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Alberta LPN

Pug Lover Pug Lover (New) New

Hi Everybody! I am not new to AllNurses, although this is my first post. I will be attending Norquest College this Sept for the full time practical nursing program. I am set to graduate on the spring of 2009. I was wondering if anyone has gone to Norquest and would like to share their experiences. I am especially interested in the clinical part of it. Also, does anyone here work as an LPN in Edmonton? What do you think of it? Where do you work and how much do you get paid? I hope someone can answer all of my questions. Thanks!

The wages are available through any employment ad. Try looking at Capital Health's website for the latest union rate. Your total hours of nursing employment determine where you are on the pay scale.

There are good places and bad and you'll figure out which are yours during your clinicals.

Norquest is notorious for being disorganized. Just count to ten and breathe. Nearly every LPN in Edmonton was trained there and it's not as bad as people tell you.

Good Luck.

I took my LPN thru Norquest in Edmonton about 5 years ago. I did all the course work via distance and travelled and stayed in Edmonton for clinicals. I found the clinicals were excellent and I couldnt have received better exposure. I received a job before I was finsihed the course.

Great experience, great instructors!

Good luck

Thank you Lee Anne that is very encouraging to hear. If anyone else has any more info on this topic it would be greatly appreciated. Im so excited to start school and just want to know everything about what its going to be like!

So, how is school going? How is the LTC clinicals going?

Hey puglover,

I went to Norquest College. I graduated in April, 2008. I had a job before I was done school, and then got another job within a month after that job as that one was only casual. I currently work at an inner-city clinic downtown. We mainly serve the homeless and drug users. Its a fabulous place to work, and it is so much more refreshing than the hospital scene was. I get around 20 an hour I believe. As far as Norquest went, I actually didn't find I got alot out of that school.

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

I posted LPN wage and differential information from the recently negotiated AUPE collective agreement (pending ratification in August) here:https://allnurses.com/forums/f224/lpn-wage-lpn-agency-315868.html#post2952977 earlier today. That should clear up the pay question.

The proposed settlement is causing a huge amount of dissention within the nurses of Capital Health. Many feel that the proposed wages are tied too closely to those of a NA. That the LPNs are not being recognized as professional nurses (they among the few licensed professionals within the bargaining unit).

While the rates may look good on paper, remember UNE's start at over $23/hour currently. This is a direct slap in the face to the LPNs working along side them on the floor. A UNE has been 2-4 patients (depending on their year of education) and works pretty much to the LPN scope of practice. A fresh new grad LPN deserves to make as much a UNE and remember she has a full patient load, her own meds, etc.

We also don't regain the double time for single slash days that was taken away under the last contract (we were told that the RNs and RPNs were going to lose it as well and that NEVER happened). We don't get a nice bonus like the RNs did when they signed their contract, we get 10% as do other members within the bargaining unit.

People remember what happened in Manitoba when the LPNs bargained with UNM. They got the wages up there for the LPNs and then laid them off. So people are being "advised" to settle for what has been offered. Then we are reminded that the LPNs are very small voice in a bargaining unit made up of 80,000 members across the province. There are under 6,000 currently licensed LPNs ACROSS the province.

So, it looks like we are going to get railroaded into accepting this contract whether we agree with it or not.

Hey puglover,

I went to Norquest College. I graduated in April, 2008. . As far as Norquest went, I actually didn't find I got alot out of that school.

While I'm not the biggest fan of Norquest and it's structure and instructors, I really have to question your last sentence.

Do you really feel that you would be able to do your job without the education you received there? Would you have been able to walk in off the street and write CPNRE???

Nursing school wasn't a great experience for many of us but it got us where we are today.

Capital Health is recruiting 600 nurses to work as LPN from the Philippines. What can you say about this?

I'd say get your numbers right. Capital Health does not have 600 PN vacancies.

This has been discussed before, so do a search.

