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The Difference Between a LPN and a RN Explained

Concorde Staff

Concorde Staff

Updated March 16, 2022. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
Nurse using ultrasonic monitor

Registered nurses (RN) provide direct care to patients, while licensed practical nurses (LPN) typically provide assistance to doctors or registered nurses.The duties of an LPN include administering medications, collecting samples, taking vitals, and ensuring patient comfort. While a registered nurse or nurse practitioner plays an actisve role in conceptualizing patient treatment plans, LPNs tend to be much more task-driven in their work and are typically responsible for actually carrying out those treatments.

Similarities and Differences Between LPNs and RN

LPNS and RNs meet many of the same fundamental nursing needs. Both types of nurses care for patients suffering from illness and injury, and provide medical and functional assistance to help them recover as quickly and comfortably as possible. LPNs and RNs alike perform work that often proves mentally and physically demanding, serving patients in pain or dying.

However, RNs and LPNs usually work in different settings and hold distinct job duties with differing responsibility levels. Candidates for each position must fulfill separate educational and licensing requirements that result in different statuses.

Training and Education

One of the biggest differences between LPNs and RNs is in the educational training required to work in each role.

To become a registered nurse, you will need to earn a degree from an accredited nursing program. In some states, RNs simply need an associate's degree, however more states are requiring RNs to earn their BSN in order to obtain their license.

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are clear differences between LPNs and RNs. We know it can be hard to decide which direction is best for you.

The nursing field is projected to continue to grow nationally, driven in part by anticipated growth in the population and aging baby boomer generation

. 9% Job Growth Nationwide projected for Registered Nurses, 2020-2030**

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nursing continue to be a fast as average growing profession with an anticipated projected national increase of more than 271,000 job openings from 2020 to 2030.**

Growth is expected for a number of reasons, including and increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity and demand for healthcare services from aging population. While people live longer, more people will retire, and this will include nursing professionals.**

While the very population that needs nursing care grows, the gap in active nursing professionals will grow, which is a challenge that will drive additional demand for skilled nursing graduates.**

Next Steps?

Interested in learning more about our Practical / Vocational Nursing program? We have a Concorde representative ready to talk about what matters most to you. Get answers about start dates, curriculum, financial aid, scholarships and more!

  1. Program length may be subject to change dependent on transfer credits and course load. Please refer to current course catalog for more information. Concorde does not guarantee admittance, graduation, subsequent employment or salary amount.

  2. Professional certification is not a requirement for graduation, may not be a requirement for employment nor does it guarantee employment.

  3. Financial aid is available to those who qualify but may not be available for all programs. Concorde does not guarantee financial aid or scholarship awards or amounts.

  4. Clinical hour requirements and delivery may vary by campus location and may be subject to change. Concorde does not guarantee clinical site assignments based upon student preference or geographic convenience; nor do clinical experiences guarantee graduation, post-clinical employment or salary outcomes.

  5. Registration and certification requirements for taking and passing these examinations are not controlled by Concorde, but by outside agencies, and are subject to change by the agency without notice. Therefore, Concorde cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take these exams, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.