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Difference Between LPN and LVN


LPN and LVN stand for Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses respectively and mean that these nurses need further study to acquire and are to be called as RNs or Registered Nurses. In the US, LPNs and LVNs are given the chance to reach their RN status through a bridge program.


A Licensed Practical Nurse is the term used by all US states except California and Texas to refer a basic nurse. An LPN usually assists doctors in health clinics and hospitals. In the US, there are more than 700,000 people working as LPNs. LPNs are required to have a clean criminal record and needs to have finished one year training program in an accredited school or college.

LPNs often provide basic bedside care for the people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled. In some States, LPNs are permitted to administer prescribed medicines, start intravenous fluids, and provide care to ventilator-dependent patients.


The Licensed Vocational Nurse is the term equivalent to LPN in the states of California and Texas. Just the same as the LPN, this occupation requires one to have a GED, a clean criminal record and have graduated from an accredited school. However in Texas, they have a rule that the student needs to complete a total 20 contact hours in two years.

Difference between LPN and LVN

Basically, these two are just the same. LPN and LVN are terms used in the Unites States describing the same thing. The term LPN is used in 48 states; LVN is just used in the states of California and Texas. These terms has an equivalent term in the other parts of the world, as well. For example, in Australia they call them Enrolled Nurses or EN. These two have the same job descriptions, the same workplace and the same requirements. Other than the state each of the terms used, there are no other significant differences these two has.

Some people may confuse themselves with the terms LPN and LVN. However, what we should put in mind is that these two are just the same, the only exceptions is the state where these nurses work. If you are either in California or Texas, most likely you are called an LVN, and if you are in one of the other 48 states, you are called an LPN.


• LPN and LVN are the same job, only thing is LPN is used in most of the states in the US except in California and Texas wherein they use LVN.

• To become a LPN or LVN, you need to have completed one year training program in an accredited school or college and have a clean criminal record; in case of LVN you also have to render 20 contact hours in 2 years.


Related posts:

  1. Difference Between RN (Registered Nurses) and NP (Nurse Practitioners)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Daily/100001638102300 John Daily

    LPNs can legally administer prescribed medicine in ALL states, and also frequently work in Nursing Homes and Adult Care Centers as well as schools. In some states (such as PA) LPNs have also held Nurse Manager or Director of Nursing positions. As an LPN in NY, I held the position of Night Shift Supervisor for an 80 bed facility.

    It is true that LPNs do need additional study to become RNs, but this in no way makes them ‘RNs who haven’t made it yet’ (any more than RNs are ‘MDs who haven’t made it yet’) as many LPNs are satisfied with their position in the healthcare hierarchy (typically, LPNs are more ‘hands on’ with patients).

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