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Hospitals turn to LPN's to fill staffing shortages

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by Bluehair Bluehair (Member) Member

Bluehair has 30 years experience and specializes in Critical Care.

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sounds like a smart approach to the nursing shortage

if these lpns can make a paycheck and gain experience they will be better nurses because they will know what they are getting into the hospitals will gain workers both as a lpn and later as an rn.

i like this

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kstec has 1 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Geriatrics/Family Practice.

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As I've said before in other threads, I will never work in a hospital due to the fact that at present in my state and city LPN's are not good enough. So I don't care how bad the nursing shortage gets, I will only work in facilities that have supported me as a LPN all along. Yes I thoroughly enjoy working as a nurse but through this present weeding out of LPN's, it has left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not sure but originally LPN's were supposed to be part of support staff for RN's, but somehow ended up being considered incompetent and uneducated. So for now I'll keep working at my prn clinic and LTC job where I've never been made to feel like less of a nurse because I'm an LPN.

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Good to see this, as I'll be one in another or two (God willing I pass the boards!) Did a clinical at a doc in a box and one of my fellow students asked a doc why they were hiring only MA's and RN's and no LPN's? He said, and I quote (and PLEASE nobody flame me...I DIDN'T SAY THIS: he said "MA's know very little which makes them useful,,,they follow directions, RN'S know everything and we can count on them, BUT LPN'S know just enough to make them dangerous..." needless to say after we informed our instructor...we're not going there anymore!

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As I've said before in other threads, I will never work in a hospital due to the fact that at present in my state and city LPN's are not good enough. So I don't care how bad the nursing shortage gets, I will only work in facilities that have supported me as a LPN all along. Yes I thoroughly enjoy working as a nurse but through this present weeding out of LPN's, it has left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not sure but originally LPN's were supposed to be part of support staff for RN's, but somehow ended up being considered incompetent and uneducated. So for now I'll keep working at my prn clinic and LTC job where I've never been made to feel like less of a nurse because I'm an LPN.
They certainly do wax hot and cold on this subject. I personally have witnessed nurses who happened to be LPNs given pink slips and being escorted to curb side by security guards. Did they do something wrong? No managment just decided they did not want LPNs anymore. Now LLPNs are on the verge of being IN again, I wouldn't blame some of them for being angry and suspicious.

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sounds like a smart approach to the nursing shortage

if these lpns can make a paycheck and gain experience they will be better nurses because they will know what they are getting into the hospitals will gain workers both as a lpn and later as an rn.

i like this

Exactly WHAT NURSING SHORTAGE are you referring to? There are 500,000 REGISTERED NURSES not working in this country due to impossible workloads, disrespect, and low pay. And most new RN grads leave the bedside within 4-6years, if not sooner, in disgust. I have nothing against LPNs, but they are not the solution for a shortage on Registered Nurses.

There has been MINIMUM EFFORT by hospitals to RETAIN the RNs that they have. This will just give them an excuse to continue to deskill bedside nursing by replacing RN positions with LPNs. I assume this will be accompanied by a push to our elected officials to expand the scope of practice of LPN/LVNs, so they can have LESSER EDUCATED individuals do what RNs ARE EDUCATED TO DO. This, by the way, is what the nursing home industry did with nursing homes. It used to be that nursing homes were required by Federal Law to have a REGISTERED NURSE on the premises AT ALL TIMES. Thanks to pressure by the Nursing Home Industry, they can now legally have an only an LPN/LVN on the premises at all times, instead of an RN.

With what nursing homes and assisted living homes are charging the residents, they should be staffing with at least one RN at all times. And there is no reason with the actual number of RNs in this country, that they would not be able to accomplish this.

Show RNs the money, better working conditions, staffing ratios, and RNs will come back in droves. Look at California since that enacted the staffing rations, and CNA worked to improve pay, benefits, and workplace protections. JMHO, and my NY $0.02.

Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN

Spokane, Washington

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Faeriewand has 8 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro.

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Good reply lindarn!

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jmgrn65 has 16 years experience as a RN and specializes in cardiac/critical care/ informatics.

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Well magnet hospitals won't use them, because that is all part of Magnet. I the city I work in it's all about magnet. I don't have anything against LPN's so don't anyone blast me I am just saying how it is.

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Morphine specializes in Long Term Care and Hospice.

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I hear you lindarn, however I wonder where you get your information from.

