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Choose which nursing program is perfect for you if you want to obtain a nursing degree. Knowing the differences between a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and a registered nurse is important to this (RN).

What is a vocational nurse, for example, is one of the queries that are frequently asked. This article seeks to explain both of these nursing titles. How do you define a registered nurse? What distinguishes these two programs and licenses from one another?

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What is a Licensed Vocational Nurse?

A licensed vocational nurse (LVN), often referred to as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), or vocational nurse, is a person who works in a hospital to provide care for patients who are ill, disabled, or have various types of injuries. To provide main bedside care for patients, an LVN typically works under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN), a doctor, or a mid-level practitioner.

Students must enroll in a vocational nursing school for at least one to two years in order to become vocational nurses. They must also get a certificate, diploma, or associate degree in the subject. To practice, you must also pass a licensing test.

In vocational schools and community colleges across the nation, students can enroll in official vocational nursing programs. Students will get instruction throughout the program both within and outside of the classroom, including practical training in a medical setting. There may include classes on nutrition, anatomy, physiology, pediatrics, first aid, obstetrics, pharmacology, and patient care, among other topics.

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Licensed Vocational Nurse Responsibilities:


Your responsibilities as an LVN in the hospital could include:

  • keeping an eye on the patients’ vital indicators, such as their temperature, weight, height, blood pressure, pulse, and breathing
  • reporting patients’ vital signs to the doctor or an RN
  • Using all reasonable steps to ensure a patient’s comfort, including where necessary, bathing and clothing the patient
  • assisting patients with changing bandages, placing catheters, and other routine nursing care

You can work in a variety of settings as an LVN, including:

  • general hospitals for medicine and surgery
  • blood centers
  • Psychological institutions
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Correctional establishments
  • Dialysis facilities

Read Also: How to Become a Trauma Nurse?

What is a Registered Nurse?

In the US, a registered nurse (RN) is a healthcare worker who has earned at least an associate degree in nursing, however many enroll in 4-year bachelor’s degree programs in nursing.

Some “transitional programs” will consider a nurse’s prior education when pursuing an associate degree or another RN-designating program for students who already hold their vocational nursing license. For instance, the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at The Chicago School’s LVN to RN Transition Program can be shortened by up to six months.

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Also, depending on the state, RNs must meet different boards of nursing standards before receiving licensure as registered nurses. Be sure to check with your state’s requirements when pursuing an RN.

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What Do Registered Nurses Do?

The following are the obligations and duties that an RN has at work:

  • Creating a plan for the patient’s care and recording the patient’s medical history
  • Giving the patient their medication and ensuring they receive the necessary care
  • Regular consultations with medical professionals and mid-level practitioners
  • Conducting patient tests and evaluating the findings
  • Receiving LVNs’ data on patients’ vital signs and properly assessing them
  • Managing LVNs in a medical facility

An RN may work in a variety of contexts, such as:

  • General hospitals for medicine and surgery
  • Armed forces positions
  • Correctional establishments
  • Government institutions
  • Schools
  • Services for administration and support
  • Vacation camps
  • Services for healthcare at home

What is the Difference Between an RN and an LVN?

RNs are typically more experienced nurses than LVNs. The fact that vocational nurses require less formal training and work under the supervision of registered nurses is a key distinction between the two types of nurses.

Although they carry out comparable jobs, an LVN normally does not have the same duties as an RN.

An LPN performs specific medical duties but is not given the same responsibilities as an RN.

Before becoming licensed, both RNs and LVNs must finish particular educational programs and pass a national licensing exam.

Students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses in order to become licensed vocational nurses (NCLEX-PN).

On the other hand, in order to become fully qualified registered nurses, aspiring RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN, or National Council Licensure Examination.

We hope we fullfiled your queries

Article by
Skillshouter Team
Image credits: pixabay.com

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