I really don't have anything to add except....lawdamercy! Where is the #NursesUnite movement when you need them?
Having been an LPN for a number of years, I know what is within my scope and what is not. Honestly, I think most of us LPNs do. Are we asked sometimes to go beyond that scope of practice by managers that are familiar with our work and think we can handle it? Absolutely.
I've been asked, and just about every LPN I've ever worked with has been asked at least once. I have never acted on it - or even considered it - but I do know LPNs that have done it with the manager's blessing - "blurring the lines", so to speak, so that others watching think it's perfectly acceptable. And let's face it, when you're asked, it's tempting; because you're thrilled someone recognizes your ability to do whatever it is, and because you'd like to please your manager. It can become so much a rote habit, maybe you forget you are really not supposed to do that thing you do.
I'm not excusing it, I'm just saying, particularly in my field, I see it happen more than occasionally. One can easily get caught up the idea of their own importance that they forget there is a limit to what they legally can do.
With that being said, I think the people with the most advantage in all this demand for higher education (other than me getting to learn the life histories of musical geniuses and the difference between iambic pentameter and free verse) are the hospital/medical facility corporations, who can demand degrees for bedside nursing without really paying a big difference in salary to a BSN-prepared RN and an AD-prepared RN; let's face it, the "scope of practice" between the two is the same. The managers/admins get to keep payroll within their constraints and get rewarded with big fat bonuses for allowing smart, capable, nurses to become overworked, understaffed, and bitter about spending all that time and money on school. If the nurses don't like it, well...the nursing shortage is over so let's just hire a bunch of young upstarts that don't know anything and will work for next to nothing because the loan coupon book just came in the mail, and let the more experienced nurses go find somewhere else to pay them what they "think they are worth". I'm putting that last part in quotation marks because although I think AD-prepared RNs should be paid considerably more than LPNs and that BSN-prepared RN's should be paid considerably more than AD prepared RNs, and so on, (that's just good old-fashioned common sense, in my opinion) this attitude is really how corporate administrators feel about what we do. Even the ones who have been nurses in another life. I have been told several places I've worked in a manager-type position: (when I've gone to my managers or administrators and asked if we can give deserving CNAs or nurses raises or bonuses for going above and beyond, and if we don't show appreciation for what they do, they may leave) "nurses now are a dime a dozen. If they don't think their paycheck is incentive enough, let them go." They have no real knowledge or appreciation for what seasoned, experienced nurses do for their facilities, because we are really good at putting the patient first and our feelings last, and we tend to keep our horns silent about it.
Hospitals and other medical entities want us to think they care about our education; in my opinion, what they really care about is appearances. Everyone knows the general public values higher education, especially in this country. If hospitals/medical facilities can brag through their TV, billboard, magazine, and radio spots that they have "more advanced degree nurses" than xxxxx competitor, it may cause Joe the plumber down the street to think, "Hm...I certainly want to go where the nurses KNOW what they're doing" without even blinking an eye. The general public doesn't have a clue as to what constitutes an adequate and safe nurse to patient ratio in an ICU, or a med-surg floor, or an acute-care facility. They have no clue they might be better off with an AD-prepared RN with 10 years under her belt and a slew of ACLS certifications than with a BSN-prepared RN coming straight out of school with nicely framed freshly-inked diploma on her wall she hung all of ten minutes ago (I'm not speaking of those RNs who used a bridge program to gain the BSN, I'm speaking of BSN RNs without an AD). All they know is, the more educated nurse is the better choice, because the hospital ad said so.
I'd absolutely love to see the ANA take on these corps and put out their own ads: and telling the average American: look, we want ALL our nurses to have the education they want. We want ALL our nurses to be the best they can in their particular scope of practice. We just don't want you to get the idea the corporate America cares, because if you look at what the hospital is charging you, and what they are paying your LPN, ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD nurses - who spend countless hours to learn how to take care of you, have to prove they know how to take care of you, consult other providers over how to take care of you, spend their sleepless nights worrying over how to take care of you - you will see the difference in what you are paying, and in what they are making, reflected not in improvements in medical equipment, not in research for better life-saving medications, not in scholarships to improve nursing education, not in incentives to retain experienced staff, not in the employment of more nursing and ancillary staff, but in corporate bonuses to the hospital managers not even medically trained; because THEY don't think YOUR life is worth having to give up a vacation home to properly staff, retain, and educate the people who are charged with keeping you alive and safe twenty three hours and 55 minutes out of every day you're in the hospital.