Types of Patient Care Duties
As far as the LPN goes in the hospital setting, they are required to keep track of the patient's vital signs, administer injections and enemas, address wounds, help with dressing and bathing, keep records of fluid and food intake and fecal or urine output. Cleaning medical equipment is another duty of the licensed practical nurse. Registered nurses, on the other end, can perform all of these duties, but are also able to administer oral medications, begin IV lines and insert catheters.
The LPN is known to interact with patients on a regular basis more than an RN, but they don't have a specialized area they work in. RNs are known for specifically treating patients in a certain area of the hospital, such as the emergency room, ICU or pediatrics. They are also known to specialize in certain medicines, like cardiology, oncology and general surgery.
Nurses that are registered are able to advance to managerial and administrative positions within many hospitals. Then there are programs that are around that can be used to advance to practice nursing in specific areas, but will require a graduate degree (must be an RN).
The amount of money made by LPNs as of December 2009 was between $14.29 and $19.37 hourly. Then RNs were reported making an hourly wage between $22.33 and $31.15. Those working as an LPN 40 hours a week could be making between $29,723 and $40,289 and RNs could be making between $46,446 and $64,792.