Enrolled Nurse (EN) and Registered Nurse (RN): What’s the Difference?

Enrolled Nurses (EN) and Registered Nurses (RN) share similar scope of practice, but do you know who is best suited to care for your loved one? Read on to get a better understanding of the available types of nursing services before taking the next step in hiring a professional caregiver. 

You are not alone in being confused about the difference between an EN and an RN. The healthcare field can be a maze of confusing jargon and acronyms, complicating choices of  service users and professionals alike. Navigating your way around these abbreviations can help you hire the right caregiver for your loved ones.

There are many different levels of nursing credentials. Both RNs and ENs are professionally certified healthcare personnel and valued members of the healthcare force. As of 2018, Hong Kong has over 56,000 registered and enrolled nurses, serving patients across every care setting. While their duties are fairly similar, the main difference lies in their qualification, education and experience. 

Professional Nurse Roles:


  • ENs: Completion of a basic general nursing program of not less than two years duration and should have registered with the Nursing Council of Hong Kong. A EN must also complete a minimum of 1600 hours of clinical practice.
  • RNs: Completion of a 5-year bachelor’s nursing programme provided by local tertiary education institutions.


ENs and RNs share similar job scope. While ENs possess the basic nursing competence and professional attributes, they tend to work alongside RNs, practicing general nursing under their direction and supervision. 

  • Support and assist the patient with the activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, dressing), and provide for psycho-socio-spiritual needs of the patient
  • Provide basic nursing care (e.g., tube insertion or removal, IV drip and vaccination, wound dressing, blood drawing, and suctioning)

*Certified dialysis nurses can also provide dialysis services 

  • Assess patients’ health status by observing, measuring, and recording his/her vital statistics 
  • Help maintain a safe environment and provide for the safety and comfort needs of the client 
  • Formulate care plans; participate and support ongoing quality improvement programs 
  • Assist in exploring resources for promoting continuity of care

Price Comparison Between an EN and an RN

In Hong Kong, ENs are usually priced between $199-$216 (per hour), whereas a RNs is generally priced between $225-$246 (per hour). Pricing varies depending on the operator. 

At Evercare, we offer competitive pricing on a wide selection of home care services. If you would like to learn more about our offering, click here for more information.

How to choose between the two?

Since most of the ENs graduate from a registered training organisation within the vocational education training (VET) sector, their training is more practical than theoretical. On the contrary, training for RN qualifications is designed based on a theoretical and philosophical framework. RNs are equipped with adequate theoretical knowledge and wide clinical exposure to take an all-encompassing view of the situation surrounding their patients.

If you are looking for someone who can perform a more comprehensive patient assessment, you could use the help of a RN. If your loved ones need help with their basic needs of living or professional nursing care, ENs would be an affordable alternative.


If you would like to learn more about other caregiving options, you can request a free consultation session here.

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