License Practical Nurse (LPN)
An individual who has completed a state-approved practical or vocational nursing program, passed the NCLEX-PN Examination, and is licensed by a state board of nursing to provide patient care.
LPNs provide nursing care at the delegation of a licensed registered nurse, licensed physician, or licensed dentist pursuant to rules established by the Board. The stability of the patient’s environment, the patient’s clinical state, and the predictability of the outcome determine the degree of direction and supervision that must be provided to the licensed practical nurse.
Registered Nurse (RN)
An individual who has graduated from a state-approved school of nursing, passed the NCLEX-RN Examination, and is licensed by a state board of nursing to provide patient care.
RNs work and serve in a broad range of capacities including, but not limited to, hands-on nursing care, regulation, delegation, management, administration, teaching, and case management. RNs are expected to exercise competency in judgment, decision making, implementation of nursing interventions, delegation of functions or responsibilities, and administration of medications and treatments prescribed by legally authorized persons.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
An RN who has gained additional specialized knowledge, skills, and experience through a graduate or post-graduate program of study and is authorized to perform advanced nursing practice, which may include acts of diagnosis and treatment, and the prescribing, administering and dispensing of therapeutic pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic agents.
Advanced practice registered nurses, when functioning within the recognized scope of practice, assume primary responsibility for the care of their patients in diverse settings. This practice incorporates the use of professional judgment in the assessment and management of wellness and conditions appropriate to the advanced practice registered nurse’s role, population focus, and area of specialization.
There are four categories of APRNs: Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).