The Role Transition from LVN to RN

The major goal of this study

The major goal of this study is to report the results of a descriptive study on Licensed Vocational Nurses' (LVN) roles, including responsibilities and scope of practice, as well as their involvement in the healthcare team. Furthermore, the registered nurse's (RN) obligations, including scope and tasks, are explored, notably in the healthcare sector. The following section compares and contrasts the functions of a licensed vocational nurse and a registered nurse. The difficulties that registered nurses who work with LVNs face are also discussed, as well as how to overcome them. The last section of this paper discusses the competencies that the RN should exemplify influencing the researcher's anticipated nursing practice as a registered nurse. The competencies are incorporated in the researcher's role as a provider of patient-centered care.

Role of the licensed vocational nurse (LVN)

The main role of a licensed vocational nurse is offering fundamental nursing care (Jones et al., 2017). The LVN is tasked with several responsibilities such as assisting in keeping the patient clean, monitoring the patient's critical signs, and writing detailed reports. The basic role of the LVN nursing is to ensure that the patient's needs are addressed failure to which a professional doctor is contacted to intervene. The LVN also observes and takes notes of the patient's vital signs then writes a detailed report to the doctor. The nurse acts as the middle person between the patient and the doctor thus it is important that the LVN monitors the former constantly to provide accurate information to the doctor.

Role of the registered nurse (RN)

Cook et al. (2017) assert that the area of healthcare workforce that is lately focused on is the role of Registered Nurses (RN) within the primary care environment. The breakthrough report indicates that the role of RN is to enhance the safety of the patients and the effectiveness and quality of care delivery (Cook et al., 2017). RNs provide essential care in both large and small public as well as private practices, and in workplaces, schools, and clinics. The nurses practice in both collaborative and independent function arrangements, usually as the lead clinical, accountability, and management responsibilities in innovative primary care models. Also, RNs are are obligated with supervisory responsibilities over the LVNs and to use sound judgments in delegating duties to them (Cook et al., 2017).

Comparison and contrast of RN and LVN practices

There are a number of similarities between registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses. However, there are differences concerning the entry-level competencies of the two which is attributed to foundational education. In as much as both categories study from the same pool of knowledge, registered nurses study for a longer period in comparison to licensed vocational nurses. Therefore, RNs acquire a greater breadth and depth of knowledge as compared to LVNs who are limited as far as foundational body of knowledge is concerned (Jones et al., 2017). Both LVNs and RNs work directly with patients. In varying degrees, they are both accountable for the well-being and care of their patients (Jones et al., 2017). Additionally, both LVNs and RNs are employable in various work settings such as medical offices, nursing homes, and hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices. In contrast, RN evaluates and make decisions concerning potential or actual client problems and strengths while LVN evaluates and identifies the status or potential or actual deficiencies and strengths of a patient. Also, RN coordinates and leads the care learning process while LVN contributes, collaborates and participates in the care learning process (Cook et al., 2017).

Challenge faced by registered nurses who work with LVNs

Differential Educational Competencies (DECs) require nurses to have confidence in skill performance, employ critical thinking and critical knowledge, and organization setting skills (Claywell, 2014). Further, Claywell (2014) states that the scope of nursing training in which the student is being equipped is mirrored in the competencies. When RN students are also practicing LPNs, nursing departments might not know how effectively to include and support these two learners. Mostly, LPN to RN student's feeling of inner conflict is not taken into consideration during their clinical experiences. In a qualitative study conducted by Claywell (2014), the author reports that they feel like they are not respected, and that their knowledge as LPNs is not recognized, and that it was challenging for them to feel a sense of belonging to the RN community. The DEC has guidelines which offer common core competency for all the two classes to safeguard the patients and guarantee, competent, safe nursing graduates. To solve the issue mentioned above, work environments that offer all the nurses with a sense of acceptance and union should be created.

Role as a provider of patient-centered care

The Patient-centered care deals with the individual's as well as the patient actual health care needs (Junqiang et al., 2016). The primary objective of the patient-centered health care is to enable patients to become active participants in their care (Claywell, 2014; Junqiang et al., 2016). To achieve the goal, the medical practitioners collectively need to establish effective means of communication and deal with the needs of the patients effectively. Therefore, in the cases where RNs might feel that LVNs do not have adequate knowledge and competency, assessment of a worker's skills ought to be conducted at the beginning of work relationship before assigning patients for care. Failure of the LVN to perform all the required work description, a remediation plan should be created, and meanwhile, assignments should be availed considering the limitations of the nurse (Claywell, 2014).


This study has presented findings from qualitative studies agreeing to the fact that transition from LVN to RP can be a challenging process. LPNs play an important function in the healthcare provision however their career mobility is limited. Also, most scholars have identified that the most common challenge is that nursing faculty expects much of LVN transition students as an adult learner and in the meantime, identifying their areas of weakness and strengths in their knowledge base. In effect, the LPN students are pushed to regress to pedagogy thus creating unhealthy work environment between the two classes of nurses. Most importantly it is agreeable that both the RN and LVN are educated to offer care to people, families, and groups throughout their lifespan, across the continuum health.

To practice safely and within the competence identified

To practice safely and within the competence identified, programs helping the licensed vocational nurses to pursue a registered nursing education ought to be sensitive to these issues confronted. One of the best recommendations is to create reforms such that once the LVNs have been licensed for six months, they can get back school and finish up RN programs and not wait until an older age. The report thus highlights the need for healthcare organizations to offer extended support and orientation program to enhance successful entry into practice.


Claywell, L. (2014). LPN to RN Transitions-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Cook, L., Dover, C., Dickson, M., & Engh, B. (2010). Returning to school: The challenges of the licensed practical nurse-to-registered nurse transition student. Teaching And Learning In Nursing, 5125-128. doi:10.1016/j.teln.2010.02.003

Jones, C. B., Toles, M., Knafl, G. J., & Beeber, A. S. (2017). An Untapped Resource in the Nursing Workforce: Licensed Practical Nurses who Transition to Become Registered Nurses. Nursing Outlook, doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2017.07.00

Junqiang, Z., Shangqian, G., Jinfang, W., Xinjuan, L., & Yufang, H. (2016). Differentiation between two healthcare concepts: Person-centered and patient-centered care. International Journal Of Nursing Sciences, Vol 3, Iss 4, Pp 398-402 (2016), (4), 398. doi:10.1016/j.ijnss.2016.08.009

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