LPN restrictions?

  1. Are LPN's restricted to only certain areas of nursing? Can an LPN work L&D or ER? I am a bit confused on this one?? :imbar I am sure the hospital has a role in where nurses work but in general what are they on the norm side.?

    I would love to work in postpartum care as a lactation specialist once I finish LPN. Any input or infor would be great.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from ShellyNC
    Are LPN's restricted to only certain areas of nursing? Can an LPN work L&D or ER? I am a bit confused on this one?? :imbar I am sure the hospital has a role in where nurses work but in general what are they on the norm side.?

    I would love to work in postpartum care as a lactation specialist once I finish LPN. Any input or infor would be great.
    Law does not prevent us from working in any area. Hospital policy is another thing. We can not push IV meds without advanced IV Tx training not covered by regular our regular IV cert. In the ER that happens a lot so they pretty much only hire nurses who can (RNs.) Though there are many LPNs who have taken certifications in their facility and/or community and become an advance LPN and are permitted to push.
    L&D often uses pit drips (and others) that most states do not allow LPNs to hang (go figure, we know how it works, what it does, side effects, etc... so what's the problem?) Anyway, in most states we can't hang it so L&D staffing is usually RNs.
    Post-partum is another story. There are plenty of pts there who need a caring nurse and not an IV theripist! You should be able to find work (if you find a hospital with OB that hires LPNs.)
  4. by   txspadequeenRN
    I have seen LVN's work in L&D being an scrub tech ,same in surgery. But I have seen them working the floor in ER. I am IV certified and was required to be so , prior to working agency nursing. At a major hospital here in Ft Worth there is a LVN working in NICU as a floor nurse, now from what I understand she has been there for 30 years, before they required RN's. There are several areas interesting areas you could work in however LVN's can only go up so far. SO much more opportunities for RN's ......





    Quote from ShellyNC
    Are LPN's restricted to only certain areas of nursing? Can an LPN work L&D or ER? I am a bit confused on this one?? :imbar I am sure the hospital has a role in where nurses work but in general what are they on the norm side.?

    I would love to work in postpartum care as a lactation specialist once I finish LPN. Any input or infor would be great.
  5. by   HisTreasure
    I am an LPN student, and from what I've read, there are state nursing acts that dictate the scope of practice within that certain state. Then, within that state, facilities can limit or broaden the duties of an LPN within that scope of practice.
    Here in Rochester, when I went in to have my son two nurses that attended me during "labor" (I was c-section, so I didn't really "labor" per se) were LPNs. Afterwards, in the family suite, my son and I were attended by mostly RNs, but one young lady was an LPN, but going to school to be an RN.




    However, that was Highland Hospital, part of StrongHealth. When my step daugher went to General to have her baby just four months later which is not part of StrongHealth, it is ViaHealth, one of the nurses on her floor said that LPNs were hired, but not on L&D floors, and only as scrub nurses or pill pushers on "non-vital" wings. :angryfire I remember her fully, because at that time I was debating whether I would apply for the LPN program or not.

    The nurse that does the dialysis procedures on my husband's friend is an LPN.

    Same city: different health systems: different rules: same scope of practice.

    LPNs are nurses, though, and depending on your preferences and your choice of speciality, being an LPN can be very rewarding and satisfying. The trend I am noticing is LPN for Long-Term care and Assisted Living. (But then again, here in Rochester, you make more in the LTC/AL facilities than you would in a MD office or hospital).

    Eventually I will get my RN, but in the meantime, I am proud to be an LPN student!
    Last edit by HisTreasure on Jun 16, '04
  6. by   RN34TX
    [QUOTE=kiyasmom]I am an LPN student, and from what I've read, there are state nursing acts that dictate the scope of practice within that certain state. Then, within that state, facilities can limit or broaden the duties of an LPN within that scope of practice.

    I must correct you because that almost got me into trouble when I was an LPN. A facility, in ANY state, can limit , but they cannot broaden LPN scope of practice. If it is allowed in the particular state, LPN's can get certified in particular areas such as IV push meds, etc. and this may be what you mean by a facility broadening an LPN scope of practice. Read the actual facility policy about what you are allowed to do so that you do not get misinformed by staff who may not know even though they've been working there for a while. When I've asked my supervisors in the past, many times I've gotten the answer "Um, well, yeah, I THINK LPN's can do that."
    Not good enough, find the written policy to protect yourself.
    However, if your state's nurse practice act specifically states that LPN's are not allowed to perform certain tasks, then even the certification class will not cover you. Hence, your facility cannot broaden your practice if the state outright forbids the specific task. This goes for RN's as well.
    I'm telling you this because I once interviewed at a long term acute care facility as a fairly new LPN. My potential boss who ran the facility told me that I would be expected to hang TPN. In the state I was working in at the time, LPN's were not allowed to hang TPN. She told me that she allowed them to do it at her facility and it was at her discretion. Wrong!! Had I listened to her blindly, I could have gotten into trouble.
    New LPN's and future LPN's, do NOT rely on RN's to tell you what you are allowed and not allowed to do in your facility. You'd be surprised how many are out there who have no clue about state guidelines and regulations or hospital policy and yet they are our nursing supervisors!
    And getting authorization from the RN to do a particular task will not cover you if your state forbids a particular nursing task do be done by an LPN.
    Protect yourself, you worked very hard to get that nursing license.
  7. by   RN34TX
    Quote from ShellyNC
    Are LPN's restricted to only certain areas of nursing? Can an LPN work L&D or ER? I am a bit confused on this one?? :imbar I am sure the hospital has a role in where nurses work but in general what are they on the norm side.?

    I would love to work in postpartum care as a lactation specialist once I finish LPN. Any input or infor would be great.
    A lot of that depends on the part of the country and the facility itself. Here in Texas, LPN/LVN's enjoy a wider scope of practice than other states I've worked in. I personally know LPN/LVN's who worked in ER, L&D, and postpartum. These jobs are not as likely to be advertised in the paper so some investigating and networking may need to be done. A new grad might get pushed into Med/Surg right off the bat but that really is a great place to start and get a good knowledge base before specializing. Lactation specialist might require you to get your RN, maybe even BSN but I could be wrong, that's way out of my area.
  8. by   GPatty
    I think most of it depends on the facility and their protocol.

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