Responsibilities of RPNs That Help Hospitals Prioritize Patient Care

Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) are integral members of the healthcare provider teams. RPNs work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to provide quality care to patients. These individuals are responsible for providing direct patient care in a variety of settings, including hospitals and long-term care facilities. As such, registered practical nurses (RPNs) must have excellent technical skills and knowledge to provide quality care for their patients. Here are the key responsibilities that every RPN should be aware of.

1. Patient Assessment and Treatment Planning

One of the primary roles of an RPN is to assess patients’ physical needs and provide comprehensive treatment plans for their care. This includes evaluating the patient’s vital signs, medical history, current medications, and overall health condition. From there, the RPN will develop a plan of action for continued care based on these assessments.

2. Supervising Other Healthcare Staff

In addition to directly caring for patients, RPNs also play an important role in supervising other healthcare staff members. This includes making sure that nurses and aides are properly trained in their job duties, as well as keeping track of any changes or updates in protocols or procedures. By monitoring their staff, RPNs can ensure that all patients receive the best possible care at all times.

3. Administering Medication

An important part of an RPN’s job is administering medication to patients under their care. This includes both prescription medication and over-the-counter drugs. It’s important for the advanced practice registered nurse to be aware of any potential side effects or drug interactions when administering these medications to patients so they can be monitored closely during treatment.

4. Providing Education and Support

An often overlooked responsibility of an RPN is providing education and support to both patients and their families during hospital stays or outpatient visits. This can include teaching them about proper nutrition, exercise, stress management techniques, or even how to use medical equipment correctly if needed at home after discharge from the hospital. By educating patients on how best to take care of themselves after leaving the hospital setting, they can feel more confident in managing their own health moving forward.

5. Pain Management                                                                                                              

Pain management is another essential duty of RPNs in hospitals; they must assess each patient’s pain levels consistently and provide appropriate interventions such as medication or physical therapy. In many cases, pain management is essential for improving long-term outcomes—it can be a matter of life or death in some cases—so it is something that must be done with extreme caution and attention to detail by healthcare providers like RPNs.

6. Documentation

RPNs must document all patient interactions accurately and completely for legal purposes as well as for tracking progress over time. Documentation includes recording patient assessments, procedures performed on the patient, diagnoses made by physicians or other healthcare practitioners involved in the patient’s care plan/treatment plan, laboratory results as they relate to diagnosis or treatment plans/goals established by the physician/healthcare practitioner team working with the patient; medication administration records; allergies; etc.

 7. Maintaining Records

An RPN also has responsibility for maintaining records about each patient including medical histories and current diagnoses which are essential for providing quality care over time and ensuring continuity of care between different providers who may treat the same patient at different times during hospital stays or nursing home visits . Having accurate records is critical for ensuring that all providers have access to all information necessary for making informed decisions about each patient’s care plan which can greatly increase treatment success rates when done correctly .                          

8. Supervise Other Nurses

RPNs may also be asked to supervise other nurses within a healthcare provider organization or unit. This means delegating tasks appropriately among staff members while ensuring that patient safety protocols are followed at all times. It also requires maintaining open lines of communication between nurses, physicians, administrators, and other staff members involved in patient care so that any issues can be addressed quickly before they become serious problems impacting patient outcomes negatively.

9. Collaborate With Other Healthcare Professionals

RPNs work closely with other healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, etc., to ensure that all aspects of a patient’s treatment plan are taken into consideration when making decisions about care plans and treatments options available for each individual case. They also collaborate with other healthcare providers to ensure continuity of care by sharing relevant information about a patient’s condition across different departments within a hospital setting .


Registered Practical Nurses in Ontario are incredibly important members of the healthcare providers, having a huge responsibility in providing essential services to patients in emergency rooms or other medical care units. RPNs should be aware of their important responsibilities, such as patient assessment and medication administration, which involve making accurate diagnoses based on medical symptoms and administering the appropriate treatment.

RPN services also oversee patient education by ensuring that patients understand their treatments and any possible risks. These registered professional nurses also document every step of their process during treatment to ensure accurate reporting for future reference. In some cases registered nurses will have to supervise other nurses and provide guidance on skills and procedures as needed. All in all, registered practical nurses are invaluable assets to the emergency room nursing team and regularly go above and beyond for their patients’ health, safety and comfort in a range of stressful scenarios.

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