What Is the Difference Between RN & LVN?

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An RN is a registered nurse, and an LVN is a licensed practical nurse. The main difference in the jobs is related to what medications LVNs are allowed to administer. Find out why LVNs are an important part of health care 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 is Kayti Brosnan. I'm a registered nurse here in Austin, Texas, and I'm going to tell you today, what the difference between an RN, and an LVN is. First of all, an RN is a Registered Nurse, and an LVN is a Licensed Vocational Nurse. That's interchanged with the term LPN, or Licensed Practical Nurse. The only difference there, is that the states of California and Texas, use the term LVN, so know that those can be interchanged. The main difference between an RN, and a LVN, is the schooling, and what LVNs are allowed to administer, medication wise, so an LVN is doing a lot of the same things in a clinical setting, that a registered nurse is, but they're doing it under the delegation and supervision of either a registered nurse, or a charge nurse, or directly under the supervision of a physician. A lot of these things entail vital signs, specimen collection, activities of daily living, patient care, wound care, education, but there are state regulated limitations, as to what an LVN can actually administer, or assess in some cases. It's also good to know that LVNs are a really important part of health care, and some of the best, wisest, and hardest working nurses I've worked alongside of, have been LVNs, so just because there's a little bit of difference, and there's different titles, doesn't mean that there not an important part of health care, and working in the hospital, and that's the difference between an RN, and an LVN.

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