Enrolled Nurse VS Registered Nurse – What’s The Difference?

3 min

Most of us have a general clue of what nurses are – they’re integral to the healthcare industry because they take care of sick people. However, this vigorous and fulfilling role can take on several profiles within multiple situations, meaning there are different levels to nursing. That said, you may have heard the two terms Enrolled Nurse (EN) and Registered Nurse (EN) and conjectured about the difference between them. Or, you might have wondered which corridor to nursing would fit you best as you begin your nursing career.

One thing’s certain; you are not alone in being confused about the difference between an RN and an EN. Indeed, the healthcare sector can be a giant maze of confusing acronyms and jargon, thwarting service users’ and experts’ choices. Anyhow, it’s essential, to begin with, the idea that RN and EN’s work hand-in-hand to deliver the utmost patient care. Hence, they are both valuable to the healthcare team.

This article will contrast the primary differences between these two heroes to help you paint a clearer picture of what it means to have a nursing career.

Educational Requirements

  • RNS: These professionals have to complete a 5-year bachelor’s program in nursing provided by tertiary educational institutes.
  • ENS: Completion of a general nursing program of a two-year duration. In addition, an EN must also complete 1600 hours’ worth of clinical work.

In terms of clinical practice, if you want to advance in the healthcare profession as a nurse and have a strong history in clinical work. A Doctor of Nursing Practice will provide you an advantage. Today, studying for a different degree while carrying on with your career has become more manageable than ever, thanks to eLearning. So if you want to hone advanced skills in the nursing profession, you can apply for online dnp programs from various accredited institutes. With such a degree, you’ll be able to tackle healthcare’s most complex challenges and problems.

Enrolled Nurse – Purpose and Duties 

An enrolled nurse functions under the direct orders of a registered nurse. ENs report directly to RNs at all times. In addition to this, enrolled nurses are always a patient’s first point of contact. Therefore, their role in the healthcare industry is vital.

Duties of an EN

When operating in a healthcare faculty, an enrolled nurse must abide by the registered nurse’s plan in supervision. An enrolled nurse’s everyday tasks will include monitoring responses, treatments, care plans, and assessing patients.

When it comes to the duties, an enrolled nurse’s typical day consists of the following:

  • Administer medications according to the scope of practice
  • Work under the indirect/direct supervision of a registered nurse
  • Promote the safety of others and self in all aspects of the nursing practice
  • Educate and encourage patients to lead a healthy life
  • Carry out holistic assessments, observations, measurements, and physical examination, for instance, taking someone’s pulse, temperature, respiration, blood pressure, etc.
  • Report any critical changes in a patient’s condition to the doctors and registered nurse
  • Assist patients with exercise or rehab programs where appropriate
  • Help with emergencies and general first aid care
  • Design, apply and assess nursing care plans in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes.
  • Help with personal hygiene activities such as bathing, eating, dressing, and general comfort.

Registered Nurse – Purpose and Duties 

As said earlier, an enrolled nurse operates under a registered nurse. That said, a registered nurse has more responsibility and a higher level of accountability.

RNs will have a team of enrolled nurses to provide the best care for their patients. Their role will involve creating, assessing, implementing, updating, and facilitating a patient’s healthcare plan. They will need to look at their patients’ physical, mental, and emotional needs and offer a suitable action plan.

Furthermore, registered nurses will be required to supervise their team. They ensure that all patients are cared for, dispensing medication to patients, ordering supplies, and managing the enrolled nurse on their team as needed.

Duties of an RN 

So it’s plain to see that a registered nurse weights “patient care” on their shoulders. A registered nurse’s duty includes practical hands-on tasks such as solving problems, management roles, leadership, research, and education.

  • The key responsibilities of a registered nurse are:
  • Work in consultation with the multidisciplinary team to provide effective patient outcomes
  • Undertake inclusive patient assessment
  • Operate in a complex and critical environment
  • Undertake holistic care, including psychological, spiritual, and emotional support
  • Take part in regular professional and personal development
  • Evaluate outcomes and administer medications
  • Contribute and participate in occupational safety and health activities to ensure a healthy work environment for families, workers, and patients.
  • Advocate for the patient and work as a mentor and supervisor for enrolled nurses and junior nurses.


So, tell us, are you able to differentiate between an RN and an EN now? We bet you are.

A registered nurse can provide a more comprehensive level of patient care. In contrast, an enrolled nurse can assist a patient with their basic needs. To put it plainly, both registered and enrolled nursing careers are fulfilling and exciting, with the ability to offer both flexibility and financial stability. However, as you can see, these two roles require varying levels of education and lead to diverse responsibilities that may fit some more than others. So choose whichever option speaks to you the most!

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