Wow. I LOVE my good LPN coworkers in my ICU.....BUT I have to say I'd be very concerned working with LPN's in ICU in your state. I can't imagine accepting responsibility for 4 patients in ICU...sounds more like a 'delegation' relationship with these LPN's.... and that concerns me.
My state of Texas is very liberal with LPN's practice...and many facilities here only limit them in terms of charge capability, so I don't mind LPN's caring for ICU patients at all, (as long as they are competent ICU nurses.)
I know sometimes we do the best we can with what we've got, but if this practice were to become a regular staffing plan (like yours) I would probably feel uneasy. I feel that if my LPN's are NOT ICU QUALIFIED, I must then have some PCU- type patients(ie ready to move out) they can safely care for... or it becomes unsafe staffing in my mind.
Now my facility pushes to the limit, so we have to stand them down...perhaps yours works with the nurses more diplomatically...(I hope!)
Another concern I would have is since these LPN's are NOT all clinically competent in ICU, what will the hospital do when you have an exceptionally high acuity group your LPN's can't help you much with?? Will the RN's be hung out to dry, taking responsibility for 4 high acuity patients?
Keep us updated and best wishes as you try to work this out...you may wish to consider consulting with your state BON for their opinion on this. Good luck...I would be concerned too!