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Why do some nurse job postings say an RN or LPN can apply, but then require RN applicants to have a BSN for the job?

Thursday November 14, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I see many job openings that say either an RN or LPN may apply for the same position. The listing will read as follows: BSN is required for the registered nurse, but an LPN may apply. Why is a BSN required of me when an LPN is allowed to
work there?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wondering,

It's challenging to comment on this without actually seeing such an ad or knowing what's behind it but here's one possible scenario: A facility may have several staff nurse openings, some for RNs and some for LPNs. They advertise for "staff nurse" but mention both credentials because they have more than one position, at different levels, to fill.

LPNs and RNs do not do the same thing in a patient care setting. They both have different scopes of practice and an LPN must be supervised by an RN. So when you see such an ad in the future, I would advise that you either call the facility or apply to learn more.

Best wishes,


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.