Albertan LPNs

  1. Hi there,
    I have worked in EMS for a couple of years now but now looking into nursing because of a recent injury that I wont recover enough from to continue working EMS.
    I have been strongly, well will be applying for the LPN program at Bow Valley college ( well at least thats what I think I want to do).I think the main reason I reverted to nursing is because of some of the experiences I have had as patient with nursing staff. As I have said I need to continue working in the medical field and this might just be the right thing for me.

    Having said that, I don't think I know enough about the the LPN side of things to know 100% that it is what I want to do. I don't know any LPNs and the research I did online didnt show me enough.

    Are there any Albertan LPNs that would be willing to give me more of an insight as to how they enjoy their work, some of their duties etc...

    Like I said, I'm a little at loss right now and will truely appreciate any help.Thank you so much.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Fiona59
    I enjoy my job most days. I know people who went to Bow Valley and haven't heard anything negative about it.

    Our training in Alberta is some of the best in Canada. However our scope of practice is limited by our employers. Many of the things you may be used to doing, an LPN cannot. We cannot initiate blood transfusions (only monitor). Depending on where we work we cannot hang IV medications, we cannot start an IV or administer an IM injection.

    Our scope of practice is limited facility to facility and to a certain extent by the protectionism of the UNA. It can be extremely frustrating. When I worked LTC only an RN could administer insulin. PNs could do nothing via injection but its changing.

    With the health regions becoming more budget aware, we are being allowed to practice to full scopel. Additional training/certification is available in dialysis, orthopedics or in the OR.

    If you are unsure about nursing, PN is the way to go because its only four semesters, the waitlists aren't as long as for the BScN, and if you find out that nursing isn't for you, you haven't got massive student loans behind you.

    Have you thought about xray type work. I don't know what your physical limitations are but you have to be able to move and assist in transfers just to make it through clinicals? Once you graduate, you can find work where there is little physical strength demanded but you have to make it through first.
  4. by   Comanche_1
    Thank you so much for your reply! One of my other question was whether or not you can take more schooling to specialize like you said in the OR or orthopedics,something I would want to do.
    I truely appreciate the time taken to post. Thank you!
  5. by   Fiona59
    Yup, you can. Dialysis is employer funded, so basically two to three months full time paid employment, irregardless of the size of your position. OR Tech runs around $3K at Grant MacEwan, and ortho tech is done via Norquest (maybe BV does it as well and I don't know the cost).

    Capital Health has in the past paid for their LPNs to take the OR course in return for a certain period of employment with them.

    The only problem with the specialties is you get very little in return for the certification. Dialysis PNs make about 65CENTS an hour more and its about the same for the other two. However, these positions do have certain perks-- Dialysis in satelitte units=no nights or Sundays, and ortho techs do a lot of clinic hours.

    Anything else, just PM me and I'll answer.
  6. by   TLilly
    Does anyone know what the starting wage for an LPN is at Foothills Hospital? Thanks in advance.
  7. by   Fiona59
    AUPE starting rate is $17 something/hr. That's at step one for a new grad or someone who doesn't have portable hours.

    Just check their website.

    You have to remember to factor in shift, weekend, and weeknight premiums. Capital Health rates are $1.75/hr for evenings and weekends and we get both if we work Fr, Sat, or Sun evenings.

    It's actually getting to be quite interesting right now with the labour shortage and private places offering higher wages in LTC and signing bonuses. The AUPE contract expires next year and it should be interesting to watch the negotiations. There are a lot of unhappy PNs in AUPE since the last contract.
  8. by   TLilly
    Thanks Fiona59. I was thinking of relocating to Alberta, but I'm better off staying in Ontario.
  9. by   OgopogoLPN
    Quote from TLilly
    Thanks Fiona59. I was thinking of relocating to Alberta, but I'm better off staying in Ontario.
    I'm in the Okanagan in BC and Interior Health starts LPN's at just over $21/h. Coastal Health in Vancouver is even more I believe.

    Some nursing homes and LTC are even higher than that due to severe nursing shortages. There was one particular private nursing home in Kelowna that ran an ad in the paper about 6 months ago offering LPN's $35/h and RN's $65/h! No joke. I think those wages were just for a short term contract (to get them back on their feet after a massive turnover), but still, that is HIGH!!
  10. by   OgopogoLPN
    Another thing on wages, I know a woman who just moved here from Alberta who was making $17 as an LPN. That shocked me since I know LPN's here make at least $21. I was always under the impression that Alberta's wages were higher. She is happy now to be making much more. She works at a private nursing home, so I'm nto sure what her wage is.
  11. by   Fiona59
    Alberta is a hard to unionize province. AUPE is the wrong union for PNs and many are unhappy with the last contract. We were holding out for more but told to take what we were offered because it was a "good contract for everyone else in the bargaining unit".

    PNs max out at around $21.90. Five step scale based on number of hours worked.

    Private nursing homes are paying more and even they are having a hard time holding onto staff.

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