Essay on Roles Transition From a Licensed Practical Nurse to a Registered Nurse

5 pages
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Wesleyan University
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Personal statement
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Every employee strives to be a high performer at the workplace as well as upgrade their education levels to receive promotions and increased wage rates. As a nurse, one has to be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) before transitioning to a registered nurse (RN). I have worked as staff nurse since August 2001 to date in University Hospital, Care Solution, Nephrology Center of America and Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic in GA. However, I aim to become a registered nurse within a few years. The paper will focus on how the role of an RN is different from my role as an LPN, how I perceive the change in my role, what I will gain from the transition and where I see the transition taking me in my future career.

Differences of RN and LPN

The RN heads the nursing staff in a health organization. His or her duties vary from those of the LPN. LPNs often undergo a training program for one year in the community or technical colleges. They can also enroll for nursing courses in hospital-based schools of nursing to receive certificates or diploma qualifications. After completion of the course, one takes the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to be licensed as an LPN. LPNs lack the opportunities to specialize in medical facilities or hospitals, however, acquire responsibilities in home care settings, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and long-term care homes.

As an LPN, one performs a patients assessment, can perform blood draw, feed a patient, wound care and start I.V.s based on a physicians written and verbal orders. One is also involved in the basic care and direct patient contact roles which include ensuring that patients are comfortable by helping them dress or bathe, inserting catheters, a collection of specimen, offering patients status reports to doctors and RNs and checking blood pressure among other vital signs (Difference between LPN and RN, 2017). One also happens to have more clinical knowledge than many BSN graduates lack. Additionally, as an LPN, one can assign work to nurse assistants, offer certain medications to patients and do chart out assessments on patients.

When one wants to be an RN, he or she undertake a diploma program for two to three tears at a hospital-based nursing school, a four-year Bachelors degree (BSN) in a recognized college or university and an associate degree in nursing (ADN) for two years in a technical or community college. When undertaking the degree course, one can take critical thinking, communication, and leadership courses which are important in managerial and coordination roles in the workplace. All the graduates who either take ADN, BSN or diploma programhave to take to NCLEX-RN to be licensed for the position. Most of the RNs, work in hospitals and very few of them work in long-term care.

When a person is the RN, he or she will be responsible for ensuring that the plan of care is adhered to by nursing staff members. The RN also chooses, implements and evaluates the nursing care plan for every patient in the acute inpatient setting. One can diagnose and treat a patient as an RN with advanced training helps doctors in surgery, works in emergency rooms and with cancer patients. He or she can be involved in patients with heart diseases, those fighting diabetes, and eye problems. Therefore, when a patient is admitted to a medical facility or hospital, the RN will be responsible for the plan of care while the LPN works under the supervision of the RN to ensure the personal well-being of the patient is taken care of.

Perception of Role Change

When transitioning from LPN to RN, there are various perceptions one has on being an RN. One expects that she will focus on ensuring a high level of health care for patients with acute and chronic illnesses. As an employee one will offer collaborative and independent specialty, therapeutic and comprehensive health care services. You will also collaborate with physicians in revision and evaluation of therapeutic plans, offering to counsel to patients as well as their families and overseeing the compliance with the preventive health care needs of adult patients visiting the clinic (Academy, 2016).

One expects to determine and implement emergency measures on life-threatening conditions independently, formulate database relative to patients physiological, sociological and psychological condition to identify his or her strengths and problems as well as offer surveillance of adherence to primary care and medical procedures and practices to stabilize patients with chronic conditions. As an RN one will also be ordering laboratory tests for physician consultation, developing and recommending new ways to offer improved quality primary care and offering leadership in auxiliary and primary care practices.

Gains from the Transition

The position of an RN has more benefits compared to being an LPN. One will have the opportunity of working in governmental organizations, critical and long-term care facilities, home health care settings, hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, schools, the military, clinics and physicians offices while the LPN mostly works in long-term care facilities (How to Become an RN, 2017). One can work in different specialties such as pediatric, geriatric, emergency care, surgical or neonatal care based on the concentrated certifications or training one has.

One will have the opportunity of moving into advanced healthcare administration or nursing practices when she completes the Ph.D. Level degree. It opens up many managerial and leadership level positions which one cannot obtain as an LPN hence offering one the opportunity to have a better job position. The pay scale of an RN is also about 40% more than that of an LPN hence one will be able to earn more with the new role. One is likely to earn 2 to 4 times more than an LPN. One will also work on supervisory roles as LPNs work with orders from the RN. The small tasks will, therefore, be delegated to ones juniors hence relieving one from such duties.

Future Career

The transition from an LPN to RN will have an impact on my future career. I will have the ability to work in different areas such as nursing care, military, correctional facilities, and hospitals. I will also have the advantage of a better wage rate of more than $66,640 annually. I hope to receive educational and childcare benefits, bonuses and flexible working schedules (Guide to Become a Registered Nurse, 2017). Due to the growing demand of nursing care because of the aging population and lifestyle diseases, the nursing profession is growing fast, and I aim to use my long-term experience in the profession to educate patients on chronic health problems. I also aim to be a nursing lecturer to share day-to-day practices that one is bound to encounter in the nursing profession.


Academy, A. (2016). Is It Difficult to Transition from an LPN to RN?. Retrieved from Between LPN and RN | Difference Between. (2017). Retrieved from to Become A Registered Nurse. (2017). Retrieved from

How to Become an RN. (2017). How to Become. Retrieved from

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