Nursing Roles and Transitions in the United States

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 593
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

There are varying roles played by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) as well as Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP). However, all these categories of nurses perform almost similar obligations in ensuring high-quality healthcare delivery to all patients. For example, one of the most common healthcare practices offered by nurses is bedside care for patients (Kuhn, 2008). In a real sense, nurses are supposed to monitor patients’ diet and physical. Additionally, they are expected to evaluate patients’ progress through the assessment of daily records which are taken and kept by the very nurses. As caregivers, they are obliged to assist and guide patients in performing tasks that are generally less strenuous (Cherry & Jacob, 2005). However, unlike registered nurses, other nurses work in most emergency fields primarily as hospital nurses.

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According to nursing Acts, various responsibilities given to nurses are dependent on skill and competence levels (Kuhn, 2008). These Acts emphasize that no group of nursing professionals should be given the opportunity to perform tasks for which they have not demonstrated sufficient competence. Therefore, all nurses should possess adequate ability such as relating well with patients and ability to care and make sound-mind decisions when handling patients (Huber, 2006). At this point, it is imperative to note that UAP is ranked the least in position among the nursing fraternity since they perform tasks delegated to them by both LPN and RN. Moreover, UAPs are not allowed to re-delegate their duties (Kuhn, 2008). They are only supposed to carry out associative roles to the RN during practical and care-related services to patients. These include feeding, ambulating and grooming patients. Since they are accountable to RN, they document data on patients’ progress and present the same for confirmation.

On the other hand, the Licensed Vocational Practitioners (LVP) are normally given the responsibility to observe patients and monitor their progress by RN. More or less complex duties like counseling and guidance are delegated to them by RN. Meanwhile, their duties vary depending on the institution under which they are working (Huber, 2006). In some cases, they inject and offer medication to patients although remain accountable to RN. However, they are expected to be tactful, intelligent and rational with their duties and responsibilities (Cherry & Jacob, 2005)

Registered Nurses (RNs) are essential in all healthcare units. For instance, they are round nurses who attend to the needs of patients in terms of health status and response to treatment (Kuhn, 2008). Their roles are more complex as compared to those of LVP and UAP. They establish an individual health care plan related to daily services to be provided to patients. The latter is achieved through the assistance offered by the patient’s family and health practitioners. Their major task is to delegate tasks to LVP and UAP. Additionally, RNs are accountable for tasks done by the subordinate members of staff (Huber, 2006).

On the contrary, registered nurses work both in hospitals and private homes. Hence, they act as links between health professionals and patients. Moreover, they also perform a supervisory roles in homes as health workers (Cherry & Jacob, 2005). It is important to note that registered nurses are more supreme even to supervise and delegate tasks to the other nurses. They have the responsibility of delegating duties as well as choosing tasks to be delegated to LVP and UAP. Additionally, they have to meet specific academic qualifications before assuming their role (Kuhn, 2008). It is evident that they have to acquire Degree in nursing in a credible nursing institution. However, LVPs can be trained further to become RNs.


Cherry, B. & Jacob, R. (2005). Contemporary nursing: issues, trends, & management. Buxton: Elsevier Publishing, Inc.

Huber, D. (2006). Leadership and nursing care management. Buxton: Elsevier Publishing, Inc.

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Kuhn, B. (2008). Fundamental Nursing Skills and Concepts. Wyoming: Wilkins Publishing, Inc.