Working in healthcare might be a tough career at times, but it’s certainly rewarding. Many roles within healthcare can be explored, but working as a nurse is a very popular choice, with a lot of people interested in working in this sector. However, there are various types of nursing positions, so working in one role won’t automatically allow you to move into another just because it’s nursing. Here the roles of LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse) and RNs (Registered Nurse) will be explored, with tips on how you can move from one to the other.
What Is The Difference Between An LPN & RN?
An LPN can provide patients with basic medical care, such as helping them with bathing or getting dressed, taking their blood pressure, and liaise with doctors and RNs regarding a patient’s progress. RNs, on the other hand, can administer medications, advise the patient on how to manage their illnesses, perform diagnostics tests and analyze results. There are career progressions on both sides, with LPN being able to move to supervisory positions or moving into a nursing specialism with the right training and education. A typical RNs career path might include moving into a management position or educational role or moving towards business management type roles in healthcare.
If you are currently working as an LPN who is interested in becoming an RN, read on for further guidance on how you can make the switch.
Get The Right Qualifications
If you are working in nursing, you will already have a degree or equivalent qualification to be able to practice in your role. However, if you want to move into an RN position, you’ll need to get further educational training to do so. You can study while you work, but you might find a degree program like this online LPN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing course better as it will be a more flexible approach to obtaining your degree. If you think you’d like to move into a nursing specialism later in your career once you have become an RN, do further research into what other education or training you might need for those roles.
You will already have nursing experience from your role as an LPN, but you should enquire about perhaps shadowing an RN for a while so that you can see what an average day working in that role will look like. You might even want to ask if an RN you work with now would be willing to mentor you as you make the switch from your current role to an RN, as they might be able to help you out with references for jobs as well as general guidance to help prepare you for your new position.
Get The Right License
Once you have finished your degree and training, you’ll need to make sure you get the correct license to practice as an RN. You’ll remember having to take a similar set of tests to obtain your LPN license, and you should do this as soon as you have completed your degree so that you can start practicing as an RN as soon as possible.
If you’re an LPN ready to try something new in your career, consider becoming an RN and see what opportunities this career path has for you.