Are LPN's being phased out? - page 3

by JSlovex2 69,558 Views | 232 Comments

I know people have been saying for years that everyone would need a BSN and LPN's would be a thing of the past, etc. Well, so far, where I work (a large, magnet hospital) there are still many, many nurses without a BSN -but there... Read More


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    Our hospital only employs two LPNs. Well...now one because she is actively in school. The other one was laid off because he never kept his word when it came to going to school. The reason being LPNs, in our hospitals are so restricted on what they can do.
    I went from a CNA to LPN to RN. I never regretted taking the long way to my RN. I think walking in all shoes has made me a better nurse.
    DogWmn and NurseLoveJoy88 like this.
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    Quote from JSlovex2
    this is exactly the attitude i've seen lately. with RNs working short staffed, they are tired of "babysitting" the LPN's so to speak. at one time, there were enough RNs on the floor that it wasn't such a big deal for them to "cover" the LPNs, but now - they're lucky to get their "own job" finished without having to go behind a LPN. i've even seen brand new grads be charge nurses over LPNs who have years of experience. it just makes no logical or financial sense.
    I guess I am most ticked off by this comment. And the attitude. RNs do not babysit LPNs. LPNs are members of a team effort who have specific job duties that in doing them frees up the RNs to do their specific job duties. By this same logic I could say that as an LPN I'm sick of having to go "behind" the CNAs and make sure they do their jobs, and how much that sucks because I can't handle my responsibilities because I always have to be watching them.

    I don't have to "babysit" them; I respect the job they do and recognize that I couldn't do MY job if it weren't for them.

    I've worked in the hospital setting and I can tell you that we LPNs run ourselves ragged, not only trying to do our jobs of passing meds, monitoring patients, monitoring lab values and vital signs so as not to give the patient a med that needs to be d/c or changed, doing trach and vent and PEG care, doing wound treatments, dealing with supply issues, talking to patients and families, filtering information to the appropriate people, charting, AND helping the CNAs, AND helping RNs and notifying them of patient issues so that they can do their jobs better.

    If they have to sign off on it, so be it, that is their job. We're a team.

    And the same holds true in SNFs and LTCs, except the number of LPNs is greater and the scope of practice much more broad. And also, a lot of RNs wouldn't deign to work in those facilities.

    I'm also going to say that I think this quote represents a minority view among RNs. The majority of the RNs that I've worked with and spoken to and seen on this site respect the hard work that LPNs do.
    DogWmn, terry8025, TiddlDwink, and 9 others like this.
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    I don't think LPN's will ever be phased out as long as medicine is run as a business, in most cases, for profit. Most medical businesses, hospitals, clinics, doc offices, home health, ALf's, etc. have LPN's instead of RNs because it is cost saving.

    I have frequently said I wish I could trade in my RN for LPN. I would have a much easier career life.
    drmorton2b, TiddlDwink, anotherone, and 2 others like this.
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    I was the last LVN that my current employer will hire - came down the pipes last week that No MAS. I am beginning my BSN program in August. And for what it's worth, most of the facilities in my area are RN and higher. *especially* in the med center. Even the 4 outlying hospitals in my suburb are refusing LVNs. Trust me, I had an awful time finding a job in acute care.
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    I honestly don't know if they have a future. Here, no, there are no jobs for LPNs. There might be one in a Drs office, but they seem to be moving to MAs. The nursing homes used to be a stronghold, but not I'm told they have fewer LPNS and more med techs and CNAs. One LPN to do treatments and one RN to do charts and whatever no one else can do.

    I wouldn't advise a young person to look for a career as a LPN, but it isn't a bad stepping stone toward a professional degree. One of my favorite surgeons was an LPN for years before going to medical school!
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    Quote from SunSurfRN
    Just because something hasn't happened, doesn't mean it won't. With the ever expanding group of unemployed or underemployed RNs on the bread line you can expect the last bastions of LPNs you mentioned to be employing RNs. I work in one of the aforementioned places as a new grad BSN...one of the hiring managers told me point blank "why hire an LPN when I can hire an RN"
    Maybe because they can pay them less?

    Not sure where you work JSlovex, but I have never heard RNs as a group be so disrespectful to LPNs. If they have to "babysit" them it is very likely related to the culture of the facility and/or the limited scope of practice some states have for LPNs. I'm sure it will end up being in the best interest of all concerned when there are no more LPNs at your facility.

