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LPN vs RN | The difference between Licensed Practical Nurse and Registered Nurse in Canada (2021)

LPN vs RN | The difference between Licensed Practical Nurse and Registered Nurse in Canada (2021). I will preface by saying that the LPN and RN role in general are constantly evolving and this is never completely set in stone. Throughout the years, it has been well known that both LPN and RN scopes of practice have been increasingly steadily and this makes it challenging to be completely accurate every year.


LPNs have a diploma in Practical Nursing. To become one, you must complete a college track that consists of four semesters. This takes about two years to complete. To work as a LPN anywhere in Canada, you’ll also be required to take a national licensing exam. Once you’ve passed this exam, you’re able to enter the workforce. Because it requires the least amount of education and training, LPNs usually work with patients who have stable and uncomplicated conditions. To work with more complex conditions, you’ll have to further your education and become an RN. A RN has gone to university either in Canada or an international equivalent. To be an RN, you must hold either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) or a Bachelor of Nursing Degree (BN). These can be attained through a college-university program or a 4-year university degree program.


An RN’s education and training are significantly longer and more comprehensive than that of a LPN. They’re trained as generalists and, by the time they graduate, have a comprehensive knowledge around a range of patient needs and treatments. This means that RNs are better equipped for handling complex needs. They’re also trained to react appropriately in non-routine situations. A RN can build on these entry-level skills and choose a specialization. When and if you decide to do so, you can advance your career and become an NP.


Now let’s talk about the specific scope of practice differences in 2021. Now, each province that you work may be a little bit different so make sure that you reference the most up to date agreement set out by your nursing union. This is to give you an idea what the difference may look like so that you are able to make an educated decision which career you would like to pursue. Here are the main differences in scope of practice feel free to pause the video if you want to look at the specifics, but again this is just to give you a general idea, this may vary depending on your state or province.


The other factor that you may want to consider is difference in salary. RN’s do more education and therefore the salary is impacted accordingly. They make approximately 30% more than LPN’s.


So given these differences, you might be asking yourself why would someone choose LPN over RN? Well it is a great way to gain exposure to healthcare field and see if it is truly something that you enjoy. The other reason is that you finish school quickly and are able to make a healthy income and work yourself to becoming a RN over time. Another reason is that some hospitals or institutions will actually pay for your school in exchange for a year or two years of work for them. So essentially you can get your education paid and it is not too rare to have that happen especially in the united states.


So in summary the key differences are:

  1. RN make roughly 30% more than LPNs.
  2. RN education is a longer and more expensive process than LPNs.
  3. LPNs report to RNs in the professional setting.
  4. RNs have more scope of practice in the clinical setting than LPNs.


So there you have it, those are the differences between being a licensed practical nurse and a registered nurse. If you enjoyed this video, please consider giving it a thumbs up. Let me know if you want me to do a video on registered psychiatric nurses or any other videos in the comment section below. Thank you for watching and I will see you in the next video.



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