Distinguishing between Nursing Roles

Distinguishing between Nursing Roles


There are various distinguishing features between licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and a nursing assistant based on the distinguishing roles that they play. Licensed practical nurses are those nurses who seek to provide preventative as well standard emergency healthcare. This paper will investigate various distinguishing features as far as nursing roles are concerned.

         A Healing Environment             

Licensed practical nurses create an enabling healing environment in all health care institutions especially at the first point of contact, healthcare clinics or the office belonging to the doctor (London, 2011). They are tasked with greeting and communicating with patients whenever they come seeking medical services or have come for a follow up. On the other hand, registered nurses are generally tasked with overseeing the duties of the licensed nurses in any healthcare setting. In many cases, they are typically assigned between two or six patients in a medical floor. A nursing assistant is usually assigned three patients more when compared to the registered nurses (London, 2011).


A licensed nurse is responsible for the process of monitoring the patients’ health progress and report findings to the doctor or the registered nurse (London, 2011). On the other hand, a registered nurse monitors and evaluates all duties conducted by the licensed nurses including patients’ charts, care plans as well as the administration of medication. Nurse assistants generally monitor the administration of medication to patients playing the role of assistants to registered nurses (London, 2011).


Licensed nurses normally collect patients’ samples during the process of diagnosis and this is regarded to be a critical responsibility (London, 2011). In this case, for laboratory functions they collect samples such as saliva, feces, urine or any other appropriate bodily fluid that would assist in the process of diagnosis. Registered nurses on the other hand play the role of administering medications to patients specifically through IVs (London, 2011). However, nursing assistants are only tasked with assisting the registered nurses during such processes.


Licensed and registered nurses generally offer healthcare services  to patients who are injured, sick or may just need routine health checkups. They are usually supervised by registered doctors or nurses and are usually expected to perform their functions alongside the available team of healthcare providers.


London, M. L. (2011). Maternal & child nursing care. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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