LPN can't get CNA job because of nurse unions

  1. i’m a new grad lpn. graduated school, got my lpn license, got only two weeks work experience on the mainland, and then my husband's job moved us here. i applied for a job at a facility on maui. (i won’t mention the name of the facility, don’t want to speak poorly of them.) the lady in hr was extremely nice, courteous, respectful. she said:

    (1) we can’t hire you as an lpn because you’re a new grad and it costs too much money to train you. if you had started here as a cna, then got your lpn license, we could easily promote you. i then asked if i could apply as a cna. she said:

    (2) if you already have an lpn license in hawai’i, we can’t hire you as a cna. if we did, we would get problems from our nurses union. the union would ask, "if she has an lpn license, why isn't she working as an lpn?" i’m sorry, our hands are tied. best of luck finding a job elsewhere. (again, she was extremely pleasant as she said this.)

    has anyone else had this experience? am i going to have this problem at every hospital and ltc facility? any thoughts?
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    About Lisa From Maui

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 150; Likes: 64


  3. by   caliotter3
    What you experienced was brought about because of the way unions do things. I worked a union job one time and was told by the supervisor that I could not do one single thing that was not in my job description. He said that if another worker saw me doing something I was not supposed to do, he could complain to the union and there would be hell to pay. Unions are like this. If you drop a pail of poop and pee, you can't clean it up. The person whose union job description includes cleaning up spilled poop and pee must clean it up, even if it takes hours or days for him to get to it.

    You will have to seek CNA work at other facilities. I had no problem finding CNA work at a LTC facility. But a DON at another facility would have nothing to do with me working as a CNA. Depends on the facility and the person doing the hiring. You can bet if there is a union involved, you won't be hired in that capacity.
  4. by   mzjennx
    RN are having the same problem on Oahu. I called the Board of Nursing in Hawaii and asked if RN/LPN can work as nurse aide. According to the representative, she said that if you have a certification as a NA, then you can work as a CNA even if you have a RN/LPN. As long as you know your job description and dont violate it then your fine. But of course it depends on your employer. Most employers dont want to hire RN as a CNA because they know its a temporary postion. But if they like you they could hire you temporary then promote you to RN/LPN when a position becomes avalialbe.

    This is what I was going to do when I was working at Straub (part of Hawaii Pacific Health). But then I got a job offer with Kaiser as a call-in RN. Will start next week.

    If you want you should call the Board of Nursing to verify this. I hope you find a job soon. Are you only looking in Maui?
  5. by   Lisa From Maui
    XJ3: Thanks for the post; thanks for the info. My husband has a good-paying, stable job with a company on Maui. So yes, I'm only looking on Maui. And yes, I realize that my options are limited.

    I'm curious... would the board of nursing tell an RN or LPN that he/she cannot work as a CNA? That doesn't make sense. Isn't the Board of nursing a government agency? They don't care if you do a job that's "below" your license level, do they?

    The problem I'm running into is that the nursing unions are saying an LPN can't work as a CNA. Aren't the unions completely separate from the government? Please help me understand...

    P.S. Are there any Maui RNs reading this message that have applied to Maui Memorial Hospital as CNAs? Or, have you heard any stories from friends? What happened? Please post.... Thanks abunch everyone!!!
  6. by   Lisa From Maui
    I've got a Hawai'i LPN license. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can go, on Maui, to volunteer in the medical field? The hospital won't take me on as a volunteer. Community Clinic of Maui said they are in the middle of moving & will call me back in 3 months. Does anyone have any other ideas?