“RN Means Real Nurse”: Perceptions of Being a “Real” Nurse in a Post-LPN–BN Bridging Program

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Abstract

PURPOSE.

Explore the perceptions of licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in a post-LPN–BN bridging program related to the label “real nurse.”

CONCLUSIONS.

The labels that LPNs are given significantly impact them. As LPNs progress through the post-LPN–BN program, they take on new and more empowering labels.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS.

Seeing and celebrating both LPNs and registered nurses as “real nurses” may assist in healing the rift that has been present between registered nurses and LPNs for almost 50 years. Nursing may be better served by replacing the label “real nurse” with a label that all nurses can aspire to—that of an exemplary nurse.

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