What's the Difference Between an RN & a PN?

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The difference between an RN and a PN is that they have had different schooling, and PNs have certain limitations in a hospital setting. Learn about the limitations of PNs in regard to the administration of medication with help from a licensed RN in this free video on nursing jobs and health care.

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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Kayti Brosnan. I'm a registered nurse here in Austin, Texas, and today, I'm going to tell you what the difference between an RN and a PN is. It's good to know that an RN is a registered nurse, and a PN is a practical nurse. That term is also interchangeable with LPN or licensed practical nurse, and LVN, licensed vocational nurse. The main difference that you're going to find between an RN and a PN is the schooling and the limitations that PNs have in a hospital setting. A lot of this...a lot of the limitations are around the administration of medication and how much they're allowed to assess. So a lot of times, they're working under the delegation and supervision of either a registered nurse, a house supervisor, a charge nurse, or under the direct supervision of a physician. So basically, an RN and a PN is different in a hospital setting because of the licensure and the limitations of the state that they put upon that license and the schooling. And that's the difference.


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