LPNs are important. How can the RNs help in this terrible situation? - page 2
ok, this may not touch others as it has touched me, especially you newer nurses who are often taught not to value the importance of the lpn staff but our lpns are being railroaded and harrassed by... Read More
May 29, '02As a former LPN, I was very fond of saying that the "N" in LPN stood for nurse. Now as an RN I really miss the LPN's I worked with.(I work in a PICU unit and we do not have LPN's) I would love to have some of my friends working here with me because I have met some wonderfull LPN's as well as wonderfull RN's. In my opinion NURSES need to stick together. It doesn't matter if you are an LPN, ADN, BSN, MSN, NP, or whatever as far as i am concerned its us against them. Whom ever them might be this week. By the way now that i am in charge of a floor I had better not hear anybody, my boss included, putting down any LPN's or so help me i will be looking for another jobs after what i tell that person. And if I ever hear someone say "your JUST an LPN" again i will have to say something about that too. OK enough ranting. BYE
May 30, '02mother/babyRN-- All the postings here are so true. I work with LPN's who are wonderful NURSES. Our hospital has decreased hiring LPN's until this year. They are needed now more than ever with the nursing shortage. I teach at the LPN level and would not want to change to RN level because I enjoy working with my students. I believe that we are going to see a resurgence of hiring of LPN's in the coming years due to the shortage. Those management types that can't see the value in LPN's are going to be left out in the cold
Here's to all the wonderful LPN's I have worked with and will work with:kiss :kiss
What is sad is that this thread should be unindated with replies for the LPN (by RN's).
May 30, '02It is just nice for the LPNs who feel so undrvalued to know that we DO value you. It is not at all easy to be an RN and we DO have different repsonsibilities sometimes BUT NO patient I have ever cared for asked for either the degree status of the RN or the type of nursing licensure held by the person caring for him or her, or holding their hand while they are sick and sometimes dying...
People opposed to the idea of this thread might assume that I am somehow bitter at all the hype about the degree thing going on. I am not. I chose not to pursue one as I know I am an excellent nurse without one. Not all managers are ignorant of the current times, but sadly, they are focused on distancing from both the patients and their staff. How ironic that nursing is forcing, to some extent, its newer nurses and more experienced ones like many of us Rns and the Lpns we love and support, to become not only more divisive but distant to the very essence of nursing. This type of thinking and practice of COURSE detracts from what nursing is and should be...Whatever the cause, we didn't have such a nursing shortage until this type of thinking and action was introduced. I'll get off my soapbox now as I am certain some manager with newer pedigree and rare clinical experience will seek to have me either removed or arrested (JUST kidding -gulp)...And who would I want on my side in THAT worst case scenario???LPNs of course! Everyone have a great day and thanks for all the great responses!
May 30, '02i only WISH we had LPN's where i work. i would so love to be able to work WITH somebody that can actually HELP me. they dont use LPN's anymore. where i work they are called PCA's. they insert foley's, draw blood (except from central and PICC lines), along with other skills formerly reserved for the LPN.
many of our PCA's are absolutely wonderful. they help ME at times and give ME advice. theyve been around. they do good work because they take pride in themselves and care about the patient. but they dont have to be like that....unlike the LPN's who have a license...the PCA'S HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE.
May 30, '02My hospital reintroduced the LPN's back into the Nursing care delivery system about 2 months ago. We, the RN's, are unionized. The LPN's are not members of the union. What administration has been doing is downstaffing RN's and allowing an LPN to work additional hours and OT, while RN's are not getting their 40 hours a week or whatever they normally work in a week.
Now, I have been working in ICU since the end of February, 9 weeks of orientation and 4 weeks of protection(not being allowed to be "floated" to the med/surg floors'). Well as of last night, my protection period is over. So when I return to work on Tuesday night, I am sure to be "bumped" to one of the med-surg floors. Floating always goes by least seniority, so it could be another 6 months or so before I get to work in ICU again.
Anyhow, if I find that I am not getting my 36 hours/week, then I am gonna have to find another job. Nothing against the LPN's but they are keeping some of the junior RN's from working their hired FTE's.
May 30, '02I believe that LPNs who, in the past years have been laid off from positions .... will find themselves being in greater demand -- with much higher salaries in the forseeable future. My facility, years ago, laid off ALL floor LPNs -- regardless of years of employment. What a loss for morale -- the hospital -- the staff --- the patients. There is such a nursing shortage -- we use PCA's to do EKGs, blood draws -- all great support -- but we are missing a valuable part of our HEALTH CARE TEAM -- the LPNs. You do matter.