The total number of inactive RN's in the country is around 2 million (according to the Department of Laybor). However, of these, 60% say they are inactive because they retired. Another 20% are inactive because of family obligations or needs. That leaves 19% listed as inactive because they are "fed up" with nursing. That is approximately 380,000 nurses. According to the current, and expected nursing shortage estimates, if 100% of these "fed up RN's" returned to work, that would basically fill the current number of openings. However, with the expected increases and the number of RN's (50 and over who are going to retire soon) even if the nursing schools continue to increase capacity and graduate 100% of the students (which would NEVER happen) there will be an expected 400,000 to 1,000,000 unfilled openings in the U.S. (Depending on who's reports you read) by 2020. Nonetheless, of the 380,000 "inactive due to being fed up" RN's, only 11% (in a recent poll) said they would consider returning even if the working conditions and pay was greatly improved. So that would not float the boat.

However, you are absolutely correct about Hospitals dumping on the Nurses they have. Many hospitals will offer a sign on bonus, but do not offer a retention bonus. I am amazed of how many top notch nurses, with 20+ years under their belts, are treated like a piece of bloody gauze when they ask for a slight schedule change or small favor. Many are simply cast aside and (regardless of the shortages in their own departments) told they can "take a hike" if they are not happy or need a small favor. Frankly, it makes me sick.

That is why I usually kept a low profile, went with the flow, and looked forward to jumping ship to the next sign-on bonus. Now I am working outside the hospital, with a different employer who really seems to value it's nurses while working hard to retain all of it's people. Until now, I had little loyalty to any employer. Still, how long will it take before the hospitals wise up?

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I hear you lindarn, however I wonder where you get your information from.

The total number of inactive RN's in the country is around 2 million (according to the Department of Laybor). However, of these, 60% say they are inactive because they retired. Another 20% are inactive because of family obligations or needs. That leaves 19% listed as inactive because they are "fed up" with nursing. That is approximately 380,000 nurses. According to the current, and expected nursing shortage estimates, if 100% of these "fed up RN's" returned to work, that would basically fill the current number of openings. However, with the expected increases and the number of RN's (50 and over who are going to retire soon) even if the nursing schools continue to increase capacity and graduate 100% of the students (which would NEVER happen) there will be an expected 400,000 to 1,000,000 unfilled openings in the U.S. (Depending on who's reports you read) by 2020. Nonetheless, of the 380,000 "inactive due to being fed up" RN's, only 11% (in a recent poll) said they would consider returning even if the working conditions and pay was greatly improved. So that would not float the boat.

However, you are absolutely correct about Hospitals dumping on the Nurses they have. Many hospitals will offer a sign on bonus, but do not offer a retention bonus. I am amazed of how many top notch nurses, with 20+ years under their belts, are treated like a piece of bloody gauze when they ask for a slight schedule change or small favor. Many are simply cast aside and (regardless of the shortages in their own departments) told they can "take a hike" if they are not happy or need a small favor. Frankly, it makes me sick.

That is why I usually kept a low profile, went with the flow, and looked forward to jumping ship to the next sign-on bonus. Now I am working outside the hospital, with a different employer who really seems to value it's nurses while working hard to retain all of it's people. Until now, I had little loyalty to any employer. Still, how long will it take before the hospitals wise up?

And the reason that hospital feel that they can treat nurses like they do, is because ABC Community College is churning our new grads every 6 months. There is no incentive, or attempt, to retain nurses, because the older ones are so easily replaced with the next batch of new grads. If experienced nurse stayed at bedside nursing, the "shortage" would be much less acute.

My fear, is that, when the "you know what" hits the fan, that hospitals will pressure our lawmakers to completely de- skill nursing. They will bring in more foreign nurses from 3rd world countries, who will kiss the feet of the hospital for the "honor" to work in America,for the princely sum of $6.00 an hour.

Hospital "tested the waters" ten years ago, when "care re-design", was introduced here, and the cost cutting began in earnest. They were waiting to see the nurses' reaction, and what they would do about it. They got the answer they were waiting for- nurses just bent over and took it "you know where", like "daddys nice little girls". The 'martyr marys personality" came out loud and clear to the hospitals. Nurses would take any thing and everything that they threw at us, and we wouldn't unionize, complain, call Lou Dobbs, and the media, have marches outside of the hospitals, etc. Because they saw to it, that if we did, they could fire us in all of the "right to work" (for less), and "at will", states. and no one had the stomach for an all out war.

The only thing, in my opinion, will be for nurses to become Independant Contractors, and bill for our services. This needs to be taught in nursing schools. Nurses do not now bill for their services, so our professional services are rolled into the room rate, housekeeping, and the complimentary roll of toilet paper. Nurses names always appear on the "expense" side of the hospital balance sheet, and they want to keep it that way. JMHO, again, and my NY $0.02.

Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN

Spokane, Washington

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Of course they want to hire LPN's ... because they are cheaper than RN's.

The hospitals will do anything to save more money.

The shortage is created by the fact that hospitals don't want to pay RN's much money. So this is just more of the same.

:typing

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Dalzac is a LPN, LVN, RN and specializes in CCU,ICU,ER retired.

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And now another good reason I am a retired LPN

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