Though both NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN are nurses and perform almost similar tasks, they are not the same. A few differences are there between the tows, especially in terms of educational background, the scope of practice, job responsibilities, and even in their salary for the services they provide.
As a fresher, you might be in dilemma to decide which path to choose when it comes to establishing your career as a nurse, right? With that in mind, here in this particular post, we are going to point out some notable differences between the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN. So, let’s get started without delay!
Before we proceed to the core of our discussion today, let’s inform you one more thing. In the U.S.A medical setting, nurses are mainly divided into two major categories, Registered Nurse (RN) and Practical Nurse (PN). And, both of them have to qualify the NCLEX-RN Exam or NCLEX-PN licensure exam to get hired in the respective fields.
Difference Between the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN:
As mentioned earlier, the core difference between the two are mainly in terms of their educational background, job opportunities, job responsibilities, pay, and future potential of their career. Now, let’s look at the major differences in brief in the following:
The very first thing that differentiates between the tows is- educational background. As per the requirement, you need to have a professional nursing degree in order to become a Registered Nurse or RN. On the other hand, you can apply for the NCLEX-PN licensure exam with just a one-year practical nursing course after completing your high school degree.
Now, in terms of the job responsibilities, Registered Nurses have more duties than the Practical Nurses though many of them are similar. As a Registered Nurse, one has to oversee nursing students, practical nurses, and aides along with their conventional jobs like creating care plans for the patients, executing doctor’s orders, instructing patients, administering medications, performing diagnostic tests, and analyzing test results, etc.
A Practical Nurse, in this case, is more concerned with the basic bedside cares. They are to work under the guidance of a Registered Nurse or Doctor. Their job responsibilities may include tasks like dressing wounds, taking vital signs, helping the patients with moving, bathing, dressing, etc.
Compared to the career potential of a Practical Nurse or PN, RN or Registered Nurse gets more opportunities for career advancements. Besides, some care settings are there that employ the RNs only. Still, vast opportunities are there for the Practical Nurses. And, as per the statistics, the employment opportunities for the PNs are more likely to rise by 25% from 2012 to 2022 which is indeed a great news for the students planning to secure their career as a Practical Nurse.
No doubt, RNs will naturally earn more than PNs and that’s completely practical compared to the responsibilities they carry out. According to a BLS data published in May 2015, the hourly wage for Practical Nurses is around $20-$21 while the Registered Nurses get paid around $33-$34.