AA registered practical nurse (RPN) is a designation used primarily in Ontario in Canada. It is essentially the equivalent of a licensed practical nurse (LPN), a designation in use in other provinces and throughout the United States. RPNs usually work as direct reports to registered nurses (RN) in the field of hospital and clinical care. They perform many of the routine duties normally associated with nursing and also report any noted changes in the patient that may affect ongoing treatment.
The duties of an RPN are fairly varied. They may administer medications, typically on a schedule established by a doctor or RN. RPNs help to monitor vital signs and will typically update daily or hourly charts with this information. RPNs also collect blood samples and may administer regular collection of fluid or minor tissue samples.
RPNs typically only spend two years in school, making it an attractive intermediary profession for persons interested in the healthcare field but unwilling or unable to devote four full years to a university for RN certification. An RPN can normally gain accreditation and certification with an associate’s degree from a community college or dedicated nursing school. RPNs must have excellent patient care skills and empathy, as they are typically the nurses who spend the most time with patients on an ongoing basis. RPNs typically work shifts that can involve daytime, evening, or overnight hours.
Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) Tasks
Collect patient health information like blood pressure, temperature, and pulse.
Provide patients and families with health and safety information.
Provide assistance including medications, changing dressings, and bathing patients.
Monitor patients' progress and report changes.