May 31, '02Kaknurse, I am sorry to hear about what is going on in your facility, but if you RNs are unionized, you are either not utilizing your union correctly or your union sucks...In a union in which LPNs are excluded, the RNs hold all the cards. Senority should count with regard to you, only as it pertains to RNs. If you all don't band together and utilize your union, it is useless to have one. If your union representative is unhelpful or disagrees, go over his or her head and call union headquarters. File a grievance EACH and EVERY time you are bumped or floated. Find out how more active unions or unionized members fight back. If not, then only you and your staff are at fault for shoddy treatment by either your union, your facility, or both. We have had to learn the hard way to ban together and make the system work...If no one grieves every single offense, float or bump then nothing can be done. Good luck in that particular venture....
May 31, '02For everyones information it is Federal Labor law that RNs and LPNs can't be in the same bargaining unit. They must form their own bargaining unit.
The utility of a LPN depends on what state you are in and their scope of practise. There are some states in which LPN education doesn't include any acute care (hospital) clinical rotations.
If given the choice I'd rather have an RN at the hospital bedside than an LPN (I'm a former instructor in an LPN program). It just makes more economic and professional sense.
Look into the history of how LPNs came about and why.
May 31, '02Hey, thanks for the info, but I was making a personal observation about several individuals whom I have known for many years. You are making a collective statement to which you are, of course, entitled, however, it really isn't pertaining to the particular subject I have introduced.
I also would love to have an RN to care for me but ONLY if he or she was at least as or more experienced and skillful as the particular group of people I have spoken about here.
Lumping people together in a particular category without giving credence to either their skills or experience, add to the divisiveness that is rampant in nursing today. While I do see your point and applaud and support your right to say it, I also must thank you for proving my point....
May 31, '02Personally, I think that our union does suck. With our last contract negotioation, we agreed to allow the hospital to hire LPN's so we probably screwed ourselves big time. All to avoid mandation that was happening on a shift by shift basis. We'll see what happens. There's an RN that works day shift, which is the shift that all of the senior RN's work for the most part, this RN has been getting downstaffed as much as 40-50 hours per pay period which is every other week. All I know that is if this starts happening to me, then I'll need to get another job.
May 31, '02If you leave rather than fight, nothing will be accomplished. I am sorry you are having such a difficult period but as you said, the RNs allowed the contract to stand. You also sound as though you are a newer nurse probably taught that LPNs are not people you need in registered nurse land. The LPNs are not in your union. They have nothing to do with what goes on with the RNs. As I mentioned before, NOTHING can happen against RNs unless they allow it (when a union is involved). Get yourself and other RNs together, agree to grieve EVERY time something inappropriate such as floating or more specifically, bumped for OT occurs. Although I hate standing up for management, you should know that whether or not LPNs existed or not, as the junior person on the RN scale, you are going to get bumped or floated first. Thats the way it is. Senority does and should count, as you will no doubt discover when you have been some place awhile. You may want to remember that if you do leave and start over you will be even more junior wherever you end up...Please don't take my statements to heart BUT LPNs cost less so it makes sense in a unit adequately or overstaffed by RNS, to float them first. It does NOT make sense in an understaffed or inappropriately staffed unit, to do so. In that case, the LPN should go.
A union is only as strong as its members allow it to be, and sometimes it takes years to figure that out. Have you filed any grievances? Have you applied to be a union steward? Are YOU active in your union? If no is the answer to even one of these, then it isn't the union's fault....Good luck....(from a union stewards point of view) Organize each other, put down on paper what you want from your contract. It will not and shall not address LPNs because they do no come into the scope of your union...Get together. Write what you think you need. Going to another facility, unionized or not, will make NO difference unless you are actively using the union. If you stay, make sure you vote or contribute when your contract negotiations come due. If you don't, then you have no reason to complain...Good luck....
May 31, '02I worked as a CNA for almost 26 years, and I learned so much from the LPNS I worked with, they would always teach and answer questions(they usually worked the floor with us).
THe RNS usually had to much to do(charge of at least 2 units), to be able to do much teaching. This was when CNAS were allowed to think!
May 31, '02We LOVE CNAs too and I am glad you reminded me of this story because its true. (we no longer HAVE CNAs by the way, unfortunately..)
Just graduated from nursing school. Naive country girl in a big city teaching hospital. Doing my FIRST night shift on a busy med surg unit. I have no clue. I am scared to death. It isn't yet in my nature to be assertive or in charge. I figure I will probably be the next patient in the CCU next door... Flash to the actual night shift in question. It is me and Norma, a quiet but scary CNA who has worked on that floor, at night, for over 20 years. She doesn't say a word when I try to make small talk. She is having none of that. She has seen new grads come and go and it occurs to me she knows more than I probably EVER will. PLUS, she knows routine, docs, the other nurses, who to call with a problem, who to trust, etc. Finally, almost in tears , I approach her and tell her while I know I have to be technically in charge, in my opinion it is HER unit and she is my boss. I entrust myself and new career to her. Her features soften and I remember a hint of a smile on that agingly beautiful Jamaican face. From then on, Norma took care of me, guarded and defended me like a mother hen. I loved and love her.....Sometimes (most times) it is about the person, and not the degree. Thankyou for reminding me of this very special lesson in my growing up as a nurse...