Role Transition 1
Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse
Treasure Valley Community College
July 18, 2008
Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse
The word “nurse” can conjure up many different mental images and emotions, depending upon whom you ask and the experiences that person has had with various nurses. There is a good reason for this. The nurse has many different responsibilities and roles. This paper will focus on relationships and transitional changes from the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to the Registered Nurse (RN) role in the nursing process, as well as this nursing student’s observation of the role changes in the Home Health Care setting compared to literature reviewed. It will also include changes that must be made in this nursing student’s practice in order to assume the role of a Registered Nurse.
Relationships and Transitional Changes from the LPN to RN Role
According to the Oregon State Board of Nursing:
“Practice of registered nursing” means the application of knowledge drawn from
broad in-depth education in the social and physical sciences in assessing,
planning, ordering, giving, delegating, teaching and supervising care which
promotes the person’s optimum health and independence…
“Practice of practical nursing” means the application of knowledge drawn from basic education in the social and physical sciences in planning and giving nursing care and in assisting persons toward achieving of health and well-being.”
(Oregon state board of nursing…..)
The Licensed Practical Nurse is a very important team member of the health care setting. Under direct supervision of a Registered Nurse and within the scope of practice, the LPN assists in the nursing process. The LPN collects subjective and objective data by observing and interviewing...
But despite the sacrifices necessary to become a registered nurse, the initiative to go beyond the comfort zone and experiences will make an LPN grow personally and professionally. Harrington& Terry(2009) define role transition as “the passage or shifts from one role to another and involves changing the way one thinks and acts” (p. 54). Role transition from LPN to RN role is a unique experience as it changes and broaden the LPN’s responsibilities, thinking, practice and experience, and the overall view of the nursing world. The decision to become a registered nurse uprooted to the two of the most important goals I have at the moment: one of them is to continue my nursing education and explore a vast array of knowledge, skills, and experiences apart from being an LPN, and the other one is to pursue this long-time dream of being a registered nurse that helps people as well as the increase in income. The road to become a registered is not easy and requires understanding of the differences between the LPN and RN roles, management of conflicts, application of classroom discussion to role transition and, knowing and understanding the exisiting facts and standards of the state board of nursing. Specific Role Changes The LPN transitioning to become an RN faces variations in the roles they perform. Often times, distinguishing the differences between the roles they perform becomes difficult as they are bombarded with several role variations. However, there are two specific role changes differences between an LPN and an RN. One of the first specific role changes is the difference in the nature of client care. LPNs focus on the “how to” of client care while RNs focus on understanding “why” of client care(Ham, 2002, p. 11). LPNs main concern is the delivery of standard care needed by the client and not the underlying concepts behind the procedures. RNs, on the other hand, consider a variety of nursing skills in order to understand the patient as a whole. RNs are trained in a variety of settings such as client’s homes, long-term care settings, clinics, and hospitals where they are required to have a broader scope of nursing knowledge in order to handle complex client problems. LPNs and RNs work under the same setting with the LPNs under the supervision of RNs. The second specific role change is the orientation to the use of thinking skills (Ham, 2002, p. 12). RNs must prove that critical thinking is being thought and practice in their curricula. RNs are required to make routine decisions or judgments upon rational analysis of information. Meanwhile, LPNs are just provided with the information necessary to apply client care but may not have been introduced to principles and theories that enhance learning. Role Conflicts Role conflicts can be intrapersonal and interpersonal and occurs when a person’s role has two or more conflicting or incompatible expectations (Duncan& DePew, 2011, p. 34). An LPN transitioning to an RN role may experience conflict emotionally and physically. For example, an LPN who is emotionally contented about his job feels pressure from his employer requiring the LPN to become a registered nurse. Conflicts may arise because the LPN might find it difficult to differentiate the role of the LPN and the role of the RN. As an LPN, he/she knows the “how to” of the procedure but during the process of learning, the LPN should unlearn and relearn certain methods in ...Show more