Difference Between RN and RPN

The Government approves and/or authorizes RNs and RPNs who wish to practice medicine as nurses. RN is a Registered Nurse, whereby completion of nursing degree from reputed varsity/colleges is required.

While for Registered Practical Nurse(RPN) a diploma of 1-2 years of nurse training is eligible before entering into examinations.

RN vs RPN

The main difference between RN and RPN is that RN(Registered Nurse) requires a bachelor’s certificate in Nursing from a recognized college or university. Whereas, on the other hand, RPN (Registered Practical Nurse) is a qualified and licensed Practical Nurse, who requires a diploma program certificate of one to two years, depending on the countries’ course duration. 

RN vs RPN

The RN is an acronym for Registered Nurse. The role is for nurses, who have graduated with a nursing course from a reputed university and are met with the eligibility criteria imposed by the government of a country.

The essential qualifications of an RN include an accredited degree, National Council Licensure Examination clearance, and state licensure.

The word RPN is an acronym for Registered Practical Nurse.

It is also known as Licensed Practical Nurse.

They are would-be nurses, who require one or two more years of training in the nursing program, typically referred to as a diploma, to qualify themselves one step ahead of RPN, a position of a qualified and Licensed Practical Nurse

Comparison Table Between RN and RPN

Parameters of Comparison RNRPN
MeaningRN is a four-year completed nursing program graduate from a recognized university/college. RPN is a nurse, who has to complete a diploma program for 1-2 years. 
Regulation & scopeRN regulated by the State Board of Nursing, where the scope varies from one country to another. RPN is governed under the Nursing Act 1991, with a wide range of scope in the medical fields. 
Eligibility criteriaBachelor of nursing degree; accredited degree; National Council Licensure Examination clearance; State licensure. 1-2 years of Diploma; Clearance of NCLEX-PN examination
Qualities RN is essentially to treat patients who have complex health issues and are experienced in laboratory work. LPN/RPN provides elementary treatments such as bathing, feeding, monitoring. Plus, look after long-term illness people. 
Acronym RN is known as a Registered Nurse.RPN is known as Registered Practical Nurse, also called as LPN- Licensed Practical Nurse

What is RN?

The RN is the role for nurses, who have graduated with a nursing course from a reputed university and are met with the eligibility criteria imposed by the government of a country to obtain a proper nursing license.

Moreover, the requirements of RN include an accredited degree, National Council Licensure Examination clearance, and state licensure. 

Besides, the RN’s scope of practice is regulated by the legislation of the country, professional body, or council.

The program for nursing has been in progress since the early twentieth century, where in New Zealand, the Nurses Registration Act was passed on the 12th of September 1901.

Subsequently, every nurse or pursuing nurse should go through three years of training in a reputed university or college alongside passing a qualification exam, to qualify and become themselves as registered nurses.

Following this, every country has decided to impose such a requirement for nurses in a way to know whether the person is fit to be in that profession or not. The main role of the RN is to ensure that every patient receives enough treatment and care.

Their usual routine includes assessing and identifying patients’ needs, implementing, monitoring the patients’ medical plan and treatment, plus other supervising and lab work.

What is RPN?

On the other hand, RPN is also known as Licensed Practical Nurse, who takes care of patients suffering long-term illness and other elementary treatments.

Furthermore, would-be nurses require one or two more years of training in the nursing program, typically referred to as a diploma, to qualify themselves one step ahead of RPN, a position of a qualified and Licensed Practical Nurse.

The course will include theoretical and clinical instruction in psychiatric and general nursing. Because of only one to two years of training, RPNs are often met with less complex needs and low-pressure situations than any other nurse post.

However, they also need to clear the NCLEX-PN exam to become a proper and licensed nurse in the medical field.

Speaking of their responsibilities and duties, the primary goals of RPN encompass taking care and participating in the improvement, implementation, monitoring, and examination of services for individuals, families, or communities.

RPNs usually work in schools, hospitals, clinics, and communities to provide safe care and general treatment to people of all ages.

On the whole, they are mostly assigned to provide basic bedside care, such as assisting patients with daily activities starting from waking them up to feeding, bathing, dressing, and putting them to sleep peacefully.

Main Differences Between RN and RPN

  1. RN is called a Registered Nurse, whereas RPN expansion is Registered Practical Nurse which is also termed as Licensed Practical Nurse(LPN). 
  2. RN is a nurse who has completed the nursing course from a recognized college or university and cleared all required government examinations to possess the title of Nurse. On the other hand, RPN does not require nursing degree certificates but should get 1-2 years of diploma with nursing training.
  3. RN is regulated by the State Board of Nursing-either professional body or a council, where the scope for an RN is limited as it differs from the country. Notwithstanding, good medical training bestows wide scope for RPN under the governing act of Nursing 1991. 
  4. To become an RN, one person should hold- a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a recognized college/university, an Accredited degree, National Council Licensure Examination clearance, and  State licensure. On the contrary, an RPN needs 1-2 years of Diploma for nursing and Clearance of NCLEX-PN examination.
  5. RN demands high knowledge of medical practice as they treat patients with complex illnesses. Despite that, RPN requires basic knowledge of nursing where they treat elementary medical practice on patients like bathing, monitory, dressing, and many more. Besides, RPN takes care of long-term illness patients.
Difference Between RN and RPN

Conclusion

RN and RPN/LPN are required for an eligibility degree/course for practicing medicine as nurses.

For instance, a Licence is considered for driving a vehicle on road, likewise, a medical license is very crucial for a person, who is practicing medicine as a nurse under the nursing Act 1991.

Nursing is the discipline where a person who has completed nursing programs from recognized universities or colleges and passed their licensing examinations is considered a registered nurse (RN).

Furthermore, to become a nurse under RPN, then a diploma program of 1-2 years should suffice. In order to acquire Licence, both these registered nursing degrees consist of multiple examinations, tests, experiments, interviews, and so on.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S8755722311001955
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0260691717300138
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