    My answer (at least as far as my area) just a few months ago would have been that anyone who wants to work in an acute care hospital now should go for their RN right away and for their BSN if possible. When I started at a pediatric hospital nobody "went behind me" and I worked in every unit there at least once. The legal scope of practice hasn't changed, but other factors have, resulting in the trend to all RN staffing in acute care hospitals.

    One could argue that a financial crunch and an increasing elderly population would lead to an increase in LPN jobs as they are most often hired in LTCs and private duty under waiver programs, including in charge nurse positions.

    Just lately though, I've noticed that not at any other time since I was licensed in 1976 has there been so much uncertainty in the nursing job market. There is an overabundance of job seekers, a state of flux in job opportunities, statutory changes coming down the line, and the corrosive effects of the recession in my state. I can honestly say I have no predictions to make but that while LPNs are not being phased out the areas hiring most is still uncertain at this point.
    OgopogoLPN likes this.
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    I only skimmed, but however inconveniently and pejoratively worded the babysitting comment is, I get the point. Speaking only for myself, due to the limitations imposed by the facilities I worked in, I prefer not to work with LPNs. I have not in many years now, but historically, having to go behind and chart for them was such a PITA I'd rather just do it all myself. CNAs can do their thing and chart same. The LPNS could do it, but then I'd have to sign that I agreed. How can I agree if I don't repeat the assessment? All they could really do for me is CNA duties and pass PO meds. That wasn't very helpful.

    That is not a reflection on the individuals, their innate intelligence or skill, but rather identification of a systems problem. I'd rather not have to deal with consequences of said systems problem. I suspect that that is what was meant by the babysitting comment, however indelicately it was put.
    BonewaxRN and NCLaura like this.
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    Quote from JSlovex2
    this is exactly the attitude i've seen lately. with RNs working short staffed, they are tired of "babysitting" the LPN's so to speak. at one time, there were enough RNs on the floor that it wasn't such a big deal for them to "cover" the LPNs, but now - they're lucky to get their "own job" finished without having to go behind a LPN. i've even seen brand new grads be charge nurses over LPNs who have years of experience. it just makes no logical or financial sense.
    HMMM. Problems with LPNs??? There are very few things that an RN does that and LPn can't do. My BON says as an LPN I can't push IV meds, hang blood, insert a PICC line. I can do everything else. (A change about 4 yrs ago now allows us to pronounce death) I have been very well trained, I am an adult, I don't need to be babysat. So I can only hope you were being sarcastic when you wrote that (please tell me you were!) LPN's are and can be a very valuable asset to any work force.
    Last edit by gentlegiver on Apr 22, '11
    texastinkerbell, dotty865, DogWmn, and 2 others like this.
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    Well, the things is from many articles I've read and things that I've seen hospitals do...it seems like they're trying to not hire more LPNs into the acute care setting. LPNs will always dominate LTC, offices, and clinics b/c it's better financially for the company. Most of the LPNs I know are really good nurses. At my old hospital, we had a couple of LPNs on my floor...almost all of them going for their RN though...and we did have to cover them...but it was like one patient though. I do understand the frustration of many RNs when they have to go do something for the LPNs patient when they're already busy...particularly on dayshift.. .which is crazy. Personally, by the time the LPN would find me to do something for her patient...I had already done it...of course, after I had already taken care of my patients. Plus, many RNs aren't interested in anything besides hospital nursing. It seems that with all of the cutbacks, many new RNs won't be able to get the golden hospital experience, but instead will have to look in home health, LTC, and community nursing...an area in which the LPNs already dominate. And I don't believe that they'll ever make it mandatory for a nurse to have a BSN to be a RN...they haven't even supposedly phased out the LPNs yet. Best of luck to all nurses....RN and LPN alike.
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    Quote from linearthinker
    I only skimmed, but however inconveniently and pejoratively worded the babysitting comment is, I get the point. Speaking only for myself, due to the limitations imposed by the facilities I worked in, I prefer not to work with LPNs. I have not in many years now, but historically, having to go behind and chart for them was such a PITA I'd rather just do it all myself. CNAs can do their thing and chart same. The LPNS could do it, but then I'd have to sign that I agreed. How can I agree if I don't repeat the assessment? All they could really do for me is CNA duties and pass PO meds. That wasn't very helpful.

    That is not a reflection on the individuals, their innate intelligence or skill, but rather identification of a systems problem. I'd rather not have to deal with consequences of said systems problem. I suspect that that is what was meant by the babysitting comment, however indelicately it was put.
    Really ????


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