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Humble Pie

LPN/LVN Article   (15,348 Views 12 Replies 745 Words)

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After many years as a successful LPN in acute care, there are more and more LPN's who are being shred of their nursing duties. Even more that are being laid off. Some being required to obtain more schooling in order to keep their positions. And even some that are sensing they are being set up to fail. This can wreck havoc on the most composed LPN in the bunch.

Humble Pie

In taking my own advice, there needs to be a point in time that an LPN decides not to internalize. Even those who feel as if they are being set up to fail need to see the facility big picture, protect yourself and your license, and make an alternate plan that will be good for yourself and your responsibilities.It is difficult when virtually overnight an LPN who was able to practice at a familiar and comfortable level seemingly relinquishes duties.

This is often a bit of a mess, as LPN's who have been at facilities for a long time and are nearing retirement find that they are at a point where they need the benefits, need the money, have the seniority.

Many have taken on responsibility in their personal lives that preclude continuing education, and still others having other priorities that take a chunk of their salary at present.

It is really difficult when one spends a number of years in a facility that is good to them. One that is enjoyable to work at, everyone has everyone's back, you feel at home and comfortable in your position. When the climate changes, it is a huge discomfort to a number of nurses, not just the LPN's. It is difficult to keep a clear head.

But clear heads prevail, and it is time to make a plan. That plan could include begining to look in your own facility. See what the internal positions are. Look at transfer opportunities. There are LPN's who decide to take on a position in HR. Who decide to teach a CNA course. Who become successful discharge planners, case managment, hospice nurses. Who become charges in skilled care. So look in your own backyard first and foremost if your pay, seniority, benefits and time to retirement warrants this.

Sometimes, no matter what the intention, it is just not feasible to stay within the same facility system. That warrants a creative fishing expedition to find yourself another position. Look far and wide to see what you could do to still use your skills, but with a supportive enviroment. Home care, schools, camps, hospice facilities. You could apply at MD offices, urgent care. Use all of your resources.

You should feel proud of a career that has taken you through many years. Climate change happens, and unfortunetely, is showing little signs of not happening. It is a difficult position to be in when you are utterly taken aback and distressed by this. And there are few LPNs who would say that they are not.

One of the tangible things I can use to describe it is that nurses go through these kinds of things when they do not practice well. Through the years many have experienced this on various units--nurses losing jobs over errors, poor judgement, bad practice. When you have the integrity of good practice, you are not supposed to lose your job. The general theme is "what did I do incorrectly"?

This is not about you, it is about the need for larger and larger systems taking over smaller and smaller facilities and attempting to continue to fix things that are not broken. At the expense of nameless LPN's #1-13. Your new DON is fixated on reimbursement rates, not that your ill mother is dying, that your patient is pleased that you took such good care of them (unless they are willing to fill out the nifty survey that praises the unit) then it again is not you, but the unit.

Bottom line, it is hard to become a number when your name and reputation have been the foundation your practice was built on. (Everything is made up, and the points don't matter). Remember to protect yourself and your investments.

Sometimes, we have to swallow our pride, and experience something profoundly humbling. Even kicking and screaming and just so darn angry on the inside. Yes, doors close, windows open--but perhaps this is the time to build yourself a retirement condo that will be the peace, the feel good, the experienced part of your career.

It is worth a look. And a look that you control as opposed to not seemingly having much choice.

Wishing nothing but the best.

jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B

1 Follower; 51 Articles; 93,187 Visitors; 4,800 Posts

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1 Article; 11,481 Visitors; 481 Posts

This whole article was a great read, but this line in particular really struck home for me:

Everything is made up, and the points don't matter.

Oof. So true.

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10,237 Visitors; 535 Posts

If you're free to relocate, look at western PA and NE OH. Seems there are still plenty of LPN jobs in LTC but not many in hospitals nowadays. When I looked at LPN as a career change back in 2009, I was told LPNs are usually team leaders in nursing homes. Avg salary in Mercer and Lawrence counties (they are more rural) was quoted as $15 but Beaver and Allegheny were $18 - $21 or so. Avg PA statewide LPN annual gross salary was quoted as $40,000 and RN as $63,000 for 2008, per state government publications. Homes are affordable. There are several diploma RN schools, and associate degree RN college programs at community colleges and Penn State branches. Penn State branches offer bridge to BS RN. Clarion University, I believe, offers an online bridge program.

