A RN is the one who graduates with a 4-year nursing programme. A person with a 2-year programme with an Associate’s Degree is also called as a registered nurse.
A NCLEX-RN certificate is required to become a registered nurse. RN is supposed to know everything about physiology and resource management. However, his/her job does not end after getting knowledge about these two things, as she needs to be good at team functioning and research utilisation.
RN's always have the higher level in the nursing staff. They can even assist the physicians in treatment of the patients. They also have the freedom to take decisions on their own.
A Licensed Practical Nurse does only a 1-year practical nursing programme. If a person is interested in becoming an LPN, he/she just needs to pass NCLEX-PN.
LPN’s main duties are pretty simple. She/he is totally responsible for observing patients and collecting blood and urine samples. And even if she/he is not allowed to give injection to the patient, the LPN prepares it for the RNs. The primary function of a LPN is keeping the patients as comfortable as possible.
Besides all this, the LPNs are responsible for giving medicine to the patients as well as assigning duties to the nursing assistants. However, they have no freedom of giving any drug to the patients without the permission of either doctor or registered nurse.