RN vs RPN
RN stands for Registered Nurse whereas RPN stands for Registered Practical Nurse. RPN is also known as Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN) in USA.
A registered Nurse (RN) is a nurse who has completed nursing program from a recognized university or college and successfully passed a national licensing examination. RN’s scope of practice vary from country to country, but their practice is determined by their state’s Nurse Practice Act. Their legal practice on what task they can or cannot perform depends on their association that they are registered with.
A Registered Practical Nurse on the other hand, requires less number of years of education in order to practice. Mostly likely 1-2 years of diploma program is enough to practice as a RPN, but it depends on where you live.
In Canada, RN must have a degree in nursing which means 4 years of university education and must successfully complete board exam to practice, whereas RPN requires 2 years of diploma from a recognized college. In Ontario, RPN have greater scope of legal practice compared to rest of the provinces, but they are supervised and follow directions from a Registered Nurse as needed. RPN may not be able to handle patients who are unstable or with complex medical conditions.
In UK, the state enrolled nursing (SEN) qualification is no longer obtained. SRN (State Registered Nurses) are now known as Level One Nurses (similar to RPN). The majority of the nurses are first level nurses. The second Level Nurses are (EN-Enrolled Nurse) or SEN (State Enrolled Nurse) previously trained for 24 months and possess the title as Registered Nurses and have higher pay grade and hold rank of Charge Nurse.
In Australia, RNs (Registered Nurses) are required to finish Bachelor of Nursing. Enrolled nurses (EN) (similar to RPN) require 12 months of training. They can attend university and become Registered Nurses (RN). After 2004, Enrolled Nurses can administer some oral and IV medications and intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. They can conduct ECG and collect specimens under direct supervision of Registered Nurses. RNs on the other hand are required to finish Bachelor of Nursing.
Because RNs go through extended education and have in depth knowledge in clinical practice and theories, they can work in any areas and able to take care of any type of patients with more complex conditions, areas such as ICU, ER and Surgical Units.
In general, RPNs provide basic bedside care for patients such as obtaining vital signs, prepare and give injections with the direction of an RNs, assist patients with daily activities such as help with bathing, dressing, moving and feeding. Same as RNs, RPNs can work at specialized areas such as nursing homes, long term facilities and doctors offices.
RN’s and RPN’s salary depends on the area they work. Obviously, RN’s salary is higher than RPN’s, and in Ontario, Canada RN can start at $22 per hour to $35 per hour. Nurse Managers and NPs (Nurse Practitioners), who have Masters degree can earn higher salaries. RPN salary in Canada vary anywhere from $17 to $23.
1. RN requires Bachelor of Nursing whereas RPN requires 1-2 years of diploma.
2. RPN is directly supervised by RN as needed.
3. RN receives more salary than RPNs.
4. RN is able to care for patients who have more complex disease process and unstable. RPN provide basic bedside care for patients.
5. The scope of practise for both RN and RPN vary from country to country.
College of Nurses of Ontario: http://www.cno.org/en/become-a-nurse/
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) : https://www.ncsbn.org/1623.htm
Nursing and Midwifery Counsel : http://www.nmc-uk.org/Nurses-and-midwives/
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia : http://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines-Statements.aspx