(Sorry if this is a thread hijack. Just wanted to offer the suggestion to the ones who don't want to retire or leave LPN work.)

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SeattleJess specializes in None yet..

15,935 Visitors; 842 Posts

I will be starting nursing school in the fall and your post scares me!

It is also very, very wise. Thank you for the bitter pill with no sugar coating. I'm in the starry-eyed idealist phase and I need a reminder that we will be dealing with the same old stuff we've encountered before nursing: weird corporate cultures, warped personalities in positions of power, ch..ch..ch...changes beyond our control.

I'm a career changer who did not consider any of the issues you bring up when I began my first job in the work I'm leaving behind me. As a result, I was royally screwed and faced consequences that changed the course of entire career. I think I've been in a little bit of a dream world, thinking I'd be leaving that dynamic behind and living in a land of dedicated, supportive healers.

My huge fear is that I will be forced into taking work that flunks the smell test out of necessity. I've read enough posts about people who were stuck in impossible situations that could or did harm them through no fault of their own to start to wake up. Thank you to those people and to you.

I will start now to plan my exit strategies.

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xoemmylouox has 13 years experience as a ASN, RN.

1 Follower; 38,445 Visitors; 3,150 Posts

I have felt stuck before. I have been bored to tears before. Then I switched jobs and missed the boredom because the new place was lawyers dream. I went back to my previous job. Now I am greatful to bring a paycheck home and am once again working 2 jobs to support my family. I hope to go back to school sometime soon, but who knows. I'm just happy to have a family that makes my misery at work dissapear when I walk into my home and some wonderful co-workers who make my day bareable. :)

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shan409 has 4 years experience as a ASN, LPN, RN and specializes in Geriatric, Postpartum, Mother/Baby, Community Heal.

11,981 Visitors; 338 Posts

This article is the reality of what is going on in the healthcare field everywhere. People need to hear this.

I am starting an LPN program this fall after 3 years of waiting lists for RN programs. After completing my LPN program I plan to start an LPN-RN program at once of the community colleges, then going towards my BSN after that. It will take some time, but at least I will have my foot in the door providing hands on care (elderly population). I am currently the lead pharmacy technician at a hospital and miss the hands on care (care manager at an assisted living and activities assistant at a nursing home).

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imintrouble has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg.

51,034 Visitors; 2,397 Posts

I also don't want to hijack the LPN thread, but there are alot of us who fear for our jobs. Age is the biggie for me. Hospitals can hand pick a bunch of stepford wives from a limitless supply of out of work nurses.

There is no security in health care jobs anymore. For any of us.

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explorereb96 has 28 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics Telemetry CCU ICU.

2,590 Visitors; 131 Posts

Well, my story is this. Up until 2 years ago I was a happy LPN that was nearing the 3/4 point of my career after spending the last 17 of my years as a nurse in Pediatric LTC sub acute. The first 10 years I was lucky to be in acute care hospital. I was always an "all over" type of person anyway. Always had 2 jobs, in case one "went away." So I have done acute, sub acute, LTC and home care. 2 years ago, I hurt my back. Years of pushing, pulling, lifting etc. just did me in. But I still had the DESIRE. Nurse defines me. So, I am now on disability. I am back in school. My disability vocational rehab counselor was doubtful at first but was assured by many places where I sought employment that with my experience I would be hired but not as an LPN. By law, they can not hire below RN for most of these positions. So back in school I am. They sent me to nursing school. i will be an RN yet. After 27 years!

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1 Article; 40,522 Visitors; 1,939 Posts

Great post! I just wanted to say that I've read many of your articles, posts and replies. I've been a member on and off since 2008. You are one of the most smartest, brilliant, nurses on this site. I always look forward to your insight.

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1 Follower; 51 Articles; 93,187 Visitors; 4,800 Posts

Thank you all for your replies. I really enjoy reading all of your responses, your experiences, your thoughts.

prnqday, how very, very nice of you! I appreciate the kind words.

I learn something new, a different way of looking at things, and FINALLY people who "get" the same type of stuff that I do! (HAHA)

Very grateful.

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16,406 Visitors; 1,026 Posts

This whole article was a great read, but this line in particular really struck home for me:

Oof. So true.

Whose line is it anyway.lol

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1 Follower; 51 Articles; 93,187 Visitors; 4,800 Posts

Whose line is it anyway.lol

My own version of nurses seem to need a course in improv......hahaha

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