Eliminating LPNs - are hospitals doing this? - page 5

Hello All, My mother is an LPN at a major women's and children's medical center in Honolulu. Recently the hospital announced that it may eliminate the LPN position throughout the hopsital in the... Read More

  1. by   sbic56
    I am not aware of professions allowing the entry level to be associate degrees as a wave of the future.
    ainz

    I was referring to 2 yr. associates degrees being the entry level norm in fields such as in IS or IT, electronics, physical therapy, radiology etc. I see these fields more analogous to nursing than I do physicians, architects and lawyers.

    I do see how a BSN minimum requirement would more clearly define the profession as a whole and tend to agree with it's eventual institution for that reason. But, with the phasing out of LPN's hanging in the balance because of the economic situation of the healthcare industry, I don't think the minimum requirements will be changing in the near future.
  2. by   ainz
    Thanks. I think however that many many fields are moving more toward broader liberal education and then narrowing on the specific field. I am not aware of any physical therapy programs that allow you to practice as a physical therapist with an associate degree. As a matter of fact, in my current state, the entry into physical therapy is now a masters degree. This was changed about 2 years ago.

    So I see other fields "professionalizing" themselves even in the midst of "shortages." I have to agree with you though that I don't foresee any changes to the nursing educational minimum requirements any time soon. One reason is that nurses seem to find it difficult to agree on most anything.
  3. by   sbic56
    Godswill

    OK....just curious as to what your school is doing. I have to say the only way that would be worth it to me is to get a minimum of the AD through that program. I hate to think that you will be rec'ing only LPN status after 18 months of work, but that is because I rec'd the same in 10 months back in '84.

    My problem with the current situation is that there is no standard and because of that we, as nurses, are being taken advantage of. The educational requirements should be consistant. Nursing seems to me to be the only profession that this is not the case and that leads to problems in my mind. Anyway, I don't mean to discourage or upset you, I just think something needs to be done to make thing equal for all nurses. Take it from someone who has been there, I would hate to think that after your 18 months of hard work, you may not be able to practice as you'd like because facilities can dictate whether or not you have enough education to perform.
  4. by   sbic56
    ainz

    Just to clarify, I am referring to a PT assistant for the AD in that field. It's 5 years minimum in Maine for Physical Therapist.
  5. by   BBFRN
    Originally posted by ainz


    The real issue is that having all of these levels of edcuation and all being called a "nurse" has been and remains to be a problem for the advancement of nursing as a true profession. It is difficult to hold such a "profession" in high esteem and really consider it a true profession when it only takes a year of education to enter the field. I will be so bold (and probably unpopular) to say that I think the LPN program and license should be completely eliminated OR the education to become an LPN should be identified as a nursing assistant.

    Firstly (not to flame), I was a nsg assistant before I was an LPN, and there is a MAJOR difference between the 2 disciplines. LPNs delegate to nsg assistants, so there is a degree of autonomy. Yes, we answer to the RN (and I will complete my ASN in a few months), but the RN also answers to someone- and it's not always someone with a higher degree than them. LPNs have a pretty broad scope of practice here in KY, so it might be different for me. I take my own patient load, and am responsible for them. I'm sure it's different in a military setting, though.
    Next, I would like to point out that it only took me a year to receive my LPN because I took 24 (yes, 24) credit hrs the first semester, 18 the next, and then 12.
    Do I feel like I am a professional? Yes, because I am treated as a professional where I work, and I act like one. I don't think if you asked any of the RNs that I work with, that they would consider the LPNs working along with them as barriers to their advancement as nurses. I think they're just glad to have someone there who knows what the heck they're doing.
  6. by   Godswill
    Originally posted by sbic56
    Godswill

    OK....just curious as to what your school is doing. I have to say the only way that would be worth it to me is to get a minimum of the AD through that program. I hate to think that you will be rec'ing only LPN status after 18 months of work, but that is because I rec'd the same in 10 months back in '84.

    My problem with the current situation is that there is no standard and because of that we, as nurses, are being taken advantage of. The educational requirements should be consistant. Nursing seems to me to be the only profession that this is not the case and that leads to problems in my mind. Anyway, I don't mean to discourage or upset you, I just think something needs to be done to make thing equal for all nurses. Take it from someone who has been there, I would hate to think that after your 18 months of hard work, you may not be able to practice as you'd like because facilities can dictate whether or not you have enough education to perform.
    I thank u for what u are saying, but the problem here is that the AD programs are so hard to get into with out having some type of experience in the medical field , they do have an LPN program here thats 13 months too, but it 3 times more expensive than the 18 month, go figure , but i am still thinking of going there too. just to finish early.

