The roles of nurse and LPN in the modern healthcare industry are as different as they are common. In almost all practices, the two roles are combined in a dual-career nurse practitioner (LPN/NP) program. The nursing and business fields have been traditionally dominated by men, so a woman running a healthcare facility or practice is often seen as a challenge rather than an opportunity. But consider this: According to the latest data, women make up half of the nursing workforce yet only make up about 30 percent of registered nurses. Moreover, historically, women have made up only 2 percent of AOCNPs — that is, advanced practice nurses — meaning that there are currently more NPs working in advanced care than women. This article will explore why you might feel qualified to become an LPN vs. nurse vs. NP vs. physician, and how you can improve your career chances if that’s your goal.
- 1 Why Become an LPN?
- 2 LPN vs. RN vs. AOCNLP vs. NP
- 3 LPN vs. RN vs. AOCNLP vs. NP – Perceptions
- 4 Nurse Practitioner Jobs: overview & requirements
- 5 Nurse Practitioner Career Opportunities: United States
- 6 Nurse Practitioner Career Opportunities: Canada
- 7 Nurse practitioner jobs: highest paying specialties
- 8 Nurse practitioner jobs: least profitable specialties
- 9 Bottom line
Why Become an LPN?
As the name suggests, LPNs function as full-time nursing assistants. While they may not be able to call themselves nurse practitioners, many patients and families will recognize the nursing roles of an LPN. This can be a great option if you want to focus on patient care, experience more autonomy, and have more job security than working as a full-time RN. Thanks in large part to new strategies and programs developed to address nursing shortages, there are more LPNs than ever working in the healthcare industry. For example, more people are opting to be LPNs than ever before. LPNs can work as part of a team in a primary care setting or as an independent practitioner. They may work in a clinic or hospital, as an in-home health aide, or as a part- or full-time RVN (Registered Vocational Nurse). Some practices have begun using LPNs to provide administrative support for doctors, like scheduling and record-keeping. These roles are still in their infancy, however, and there is much room for improvement.
LPN vs. RN vs. AOCNLP vs. NP
As mentioned above, each of these terms has its own specific meaning and application. LPN is typically an acronym for “laboratory-based registered nurse.” AOCNLP stands for “advanced practice nurse practitioner,” and NP refers to “nursing professional.” There are many similarities among the roles of LPN, AOCNLP, and NP, though the differences can be significant. Like LPNs, all three roles employ a combination of nursing and non-nursing skills. In some cases, however, the distinctions are significant enough to make the choice between them clear-cut.
LPN vs. RN vs. AOCNLP vs. NP – Perceptions
Many people working in healthcare are at a loss when it comes to choosing a role between LPN and RN vs. AOCNLP and NP. Perhaps the most basic difference is that patients in some practices will rely more heavily on an LPN than on a registered nurse, particularly in light of recent trends toward greater use of computer-assisted care and telemedicine. Some people who prefer the support of a nurse may find that they prefer the comfort of an LPN, particularly when working in an Extended Care setting. But there are other important differences, too, such as the pay gap between the two. Many private and nonprofit hospitals employ LPNs as arriviste executives’utenants, making them some of the lowest-paid workers in the healthcare field. On the other hand, many large, private for-profit facilities employ registered nurses as administrators, making them among the highest-paid workers in the industry.
Nurse Practitioner Jobs: overview & requirements
Like LPNs, many nurse practitioners (NPs) work as part of a team in a primary care setting. Like LPNs, they may work in a clinic or hospital, as an in-home health aide, or as a part- or full-time RVN (Registered Vocational Nurse). But unlike LPNs, NPs usually have additional credentials and are usually physicians or other formally-trained medical personnel. And like doctors, many NP specialties involve advanced practice nursing. Unlike LPNs, however, NPs are not typically allied health professionals. Thus, they don’t usually work in a clinic setting or have additional credentials. As a result, there is a pay gap between NPs and LPNs of about 19 percent.
Nurse Practitioner Career Opportunities: United States
Like the majority of other healthcare careers, NPs are in high demand. In fact, there are currently more NPs working in advanced practice nursing than there are registered nurses. This can be a great opportunity if you want to focus on patient care, experience more autonomy, and have more job security than working as a full-time RN. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you apply. First, because of the relatively small number of openings, you’ll need to strongly impress employers when applying for jobs as an NP. This may require a portfolio or cv, letters of reference, and a personal statement. In addition, you may need to pass a rigorous certification exam, which is often offered by a specialty organizations.
Nurse Practitioner Career Opportunities: Canada
The nurses that work in Canada’s federally run social services system are a trusted, special type of nurse. As such, they make good candidates for the role of NPs. Like the U.S. system, Canada’s system is based on regional health authorities, each of which has a regional health board that oversees local psychiatric, community, and social services. Similar to the United States, there are a small number of openings for NPs in Canada’s system. However, because there are so few openings, the pay gap between NPs in Canada and U.S. NPs is even larger, at about 49 percent.
Nurse practitioner jobs: highest paying specialties
Like other healthcare careers, nurse practitioner specialties are consistently in demand. This, in combination with flexible scheduling options, commensurate with individual patient care needs, and low overhead, make nurse practitioner specialties a good choice for a medical billing job. Unfortunately, like other specialties, nurse practitioner jobs are not always well-compensated. For example, a registered nurse with five years of experience who starts work as a nurse practitioner in a rural community will make less than a comparable-city general practitioner.
Nurse practitioner jobs: least profitable specialties
When it comes to the least lucrative specialties, nurse practitioner jobs fall into two categories. In the first category are the most common specialties, including the most popular ones, such as midwifery, OB/GYN, and family nursing. In the second are less-profitable specialties, which tend to be related to advanced practice nursing, including physical and occupational therapy, psychological services, and fire and life safety. In either case, as a new nurse practitioner, you’ll want to research your options carefully. Your first step should be to evaluate the pay and benefits of each specialty you want to target, as well as the city or town you’d like to work in. Once you’ve done that, you can decide which field of nursing you’d like to pursue.
If you’re drawn to the career of nursing because of its connection to care, then congratulations! You have a great opportunity ahead of you. The jobs are challenging, but they are also rewarding, and the pay is good. The LPN vs. RN vs. AOCNLP vs. NP choice is a hard one, but in the end it is the right one. The LPN vs. RN vs. AOCNLP vs. NP field has a variety of specialties, and each has their own perks and challenges.