What I can say is that we have seen several of the nurses from the Phillipines over the last few months and for the most part they are friendly, nice people. Having said that their skills are different. So far we've heard that skills we take for granted as nurses here in Canada belong to physicians in the Phillipines. I mean we've heard staple and suture removal-doctor, ostomy care-doctor. Our guys would laugh themselves silly if we asked them to do those jobs. One RN from the Phillippines is feared and loathed by the nurses. She's been on several orientation and reorientation courses to make her safe. Staff actually dread finding out she's working with them. I'm say that she is an unsafe nurse because of her skills NOT her nationality. It is very difficult to remove unsafe staff as CARNA will back them up to the max.

The nurses that are coming must join either the RN or LPN union to work and as union members become subject to seniority just like any other union member, so don't go trying to say they are being brought in to work in event of a strike. We are what is called "essential services" and as such are forbidden to strike. We can take job action for 72 hours and as such are legislated back to work. Capital Health found out this the hard way when they tried to tell part time LPNs they didn't get OT for their weekend off when called in. After two months of no staff and huge OT bills from the RNs, guess what, the LPN OT was back.

Capital Health is served by several unions and you can believe that these nurses are not being brought in as potential strike breakers.

Capital is not looking at hiring international nurses as strikebreakers. They went to the Philippines looking to hire nurses - RNs or LPNs. CARNA was not willing to go and assist with testing or licensing. The CLPNA was. As a result, nurses who might otherwise have been licensed as RNs were tested and if passed, were licensed as LPNs.

Also - and I am not trying to pick a fight, but I believe that it is an urban myth that LPNs in Manitoba joined the Nurses union, and as a result suffered massive layoffs. My understanding is that in Manitoba (like Nova Scotia, but unlike most Provinces) LPNs and RNs have always been, and continue to be in the same union. The start rate for LPNs in Manitoba by fall will be $2.00 higher than in Alberta - and there re no dangers of layoffs. Certainly in the 90s there were lots of layoffs - but they affected RNs and LPNs.

Capital Health is recruiting 600 nurses to work as LPN from the Philippines. What can you say about this?

What are you trying to say? That it would discourage the pay of LPN's?

may not seem right but it is true that capital health will be in the philippines next week to recruit 600 to 700 nurses. it is an awfully large number for a single recruitment event. weeding out the nurses that aren't ready for placement in your hospitals is quite difficult. i myself am astonished by this number and the staffing shortage you have that this implies.

Capital is not looking at hiring international nurses as strikebreakers. They went to the Philippines looking to hire nurses - RNs or LPNs. CARNA was not willing to go and assist with testing or licensing. The CLPNA was. As a result, nurses who might otherwise have been licensed as RNs were tested and if passed, were licensed as LPNs.

Also - and I am not trying to pick a fight, but I believe that it is an urban myth that LPNs in Manitoba joined the Nurses union, and as a result suffered massive layoffs. My understanding is that in Manitoba (like Nova Scotia, but unlike most Provinces) LPNs and RNs have always been, and continue to be in the same union. The start rate for LPNs in Manitoba by fall will be $2.00 higher than in Alberta - and there re no dangers of layoffs. Certainly in the 90s there were lots of layoffs - but they affected RNs and LPNs.

At the CLPNA convention this year, Linda Stanger, Executive Director discussed the trip she and the ED of CARNA made together with Capital Health to look at the education of the BScNs in the Phillipines. According to her a decision was made between CARNA, CLPNA, and the CH that several of the nursing programmes looked, at over there, were more comparable to the two year PN diploma here in Alberta. The decision was made to allow these RNs to be registered by CLPNA and work as LPNs while upgrading their education to Canadian RN standards. Many of the nurses at Convention felt it was CARNAs way of dumping untried nurses on CH without being responsible for them. (and for what it's worth, a couple of been found to be lacking in basic nursing knowledge and people skills and already the excuses are being made for them: culture shock, different level of care expected, give 'em time to get their feet wet.) But how many units should "orient" them? Norquest was supposed to do an intro to Canadian Nursing time with them before they hit the hospitals.

Nurses of both levels working on their units are worried that we will be stuck with them because of the cost of bringing them here. Let's face it, bad nurses or poorly trained nurses are everywhere in the world and can't be blamed on one country. We've seen more than a few recent UofA grads that may have got their licence but shouldn't be working.