    The things is that in my state we are use really well as LPN's, compare to other states we can do just about everything, even Initiate and maintain IV therapy and administer IV medications by IVPB and/or IVP (including hyperalimentation, blood and blood products) and Perform "head to toe" physical assessments
    . Louisiana does not in other words limit the scope of LPN's.
    http://www.lsbpne.com/scope_of_practice.htm
    Thank God for that

    I do want to be a RN, but i have to do it this way
  7. by   BBFRN
    I would also like to add that there are over 14,000 actively working LPNs in my state. Aside from those who are in an RN program right now, what do you think it would do for the shortage if these LPNs were eliminated? That's 14,000 nurses taking approx. 6-10 patients each in a workday. Say you generally have 2-3 LPNs on your floor, alongside 2-3 RNs. Would you really want to take those 12-30 patients and divide them up among yourselves? That's a minimum of 4 more patients you will have to add to your patient load. I know none of the RNs I work with would stand for this. They would then be SOLELY responsible for more patients. Would this make you feel more professional? It would make me feel scared for my license.
    Last edit by BBFRN on Aug 21, '03
  8. by   ainz
    Reality is one thing and to aspire to an ideal is yet another.

    Reality is we need every set of hands we can get in nursing with the current structure, roles, and scopes of practice.

    Ideal is to have all personnel identified as a "nurse" to have one clearly defined path of education and licensure in order to be called a "nurse" and perform "nursing" functions. Problem is we can't clearly identify pure nursing functions and society is not willing to pay for many services that a higher educated nurse is uniquely qualified to perform.

    I am not minimizing the work that LPNs and nursing assistants do, not by any means. These tasks are necessary for the comfort and health of our patients. Just that we should, in a sense, reclassify and rename the various positions to distinguish professional nurses from technical nurses or health care workers. The term "nurse" would be reserved for those who have put forth the effort and successfully completed the education and licensure requirements. I know people are passionate about their work and many LPNs will take offense to what I am saying as if I do not recognize the value and contribution they make to patient care.

    However, to advance the nursing profession we must shape it as that of a profession, this is a basic premise, if we continue to fail to do this then we will forever be seen as we are today and many nurses are not satisfied with this perception.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Originally posted by sbic56
    Just a point to ponder. Why should nurses be the only profession that enjoy a middle level position as a professional with only 1 year of education? This is in no way meant to be a slam to LPN's. I was one for 13 years and felt "forced" to go for my RN to stay employable in my field (OB). Still, an associates degree requirement for entry level seems to be the way of the future for nearly all professions, so why not nursing? We live in a time where education is highly regarded and seen as necessary to performing our particular jobs to the best of our abilities. Sometimes you just have to give up the ghost.
    Taking 60 credits and 2 years here.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    In my own eyes, once i complete my program in June of 2004, i will be professional, knowledgeable, and educated in my field. Even if that's "justa" to people.

    I'll go for my ADN the following fall, then for my BSN at least. But by then i will be well aware of what it was like to be an LPN and have people tell you to your face that you're not professional because you don't hold a college degree. And i'll never do that or think that about anyone, because the program i am in now is notorious for being beyond "survival of the fittest" and is an excellent program, and i'll respect anyone who had the brass to complete it.
  11. by   BBFRN
    Originally posted by ainz


    I am not minimizing the work that LPNs and nursing assistants do, not by any means. These tasks are necessary for the comfort and health of our patients. Just that we should, in a sense, reclassify and rename the various positions to distinguish professional nurses from technical nurses or health care workers. The term "nurse" would be reserved for those who have put forth the effort and successfully completed the education and licensure requirements. I know people are passionate about their work and many LPNs will take offense to what I am saying as if I do not recognize the value and contribution they make to patient care.

    a.) The term "nurse" is already reserved for those who have put forth the effort, as mandated in each state's laws and scopes of practice. I have successfully completed licensure requirements in my state to be an LPN. The "N" meaning nurse, not nursing assistant. I personally don't take offense to what you are saying, because basically I feel as though you are not knowlegeable about what I do as a nurse, or what I know as a nurse. That being said, how can you recognize our value as nurses?
  12. by   ainz
    I can say I recognize the value of an LPN after 24 years in healthcare and many many of those working side-by-side with LPNs taking patients on busy medical surgical floors, emergency department and critical care areas. I can say that because of my years as a nurse manager interviewing, hiring, and managing many LPNs. I can say that as a former director of education orienting and conducting continuing education classes for many LPNs. I can say that now as an administrator of a hospital that still utilizes LPNs.

    Again, for nursing to be elevated to true professional status, we must clearly define the single path of education and licensure it takes to earn the right to be called a "nurse." It just so happens that in most professions in the USA this requires a higher level of education than 1, 2, 3, and in many cases more than 4 years of college. I don't think any of us set those standards but rather have inherited them and that is simply reality, like it or not.

    I can do many things a physician can do as far as technical skills and I can learn to do many more things a physician can do. Nurse practitioners have demonstrated that nurses can be trained to do nearly all of the things a primary care physician can do. However the fact remains, if you want to be called a medical doctor you have to go to medical school and there are no 1, 2, or 3 year programs for various entry levels. There is one single path that is required to become an MD.
  13. by   azgirl
    I have worked with LPN's who held Masters degrees in psych. It was frustrating for one when RN's looked down on her because she was "only" an LPN. Also have worked with one CNA with a Masters in teaching.

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