The Difference Between a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Registered Nurse
If you’re interested in becoming a nurse in Canada, you may likely come across other terms and acronyms, which may seem a bit confusing. We are here to help you understand what it takes to qualify for a career in nursing. We will do this by discussing the two key types of nurses in Canada; registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.
What is a Registered Nurse?
A registered nurse, known by the acronym RN, has to complete a four-year BA degree from a Canadian nursing college or the international equivalent. The education requirement is the same across Canada. As an RN, you may specialize in patient care. These areas include emergency or surgical rooms, obstetrics or pediatrics, oncology, or rehab. You could also work outside the hospital in a community clinic, at a place of employment, or choose home health care.
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is similar to a Registered Nurse; however, they have more authority in some areas, such as providing prescriptions and flexibility regarding working at suitable clinics.
What is a Licensed Practical Nurse?
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), also known in parts of Canada as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN), completes a two-year nursing degree. After completing the two-year nursing course, it would be necessary to pass the national licensing exam. Once the exam is successfully passed, an LPN/RPN can work in short-term care, long-term care, or out in the community. Licensed Practical Nurse has a higher than average annual growth by 3.7% in Alberta making LPN in high demand over the next 5-10 years.
Practical Nurse Programs allow students to gain knowledge using a mixture of in-class theory and real-life experience. Examples of employers for Licensed Practical Nurses in Alberta include Alberta Health Services, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Primary Care Network, and more.
For more information about the Practical Nurse Professional Diploma Program, click here.