Nursing more education and have more opportunity in all

Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice Carrington College SacramentoRN 202 Nursing Leadership & Management IDr. OkekentaJanuary 1, 2018 Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice The scope of practice for nurses describes their range of responsibilities including procedures, actions, as well as the extent and limits of what medical interventions a health care provider may perform within their professional license.  The American Nurses Association (ANA) was established in 1896 and is responsible for developing the nursing scope and standards of practice for Registered Nurses.  The ANA “is the voice of nursing” (nursing world.org).  It is a professional organization to promote, strengthen, and protect the profession of nursing and is composed of groups and individuals who have member or affiliate status. In contrast, the National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (NALPN) addresses the Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN’s) nursing practice standards. While there are some similarities within the RN and LVN standards and scopes of practice, there are differences as well, as it relates to clinical practice. The two standards I will be highlighting are education and leadership.  Naturally, education is required for both Registered Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses in order to meet the qualifications necessary to sit and take the state board exams with their respective National Council licensure entities. And, that is pretty much where the similarities end.  RN’s can either obtain a two-year associate’s degree or four-year bachelor’s of science in nursing (nursejournal.org). There are more opportunities available to RN’s that possess a BSN, which would be essential if a nurse wants to pursue advancement into management opportunities. Many career RN’s eventually pursue a master’s degree, which is required for specialties such as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, or midwife.  There are also other advance certifications available to RN’s such as the Advanced Practice RN (APRN).  Meanwhile, the education required to become an LVN usually takes about one year to complete, which is about one to three years less as compared to RN’s.  The training consists of both classroom and hands on practical in clinical settings.  Most colleges accept transferable units from an LVN program to credit towards an RN program.  Advancement opportunities are more limited for LVN’s and there aren’t as many options for specialization.  As I compare and contrast how education plays a role in clinical practice, it is evident that RN’s possess more education and have more opportunity in all aspects of nursing in a clinical setting.  According to the ANA Nursing Scope and Standards, RN’s “seek experiences that reflect current practice to maintain knowledge, skills, abilities, and judgment in clinical practice or role performance” (nursing world.org).  LVN’s utilize their education and knowledge, mainly in a long term care/rehabilitation, assisted living, or clinical setting rather than in a hospital setting where more acute and specialized needs are necessary. In addition to education, I would like to compare the standard of leadership between RN’s and LVN’s.  Leadership is defined as, “the action of leading a group of people or an organization” (www.merriamwebster.com).  A leader serves as a person that inspires a group of people to achieve a common goal, and for nurses, to treat a patient or client. As an RN, one must demonstrate leadership within the profession (nursingworld.org).  RN’s are committed to excellence, build culture around excellence, build accountability, communicates effectively on all levels, and recognizes and rewards success (www.americannursetoday.com).  On the other hand, leadership opportunities are more modified and restrained for LVN’s due to the limited clinical settings available under their license.  In a hospital setting, if LVN’s are utilized, they report to directly to RN’s; whereas, in a long term/rehabilitation or assisted living setting, they are often the leaders of their unit or community.  Despite the similarities on the surface level, it is obvious that RN’s have the education that builds on the knowledge beyond LVN’s to encourage the critical thinking skills that requires autonomy and the leadership skills I describe here.  Based on my experience as a Wellness Director for an assisted living community for many years, it was difficult to lead at times when I had RN’s working under me, simply due to my title as LVN. There were times I had family members refuse to talk to me because I wasn’t an RN, despite the fact I was in charge of the entire wellness department for my building and that I cared for their family member for years and knew their entire medical history by memory.  Those times were a hard pill to swallow.  As a nurse leader, whether RN or LVN, as long as you stay committed and focus on building a team that will work with you to meet the same goals, you will be successful.In summary, while there are some similarities in regards to education and leadership between RN’s and LVN’s, there are undoubtedly many differences.  Registered nurses have an extended set of duties and are more frequently employed in hospital settings, while Licensed Vocational Nurses report minor changes to RN’s as leaders of their unit or work in a rehabilitation setting.  Advancement opportunities seem endless for RN’s while they are limited to LVN’s because of their educational background.  RN’s can graduate with either an ADN or BSN while LVN’s can complete their nursing program within a year at a technical/trade school or community college.  Regardless of the similarities and differences, one must decide to choose the right path for themselves and I choose to further my education to finally become an RN where I feel my opportunities are limitless, and can pursue the path that lies ahead in any specialty I find great passion. References 

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