A nurse is a nurse of course, of course

Before I start back up in school I’ve been reading and watching videos, I came across and I watched a video where a nurse was denied a continued discount being offered to nurses from a store. She got the discount at the time but was warned that she was not eligible for it in the future. She had her license pulled up from the stateon her phone, and her badge and these were both showed as proof that she is a nurse. Her takeaway, and mine really, is that because she is an LPN, and licensed by the state, she is a nurse. This is absolutely true. And enraging that she is second classed because she is an LPN, not an RN.

The definition of nurse, according to Merriam-Webster, is a ‘licensed health-care professional who practices independently or is supervised by a physician, or dentist and who is skilled in promoting and maintaining health’. The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a person who has undergone training and obtained a license (as from a state) conferring authorization to provide routine care for the sick. The Registered Nurse (RN) is a graduate trained nurse who has been licensed by a state authority after qualifying for registration.

This is a very dry way of saying that both are real nurses. Both take state licensure exams, both care for the sick and injured. From what I read when researching this topic, the LVN requires less education; an RN can have a diploma of nursing, an associate’s degree in nursing, a bachelor’s degree in nurse, or higher. For some people the education to be an LVN can be less daunting. Of course, others view it as a stepping stone before they continue their education.

Organizations also have to watch for classism, or othering of the LVN. In the hospitals that I’ve worked in, some in leadership look down on the LVN because they “don’t have the degree”. So what? They are caring for those who need help. There will be some things they are not qualified to do, and that’s okay. Trust me when I say every hand on deck is a release of the pressure on the unit. Clear roles and responsibilities go a long way for this. Just because the nurse is an LVN does not mean that they are not smart enough.

I’ve heard jokes that being an LVN means that they are not smart enough for an RN program.

Egad! Do you hear yourself?

Being an LVN does not mean that! It means that this is what they wanted, maybe because the nurse in question didn’t have the opportunity to do an RN course, which can be longer than an LVN course. I know lots of nurses who started as LVNs, went back to school for their RN while working as an LVN.

This is not a Pinocchio moment. The LVN is not waiting for a visit from the Blue Fairy for an enchantment so they can be a real nurse. They are a real nurse.

So sorry your narrow-mindedness and ignorance has got in the way of your recognizing an LVN is a real nurse.

The woman in the video seemed genuinely distressed over this encounter. And I hurt for her, and am mad for her and other LVN that are confronted with this every day.

Say it with me, everyone, PEOPLE!

(reminder that people IS a swear word that can mean many things, but most commonly it is a derogatory term when used in the correct context)

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