Medscape Article: Medscape RN/LPN Compensation Report, 2021 | Episode 088

Episode summary introduction:

As LPNs, Ashley and I are well aware of the differences between LPNs and RNs in the state of Virginia. There are 3 differences between them. 1,RNs can pronounce death, 2, RNs can administer blood transfusions, and 3, RNs require a ASN or BSN to practice nursing whereas LPNs may practice with a certificate, diploma or AAS. This doesn’t mean that a LPN does not know when there are no signs of life, can’t assist in the transfusion process or is uneducated…. The biggest difference between the two are the pay scales.

Topic 1:


  • 30% of surveyed nurses were not employed in 2020

  • 1 in 5 retired earlier than planned

  • The average pay for RNs were $40-42 per hour

  • Only a $2 pay increase from previous years

  • The average pay for LPNs were $25-26 per hour

  • Only a $1 pay increase from previous years

  • Salaries (not hour) increased only for RNs, not for LPNs

  • Male RNs were paid 6% more than female nurses

  • Work inpatient acute care in urban settings

  • Worked more high-differential shifts

  • Male LPNs were paid 14% more than female nurses

Topic 2:


Topic 3:

Job satisfaction, personal opinions


LPNs are mostly limited by the facilities in which they work, not their training or state mandates. While RNs do have more formal education than LPNs, no nurse should feel inadequate because of their title. There are always people who will ask why you haven’t taken the next step, whether that is RN, BSN, MSN, NP, ect. There are parts to nursing that cannot be taught in a classroom, like compassion and empathy.


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