A vocational nurse is a practical nurse who has license. They are called Licensed practical nurses (or LPNs), or also called Licensed vocational nurses (or LVNs). Their moral duties are care for those people who are really sick, injured, or disabled to do a work. These nurses are working under the direction of Doctor or under a registered nurse (RN). LPNs take a special care for their patients in different way. Sometimes, they give basic general care. Many LPNs measure and record patients’ vital signs such as “respiration, weight, height, body temperature, blood-pressure, pulses, and so on” (Zimmer 2010). They also make or prepare and give required “injections and dress wounds, enemas, monitor catheter, and give massages and alcohol rubs etc” (Zimmer 2010). They also try to help patients to feel comfortable, they held them to do some basic daily life work like “bathing, maintain personal hygiene, proper dressing, and, moving into bed, standing, and little walking” (Zimmer 2010). These LPN may also feed those patients who cannot eat by own.
“Their work also included with collect blood for samples for testing, perform basic laboratory test, and collect food or fluid intake and output” (Zimmer 2010). They clean monitor medical equipment and also monitor them. Seldom have they helped doctors and registered nurses to perform tests and processes. “Some LVNs help to deliver, feed and take care of infants” (Zimmer 2010). These LPNs also look after their patients and report worse conditions to the doctors. LPNs gather information from patients, like their health, and their current situation.
“They use this information to complete the insurance forms for patients, pre & post authorizations, or referrals, and they share this information with registered nurses and physicians to help them to determine the best course for a patient” (Zimmer 2010).
It should also be noted that “Those who works in doctors’ offices or clinics, they may be responsible for making appointments, keeping records, and performing other clerical duties” (Zimmer 2010).
A registered nurse could have an Associate’s degree or can have Bachelor’s degree, though some places may be require of employment for reserve charge/head nurse positions or other higher level RN (registered nurse) positions with 4-years experience.There are nurses with Master’s degrees, also, but at least they have to continue on to some kind of advanced practice of nursing. There are also diploma nurses, but these programs are now obsolete. Some RNs often take jobs in big hospitals, working in the ER or medical or clinical units etc. They can also get jobs where they have to supervise the LPNs and Nursing Assistants in repudiated nursing homes or in health centre or they can work in public health society.
“Registered nurses or RNs, have many works like work setting, treatment of patients, educate them and the unaware public about various medical conditions, and give advice and support to patients’ family members emotionally” (Zimmer 2010). Some RNs measure, or read patients’, medical histories of information and symptoms. They also help to perform different “diagnostic tests and analyze results, monitor medical machineries, administer treatment and help patient to follow up and also in rehabilitation” (Zimmer 2010).
Some time RN works as a teacher, sometimes as a communicator, and sometimes as a caring manager to their patient. Their role is being changed on time to time and according to their work. This is called role transition, according to a perfect definition
“Role transition indicates a period of change, often major change. It may involve letting go of some functions while adding others. You may have experienced the necessity of being a caregiver for a parent or grandparent” (Harrington and Terry 2008)
Differences between the LVN and RN Roles
The main differences between the licensed practical nurse and the registered nurse are:
The LVN can work under the RN, they can assist by them as well as Doctor. But a RN never works under LVN or LPN they are direct work under a Doctor.
According to educational criteria LVNs are less than RNs. RNs have higher degree on corresponding subject (Nursing).
“The LPN has attended school for approximately 1 year, including both nursing classes and clinical. The LPN serves the client in a directed and limited role. In contrast, the RN attends school from 2 to 4 years, composed of nursing classes, and liberal arts and sciences. The RN serves the client in both autonomous and collaborative roles” (Claywell and Corbin 2003).
Claywell, L., and Corbin, B. (2003). LPN to RN transitions. NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Harrington, N., and Terry, C. (2008). LPN to RN Transitions: Achieving Success in Your New Role. Boston: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Zimmer, C. (2010). Nursing Principals. Auckland:ICPL Press.