LPNs are important. How can the RNs help in this terrible situation? - page 3

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

  1. by   colleen10
    Mother / Baby RN,

    Good for you for sticking up your LPN's. I think you have to or you will loose them and then where will you be?

    My Aunt is a nurse in a large Pittsburgh Hospital and the hospital has gone way with the Patient Care Tech's and laid off all of the LPN's. Boy, does she miss them. Not that the Patient Care Tech's aren't responsible, capable people but it's not the same as an LPN - from what she says. A License stands for something. She has a very difficult time being in charge of the Patient Care Tech. whilst they work under HER license.

    And I was touched by by your last post. Too often we look at how many letters a person has behind their name rather than the # of years they have put in.
  2. by   nursegoodguy
    I've had docs say, "get an RN on the phone" only because they didn't want to come see a sick patient, to have me tell them, "sorry there are no RN's on duty at this time... I think the future is looking more and more like specialized techs to do the jobs! How many techs did we use fifty years ago compared to today... How many hospitals/nursing homes are trying to save a buck and work us short already... just give them time to figure it out that they could hire two techs to one nurse and it won't matter if you are an Lpn or Rn.
  3. by   fergus51
    We got rid of all our LPNs in maternity areas years ago (just after I graduated), and it is a mixed bag. I like having my own patients and I am less confussed about my job and the LPNs job, but I miss the experience, knowledge and compassion from some of the LPNs when I was a student in the same hospital. Some of them were just sooooo amazing, I wish patients had the chance to have them as their nurses. Unfortunately the role of the LPN seems to be determined by the administrators who don't work the floors.
  4. by   zudy
    I was an LPN before I became an RN, then the hospital that I went to LPN school at closed the program. It took 10 years for them to realize the mistake they made, so they tried to start the LPN program again, however there is such a shortage of nurses they weren't able to do this. There are not enough RNs to fill the positions to teach. We need LPNs!!!! A big thank you to all the great LPNs that work so hard!!!
  5. by   Q.
    LPNs are important, yes. The entire profession of nursing needs to be saved before it becomes obsolete. Already many positions that were once left for a licensed nurse are being filled with Medical Assistants or nursing assistants.


    Ultimately, however, I believe if the LPNs want change, it is up to them to organize and initiate change on their own behalf. RNs can support them, but ultimately the change has to come from the LPNs themselves.

    Same with nursing globally; we can't expect anyone else to save our profession but US: not the public, not the hospitals, not the government, but US.
  6. by   Q.
    Originally posted by colleen10
    Too often we look at how many letters a person has behind their name rather than the # of years they have put in.
    I would argue that NEITHER is a good indicator of someone's level of expertise. Just as the # of letters does not guarantee intelligence and professionalism, neither does "time in" either.

    Just a thought to remember.
  7. by   RNforLongTime
    Mother/baby Rn,

    I have been an RN for 5 years now and have been in healthcare for over 10 years, so, in my opinion, that does not qualify me as a newer nurse.

    Last hospital I worked at, which was NOT unionized, floating was rotated evenly among all the nurses. Being downstaffed was also rotated among the RN's too. If it was your turn, it was your turn. From what I have heard form the other RN's they don't mind working with the LPN's. The hospital has put them through the IV therapy course but they cannot give any IVPB meds(antibiotics) or do anything else with IV's until they have their little cards from the Ohio Board of Nursing. Also, in the State of Ohio, LPN's are not allowed to give any medications by IV Push route except routine flushing of a saline lock.

    I have filed a grievance before, last summer to be exact. Nothing Much came from it. I did it to prove a point. I am not one to fight. I voted for the contract because I couldn't afford to go on strike just as I won't be able to afford to be downstaffed all of the time either. I'll just go get another job at a non-unionized facility where floating is done by rotation.

    I have nothing against LPN's. I just get mad when, in times of a severe nursing shortage that I might not get the hours that I was hired to work. I'm sure that I can have a new job on Monday, if I wanted.
  8. by   mother/babyRN
    Perhaps you should start a thread about unions and get more involved in yours, if you aren't already...You said you are not one to fight. That pretty much says it all. Can't prove a point if no one is listening and you aren't willing to follow through. At no point was it my intention to insult you and, if you have been a nurse for 10 years, to ME you are a newer nurse AND thats pretty much when inappropriate discrimination of both licensure and LPNs started...I have no qualms with what you say, but I am relating to you (again) if you do not get together as a unified group and grieve EVERY questionable thing, whether you win or lose, you will NOT affect change. You may not win most if any at first but all those grievance records, win or lose, go into the files of your nurse manager and ancillary personnel and DO make a difference. No hospital administration wants to court even the IDEA of a potential strike or uprising by the very people responsible for patient care. The potential for monetary loss is mind boggling. THEY know they have you and YOU as a self described non fighter, might as well continue your role as in doing so, they win , and thats what they want. Confrontation and involvement are NOT easy, however, anyone who doesn't want to totally get involved in union business really has no business saying that it sucks. That was not meant as a personal afront to you, but I have been there, and we have fought hard. They don't like it, but they do listen to us. AND, just because you don't win on one level doesn't mean you don't have recourse. Give up and give in? Definitely the mistake MOST nurses, new or otherwise, make....Keep not fighting and keep getting frustrated and don't think it will be ANY different once you leave. Hope it works out for you and thanks, again, for proving my point...
  9. by   RNforLongTime
    I have NO problem working along side an LPN. I did so at my very first hospital job as a new grad. I only had a problem when the LPN's that I worked with didn't want to take any responsibility for their actions because at that facility, the RN's were ultimately responsible for everything the LPN did.

    There is a union unit representative for each nursing unit in my facility. I will be speaking with her about my concerns about being downstaffed. I have to agree with what Susy K said about the LPN's taking responsibility for their practice and forming a union. I would be more than happy to support them. I am hoping though that working with the LPN's won't turn into an RN vs LPN situation as it did in the last place that I worked.
  10. by   mother/babyRN
    I aggree with your point about LPNs organizing themselves, however, it is difficult since they are not allowed to be in nursing unions, generally, and are not considered to be "nurses" by our own nursing association. Often, they are in the AFLCIO or other lumped in together unions. Sadly, as I have pointed out, since they are being downsized, it might be more difficult to unionize as a bonafide nursing union when they are often not considered to actually BE nurses..But it IS up to them to forge ahead. We can only support them when they are treated inappropriately..
    And, good for you to have a representative on every unit. They are only as good as the individual person. We found we were getting nowhere quickly with our rep, who never imagined we would actually want her to be proactive and reactive in the union for our benefit. We have gone over her head numerous times, called the union, submit grievances at every turn, and will soon be calling a new election to elect a new representative who IS interested in affecting change..It has been and continues to be an uphill battle, but the hospital has had to pay attention...Good luck in all YOUR endeavors too...I understand YOUR points also!
  11. by   Q.
    Originally posted by mother/babyRN
    I aggree with your point about LPNs organizing themselves, however, it is difficult since they are not allowed to be in nursing unions, generally, and are not considered to be "nurses" by our own nursing association.
    Again, this can be compared to nursing in general. Many people consider us handmaidens, no more, no less. It is up to NURSING to improve it's own image. As with LPNs, they can form their own union or own leadership organization, and promote their image and change things around.

    Until nursing as a whole and RNs and LPNs take responsibility for themselves, things will never change.
  12. by   mother/babyRN
    Absolutely the truest point....

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