The roles of the RNs can differ depending on specialization, which determines the environment and health characteristics of patients. The presented assignment includes the sections concerning roles of the registered nurse, scope of practice of RNs in Minnesota, and comparison of the practice for RNs and LPNs in Minnesota. This paper aims to discuss how RNs and LPNs areas of practice are similar and distinct in Minnesota and present the roles of RNs.
Roles of the Registered Nurse
Certification of the Registered Nurse usually does not imply a specific specialization. The nurse chooses a specialty based on her preference, which may depend on the desired stress levels or whether RN wants to have direct or indirect contact with patients. Registered nurses can work at the bedside or with predominantly healthy people, and with people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly at the end of life. RNs can work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, prisons, doctors’ offices. RN’s responsibilities often include recording medical history and symptoms, collaborating with teams for patient care, monitoring patient health, administering medications, operating medical equipment, educating patients, performing diagnostic tests. Besides, there are direct patient care and indirect patient care registered nurses. The first type of RNs work at the bedside, and the second type collaborates with them and works in management and administration capacities.
Scope of Practice of RNs in Minnesota
The Minnesota Nursing Practices Act (NPA) and the Minnesota Nursing Council do not provide a specific differentiated list of professional nurses’ responsibilities. At the same time, the NPA provides general definitions of RN’s professional accountability for the duties and functions of her specialization, standards, and legal parameters of nursing practice (Nurse Practice Act, n.d.). Therefore, employers’ policies and procedures usually clarify the scope of practice in an institution under general standards.
More specifically, according to NPA, the practice of professional nursing means “the performance of those services that incorporates caring for all patients in all settings through nursing standards recognized by the board” (Nurse Practice Act, n.d.). It includes assessing the health status of a patient, collaborating with the health care team, developing nursing interventions, implementing nursing care, implementing interventions that are delegated by a licensed health care provider, delegating nursing tasks, and assigning nursing activities.
Comparing the Scope of Practice for RNs and LPNs
According to NPA, the practice of practical nursing provided by LPNs, unlike of RNs, means “the performance of services that incorporate caring for individual patients at the direction of a registered nurse, advanced practice registered nurse, or other licensed health care provider” (Nurse Practice Act, n.d.). Some differences in the scope include that LPNs have to report changes and responses to interventions to a registered nurse of other “appropriate health care provider” for delegated or assisted tasks.
LPNs also determine nursing interventions within a nursing plan, whereas RNs develop new interventions to be added to the plan. LPNs assign nursing tasks and activities to unlicensed assistive personnel, while RNs work with all nurses in this regard. Unlike LPNs, RNs “collaborate and coordinate with other health care professionals in the management and implementation of care within and across settings and communities” (Nurse Practice Act, n.d.). Finally, RNs have additional responsibilities to design and implement teaching plans, manage, supervise, evaluate nursing practice, and teach nursing theory and practice.
Thus, RNs’ and LPNs’ areas of practice were discussed, and RNs’ roles were presented. The major differences between LPNs’ and RNs’ roles include more responsibility and independence for RNs, and their teaching duties. Understanding the RNs’ scope of practice is very important and can be applied at the chosen specialization workplace. Besides, the entire range of RNs’ and LPNs’ practices demonstrates that these positions have a lot in common.
Nurse Practice Act – Minnesota Statute Section 148.171 (n.d.). Web.