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Better use of registered practical nurses eases budget and nursing problems

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Better use of registered practical nurses eases budget and nursing problems, OCHU/CUPE tells hospitals...

Canada NewsWire ... 8/14/2002

Copyright 2002 Canada NewsWire Ltd.

Canada NewsWire...08/14/2002


Ontario hospitals can ease their budget and

nursing problems by making full use of registered practical nurses (RPNs), said the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) and CUPE at the Oshawa premiere of "Nurses."

OCHU RPN Committee members are touring the province in August and September with the 11-minute video.

It tells the story of Arnprior Hospital's success in lowering costs by increasing the number of RPNs and expanding their

duties. The hospital now ranks third in the province for patient satisfaction, and has a balanced budget.

"RPNs are licensed by the Ontario College of Nurses, but most are not allowed to use the full scope of practice for which they were trained," said Helen Fetterly, RPN and Secretary-Treasurer of OCHU. "Meanwhile, hospitals are raising the alarm about a perceived nursing crisis and budget deficits."

"It is irresponsible for other hospital administrations to ignore the

full potential of RPNs to provide affordable, quality health care," said Oshawa RPN Lori Davis, "and the evidence from Arnprior makes that crystal clear. It backs up the findings of a University of Toronto study showing better patient outcomes with higher numbers of RPNs and RNs."

"In Oshawa, the hospital has been slowly increasing the scope of practice for RPNs, but there are still improvements to be made," said Joanne Wilson, President of CUPE 1999 at the Lakeridge Health Corporation in Oshawa.



CONTACT: Helen Fetterly, OCHU Secretary-Treasurer, 416-599-0770 (OCHU office), or 613-551-0688 (cell); Lori Davis, RPN, Lakeridge Health Corporation, 905-852-4913; Joanne Wilson, President, CUPE Local 1999 (Lakeridge Health Corporation), 905-439-7404 (cell); Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications, 416-738-4329 (cell)

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Oh my head is spinning. Ten years ago here in the good old USA LPNs were being tossed into the street. Any body else remember them being led out of West Penn hospitaI sobbing? I went to get my RN in late 70s early 80s because I was told LPNs were on the way out. Are they going to encourage people to go into this field again and then change their minds? LPNs are very dear to me, after all I was one, most of them are working on there RN anyway. Let us all just make up our minds they have a place and not play games anymore.

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