Thank you for all of the responses so far. I agree with all of them. As a LPN I am really limited to LTC (thanks to JACO). I hate that all LPNs abilities have been compared to the that of a MA or over-educated QMA (no offense intended). I have former classmates that have already completed their ASN following their LPN and they agree that LPNs should and can still do many hospital positions.
This attitude has spread to families of the LTC patients I have. I had a family member that had never met me before come to me and demand that a RN replace me to care for her husband first thing in the morning. She rolled her eyes when she saw my badge and asked for a "real" nurse.
As a BSN student, I am committed to never treat LPNs in my future this way.
Anyway, I think I am going to try home health care. I applied at a few agencies today. I really want hospice and that is why I decided to get my BSN instead of continuing the ASN program I was admitted to.
I am amazed that the patients I have are often discharged from facilities/hospitals where they were one of 3-5 patients for a nurse and where CNA ratio is not much higher than that.
I often wonder why the nurse that assessed them decided that "we" could handle them with the ratios we have (I know-money!!). They are on their call lights constantly (and usually for valid reasons, but we cannot handle 5-7 lights at a time when there are just 2-3 of us) and we provide substandard care compared to a hospital with lower ratios and more nurse time per patient. Many are only a few days post-op, critical diabetics, on isolation, etc.
Even our facility Dr. has discussed the decrease in care since he started there a year ago when the facility opened. He agrees with my frustration (the conversation was initiated by him, not me). He believes they are just putting "bodies in beds" for a check and does not like the acuity of the patients we are admitting.
In home health I may take a pay cut, but it is worth the autonomy and increase in my ability to do my job properly. Keep the replies coming!!!