Sounds like you've been reading the debate on VAX, Edmontonian. From what has been said, it's not an urban myth. AUPE has the details.

It's true...Capital Health will be hiring 600+ registered nurses from the PI to work as LPN this coming July 17-23.

I was recruited last Nov 2007, the initial position promised to us was to be a GN, $25/hour. During contract signing, I was astonished that we will be Auxilliary Nurse and was offered $15+/hour. I accepted the job offer since our education is not sufficient to be a GN in Alberta. While waiting for LMO, they sent us another contract as LPN; enrollment at NorQuest College and taking the CPNRE.

Thanks Fiona59 and the rest of you guys from this forum, we are LEARNING a lot. We appreciate the information.

Two things:

1. There is no such thing as an auxilliary nurse in Alberta. A LPN in this province is responsible for their own practice and works to a very high skill set.

2. The starting wage under the expired contract is $17and change. Add in shift premiums and a shift could work out to nearly $21/hour depending on if you are working a weekend night.

The contract is currently under renegotiation and we just have to wait it out for the new rates.

One thing is that really annoys LPNs in Capital Health is the fact that UNEs make more than we do, have smaller patient loads and fewer skills and the fact that we wind up teaching these employed students how to be nurses when they are hired to work during their time off from university.

"1. There is no such thing as an auxilliary nurse in Alberta. A LPN in this province is responsible for their own practice and works to a very high skill set."

Well put. What I have found is that many RNs are not aware of this - they believe that the RN is responsible for the practice of the LPN on their unit. This is simply not the case.

It does not help though that the bargaining unit is both LPNs and NAs, and is called "auxiliary nursing care" and the bargaining unit for RNs is called "direct nursing care."

This is why I said LPNs and RNs should be in the same unit - we are both doig dirct nursing care.

2. The starting wage under the expired contract is $17and change. Add in shift premiums and a shift could work out to nearly $21/hour depending on if you are working a weekend night.

The contract is currently under renegotiation and we just have to wait it out for the new rates.

I heard that AUPE has reached a new agreement - from what I heard there is a 10% "market adjustment" then 5% in the first year, 5% in the second and 4.5% in the third years and 4.5% in the third year.

I think that brings the start rate up to about $20.68 an hour - and the top rate will be more than undergrad RN.

AUPE has an offer much like what you've said on the table. The information packs are in the mail currently to members. It has NOT been accepted so we are still working under the terms of the old contract.

The 10% makret adjustment really isn't all that much when you consider the amounts paid to RNs as a bonus under their last contract.

Factor in that a raw, basically unskilled UNE starts at nearly $24/hour and the offer isn't that great.

UNA and CARNA have left a bad taste in many LPNs mouths with their wonderfully offensive billboards and prints ads which state that the only quality care is from a "registered nurse".

I remember seeing a letter in the Journal from the Director of the Reg. Psych Nurses Assoc. pointing out that quality care also came from Alberta's Reg. Psych Nurses and LPNs.

The third and fourth years are 4.5% or cost of living in Alberta, whichever is greater.

[quote=edmontonain;2958761

Also - and I am not trying to pick a fight, but I believe that it is an urban myth that LPNs in Manitoba joined the Nurses union, and as a result suffered massive layoffs. My understanding is that in Manitoba (like Nova Scotia, but unlike most Provinces) LPNs and RNs have always been, and continue to be in the same union. The start rate for LPNs in Manitoba by fall will be $2.00 higher than in Alberta - and there re no dangers of layoffs. Certainly in the 90s there were lots of layoffs - but they affected RNs and LPNs.

I spent time lurking around clpnm.ca. and came up with this little gem:http://www.lpnam.com/content/. The 2007 position paper should make people think. LPNs pretty much removed from the OR and Dialysis. Where was their union when this was happening? Certainly not protecting the LPN membership.

It pretty much sums it up. The union protects the RNs at the expense of LPN positions, to the extent that it appears that positions lost in the early '90s are still filled with RNs.

Sorry I couldn't make the links work but Adobe seems to hate my computer.

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