LPN vs. RN: How to Choose the Right Career Path for You

3 minute read

If you want to enter healthcare, you’ve come to the right place. However, deciding between an LPN vs. RN occupation can be confusing due to their similarities in duties. CynaMed is delighted to offer you a few key terms to help you settle on your career path.

RN vs LPN: What’s The Difference?

LPN is short for ‘licensed practical nurse,’ and RN is fast for ‘registered nurse. Both require different levels of education and training expertise. Many RNs can take on the duties of an LPN in addition to their original tasks. 

Some disputes between RNs and LPNs argue whether or not LPNs should hold a ‘nurse’ title. Others say that LPNs are just as professional in providing optimal nursing care to keep the title. RNs argue that LPNs do not have the necessary experience and knowledge to be called a nurse. 

LPN vs RN Duties

No matter which title you wish to pursue, each comes with a hefty set of responsibilities. Therefore, you should consider these LPN vs. RN duties and see which fits you best. 

LPN Duties

These medical professionals provide care to unwell patients. They make patient plans and assist RNs. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating with RNs for planning
  • Bathing and clothing patients
  • Helping patients to the restroom/inserting catheters
  • Providing patient care for overall wellbeing

RN Duties

Those with the RN title also provide patient care, administering tests, medications, and treatments to patients. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Provide exams for patients to assist in diagnosis
  • Follow physician’s orders
  • Record symptoms and medical history
  • Monitor patients after administering medications for side effects
  • Conduct bloodwork, lab exams, and take urine samples
  • Answer patient and patient family questions
  • Use medical equipment
  • Supervise LPNs


RNs and LPNs are a part of the overall well-being of every patient in their care. These titles work together as a team to provide optimal care for patients. Either healthcare professional needs one another to succeed. 


RNs are often involved in patient care, and LPNs are usually assistants to RNs. LPNs can provide more basic patient care, easing the burden on RNs. For example, RNs will conduct labs, administer medications, and consult patients with an LPN.

CynaMed would like to invite you to visit our blog, From LPN to RN: How Are Nursing Duties Different?. Here you can find more information on the responsibilities of LPNs and RNs. 

LPN vs RN: Salary Expectations

Depending on where you choose to work, holding a position in healthcare can be very rewarding. You can feel fulfilled in making an impact on different lives all around the world. There are also benefits in LPN vs. RN salary that many gravitate towards when choosing their profession in healthcare.

As recorded by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, the median pay for nurses was $77,600 per year. 

The median pay for Licensed Practical Nurses in 2021 was $48,070 per year, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shared. 

Many facilities offer health benefits, vacation days/weeks, and retirement plans that accompany these salaries.

LPN vs. RN: Education Levels

People who work in these fields must have certification, degree, or training to handle patients.

Registered nurses must complete an associate in nursing for at least two years. In addition, many facilities require a bachelorette degree in nursing which will take four years to complete. After receiving their degree, aspiring nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to obtain a license.

Licensed Practical Nurses only need one year to get their license through a state program. 

A degree in nursing will start from $40,000 minimum and increase based on degree, choice of school, and location. LPN programs range from $10,000 to $15,000 depending on outside factors. 

Which to Choose?

There are many benefits to working as an LPN and RN. These titles are also not limited to hospitals or doctor’s settings. Many healthcare professionals work in assisted living, schools, and patient homes. Nurses are also able to specialize in their field. 

If you need assistance choosing your next healthcare profession, we can help! Here at CynaMed, we have over 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry. In addition, we have connections with top facilities in the greater Pittsburgh area and can find you the perfect position. Visit our website or contact us to apply today.

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