A Stark Demarcation!
Nursing has evolved over time. The first nurse that has been recorded in history went back to ancient Rome. Christianity lead to the spread of nursing across the world. Priests and Nuns devoted their lives to the caring of the sick. Nursing however was not really recognized as a profession at that point in time.
Modern nursing however, is one of the most respectful jobs that a person can hold in a developed nation. As nursing took on the yoke of a profession, a lot of changes came into being. These changes were mainly seen in the realm of nursing education. Today, if we walk into a hospital, we will be greeted by nurses with different job titles. These job titles reflect their qualifications and their responsibilities.
Let us take a look at the two most popular groups of nurses. These are the Licensed Practical Nurses and the Registered Nurse.
THE LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE
This is a term which is used by nurses in Canada and the United States of America. A Licensed Practical nurse is a person who cares for people who are sick. This care also extends to people who are disabled or convalescent. A Licensed Practical nurse will always work under the guidance of a Registered Nurse or a Physician.
THE REGISTERED NURSE
A Registered nurse is a person who has completed the requisite training required and has graduated from a nursing college after completing the entire program. The person has to meet the guidelines setup by the licensing bodies of the country or the state that she wants to practice in.
FUNCTIONS OF A LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE VERSUS THAT OF A REGISTERED NURSE
A licensed practical nurse has limited options when it comes to specialization. He/she performs the basic functions that are required from a nurse which involves vital signs, bathing of patients, wound dressings etc. A Licensed practical nurse must at all times inform her superiors (Registered nurse/ Physician) about any changes in the patient’s condition.
A Registered nurse on the other hand has a larger jurisdiction. Registered nurses tackle the more complicated tasks in a patient’s care. They are usually found in critical care areas like trauma centers, Intensive care units, operation theaters etc. The function of a Registered nurse is determined by the State that she/he practices in. The licensing body of the state demarcates just what he/she can do.
DEMAND FOR A LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE VERSUS THE DEMAND FOR A REGISTERED NURSE
The demand for both Licensed Practical nurses and Registered nurses is high. Nursing however functions a little differently compared to other professions. There is high demand for skilled labor. That is the reason why there is a higher demand for Registered nurses compared to Licensed Practical nurses. In fact, the population of the Registered nurses in US and Canada is growing at a remarkable rate!
ADVANTAGES OF BEING A LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE VERSUS THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING A REGISTERED NURSE
Being a Licensed Practical nurse certainly has it’s advantages.1. It requires less training as compared to Registered nurses 2. There is a large demand for Licensed Practical nurse.3. Since the number of Licensed Practical nurses is less than the demand, there are a large number of entry level jobs that are available.4. You can always continue studying to be a Registered nurse.
Being a Registered nurse also has it’s perks.1. A Registered nurse has a higher earning potential.2. Registered nurses have the opportunity to specialize in the field that they like.3. They have better job security.4. They have better scope for advancement in their career.
Being a nurse is a call that comes from within. It isn’t an easy job. In fact, it is one of the most trying jobs in the world. It can drain you both physically and emotionally. If you are the kind of person that finds happiness in giving happiness, then you will find that nursing is definitely the job for you. There are moments of joy just as there are moments of sorrow. You share in a person’s journey to recovery. You form attachments… You learn to cope!
Knowing that you want to be a nurse is half the journey. Knowing where you fit in is the second half. There is a stark demarcation between Licensed Practical nurses and Registered nurses even though they work for the same cause. Take a while to set your priorities straight. Figure in the advantages of each stream. The answer will come to you on it’s own.