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Difference between RN and RPN

Difference between RN and RPN

Registered nurses (RNs) and registered practical nurses (RPNs) have different levels of knowledge and skills. RNs have a university degree in nursing, while RPNs have a college diploma in nursing. This means that RNs have more theoretical knowledge than RPNs. However, RPNs have more hands-on experience than RNs. Therefore, both types of nurses are important to the health care system.

What is RN?

RN stands for Registered Nurse. RNs have licensed healthcare professionals who provide care and treatment to patients in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. RNs work closely with doctors and other health care providers to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. RNs can specialize in a particular area of nursing, such as pediatrics or oncology, or they may choose to work in a general or medical-surgical unit. RNs must complete a minimum of two years of college before taking the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required for licensure. RNs must also complete continuing education courses throughout their careers to keep their licenses current. RN nursing is a demanding but rewarding profession that offers opportunities for career growth and advancement.

What is RPN?

RPN is a degree that stands for Registered Practical Nurse. RPNs are licensed to provide care for patients in hospitals and other health care settings. RPNs have completed a two- to three-year RPN program at a college or university. RPN programs prepare graduates to take the RPN licensure examination, which is required to practice nursing in Canada. RPNs work in collaboration with other health care professionals, such as physicians, RNs, and respiratory therapists. RPNs use the nursing process to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate patient care. RPNs play an important role in promoting the health and well-being of their patients.

Difference between RN and RPN

RNs and RPNs are both vital members of the nursing profession. RNs have more formal education and training, and they are able to provide a wider range of care than RPNs. RNs also have more autonomy and authority in their practice. However, RPNs play an important role in the delivery of nursing care. RPNs are often able to provide more personalized care, as they typically work with smaller patient loads. They also have a better understanding of the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility, which can be beneficial when RNs are making decisions about patient care. Ultimately, both RNs and RPNs have unique skills and knowledge that contribute to the delivery of safe and effective nursing care.


The knowledge gap between RNs and RPNs is slowly narrowing, but there is still a noticeable difference in the type of knowledge each group possesses. It will be interesting to see how this changes in the coming years, especially as more RPNs are given the opportunity to pursue an RN degree. For now, it’s important for both groups to understand their unique strengths and weaknesses so that they can work together to provide patients with the best possible care.

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