Have you been interested in becoming a nurse but are confused about the different types of nursing and their qualifications? You’re not alone. The nursing profession has several other specialties, each requiring a certain level of education and training. Two of the most common types of nurses are vocational nurses and registered nurses. Below, we explore the differences between these two types of nurses to help you determine which option is correct.
The Scope of Practice
One of the main differences between a vocational nurse and a registered nurse is the scope of practice. A vocational nurse’s scope of practice is limited to providing basic nursing or bedside care, including taking vital signs, administering medications and treatments, collecting specimens, providing patient education, and providing assistance to the sick, injured, or disabled in various ways medical settings. Furthermore, they usually work under the supervision or management of an RN.
A registered nurse is more specialized and has a broader scope of practice than a vocational nurse. Registered nurses are licensed by their state and have the authority to evaluate, diagnose and develop treatments for various medical conditions. They also provide direct patient care in different medical settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and physician’s offices. As a result, they can perform more complex tasks than a vocational nurse and may even supervise other nursing staff.
The Education Required
To become an RN or a registered nurse, you must acquire a degree or diploma in nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The curriculum for RN programs focuses on anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, and psychology. It also includes clinical experience in settings such as hospitals and nursing homes.
Meanwhile, becoming an LVN entails enrolling in an accredited vocational nursing education program that usually takes one year to complete. Registering as a vocational nurse must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).
The Salary and Benefits
Because of their scope of practice, registered nurses earn higher salaries than vocational nurses. According to Indeed’s data, a Licensed Vocational Nurse earns an average salary of $84,085 annually or $31.99 per hour, while a Registered Nurse makes around $91,444 per year or $43.66 an hour. The figures, of course, may vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of employer.
In terms of benefits, both registered nurses and vocational nurses typically enjoy the usual benefits offered in the nursing profession. These may include health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.
Your Fulfilling Career in Nursing Awaits
Whether you become a vocational nurse or registered nurse, you can look forward to a fulfilling career in nursing. Both specialties offer rewarding experiences and benefits that could help you achieve your career goals. Therefore, it is essential to research the education and licensing requirements for each type of nurse before deciding.
And if you find that working as an LVN suits your lifestyle and career goals best, LVNAT can provide you with the support and community you need to succeed. So please become a member of our growing community and join us in our mission of empowering and helping nurses reach the peak of their professional potential. Good luck on your journey!