Sent home for Low Census because I am the LVN!!!

Nurses LPN/LVN


I was sent home early today because our census dropped. Thing is, it's been SLOW this past week or so. So I had already been called off on Tuesday. Today was my first day back in 6 days. I got to the floor and there were 13 patients. I had 5, then two RN's had 4 each and we had a charge. No secretary and no CNA. So we get a call at the floor at noon because we had dropped to 10 patients. So an RN had volunteered to go home early if need be. I did NOT want to go. The house supervisor said the LVN HAD to go incase the charge RN had to take patients. Then she said if we dropped more, the charge would have to leave and that would leave one RN and one LVN on the floor. I was ******! I tried and I fought. I told them I was called off Tuesday and I needed to work and an RN (Who had only 2 patients) wanted to go. I had 4 left on the floor.

Can they do that to me? Say I have to go because I am the LVN?? I mean I am cheaper for them too. I emailed my director before I left and the charge nurse told me that I should call the union.


38,333 Posts

Call the union. And look for part time work elsewhere. You have to make your living too.

I'm currently working part time at a small local hospital as a CNA while attending RN school. We have been having problems lately with LC. The rules at our hospital is that PRN employees are called first, then part time, then full time. The first person to request LC is allowed to take off, if they have enough nurses to cover the floor and ER. Therefore, allowing the above rules to be overlooked. Of course, the person that has taken LC has to remain on call for the rest of the shift in case of an emergency or new admits. They are very good at rotating LC to keep the same ones from having it every time. Although, they will send the CNA home before the nurses, but they still try to be fair. Thankfully, our census has picked up again. Sounds like your facility could work out a better system than simply stating that you have to leave because you are the LVN.

Good luck! I know how frustrating it is for you.


520 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

we have been struggling with LC too....just this week it went back up sure itll be short lived as it usually is. We get pts from hospitals who are in really bad shape when we get them....mainly they have labs that are dangerously out of whack....K+ levels 2 and lower, hgb's are 7 and 8, wbc's are high, etc they end up being sent back to the hospital til they return....but mgmt told us nurses to clock out for an hour every day during low census....which...considering the mounds of paperwork they expect us to do and finish....alot of things fell through the crack, appts got missed, labs were missed, assessments werent done etc etc...i think the reasoning partly is this many are out of jobs..therefore they are out of insurance so ....they choose not to go to the hospital or their doctor b/c of that....til its too far gone and have no choice....which in turn effects census in hospitals and ltc. If that makes sense.

ohmeowzer RN, RN

2,306 Posts

Specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

when we had LPN's at my hospital ( they were all let go a few years ago to hire RN's) , they always sent the CNA home first , then the LPN's then the RN's when the census was low. they did this because RN's could do all the admit assesments and admit pt's if there was a rush in the er and needed to admit alot of pt's at one time. ....they also have this program where a nurse would come in at 1100 and get paid for being oncall , if she came in she got time and a half.. well they were having the LPN's doing that and then stopped that and only allowed RN's to do that , they felt the RN's could admit and it wasn't a need for LPN's for that job. then shortly after that decision we came in and there were no longer LPN's at the hospital, they were all let go that week..... it's a shame the way the Hospitals are not using their resources... now the hospital is talking about no more CNA's because the RN's can do total care. they want to hire more RN's and give us less patients and just give baths and answer call lights. so i'm expecting to come to work and not have any CNA's anymore... crazy huh?


You are right they woulda saved more money sending home one of the R.N's but we know we are the lowley ones and they sign off or do the admissions so that is probably why they kept her and sent you home.Just like my last job gave me the telemetry training and I was reading my own strips then all of a sudden they said the R.N. had to sign off on them .Then why bother having me on that floor or giving me the training.Right now I can't use my I.V. cert. where I work so another wasted skill and time for the D.O.N cuz she has to hang em and stay over due to teh timeing of them.

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

Depending on the facility and their rules, there may be a requirement (again, their rules) that they keep either two RNs or two licensed people on the floor. I have been at some that required at least two RNs on a unit (oncology), because their policy required to chemo certed RNs sign off on chemo. That may mean that if census drops, the CNAs will be sent home, then the LVNs.

This may not be fair, but since that is the rule of the hospital, and you chose to work there as an LVN/LPN, you have to bear it. As a traveler, I used to be first float....which meant that in some facilities, I would be floated 2 or 3 times in a 12 hour shift, and float for weeks on end. Is it Is it smart, safe for patients, or make any sense(yeah, let's take the person who knows least about any floor here and move them 2-3 times a shift, for several shifts in a row)? But if I accept the job with the conditions, I have to deal, fair or not.

I will say that in facilities without those rules, I have frequently dealt with the RNs being sent off, LPNs kept (because they are cheaper) and been the only RN on the floor. Not good when you get injured midshift, and have to suffer through it because you cannot leave the floor.

Specializes in Med Surg.

Wow. I only wish I had your problem just once. My job NEVER lets me leave early! I always have the jacked-up assignments. Last night was really a B-S night. My patients ranged in ages from 47 to 90. I was given the HIV patient (luckily I treat everyone as though they are infected) and no one told me this. We never have time to do chart checks for orders until the end of the shift; by then important orders have been missed! My A&O 54 y/o male patient ended up on the floor because he was too macho to call for assistance and then could not get his BIG A** off the floor. He re-injured his would then he cried like a B***H when I had to repeat the wound care on him (like I really had the time to keep back-tracking due to stupidity). Funny, but not really, his wife told me that he might do this type of thing if he encountered a nurse that he felt was attractive because he is somewhat delusioned into thinking that all attractive women has some kind of interest in him. I WAS LIVID!!!!!!!! I don't have time to play those kinds or any kinds of games on the job!!!! My 90 y/o female patient said as I woke her up for her heart medicine, "baby if you come back around 9 o'clock and help me to the potty, I usually sleep for the rest of the night." (That was soooooo sweet.) I got right up in her ear and said, "WELL, SWEEEEEETTTTTT-HEARRRRRRRRT, IT'S AAALLLLLLLL-REAAAAAAAAAADY AFFFFFFF-TER TEN OOOOOOO'CLOCK. ( She is practically completely deaf and her family says she gets upset if you use written communication because 'she's not deaf; people just don't talk loud enough anymore". But she was the healthiest patient that I had last night and she really did not call for anything after she pottied. It will take too long to tell you guys what all else I went through waiting on my 7p-7a shift to end at 10am!

Long story short, if that's possible at this point, Ladies/Gentlemen, sometimes our blessings come in ways we don't recognize. I would give anything to be sent home from work because of low census. When the census drops at our hospital, it's like the day-after-Thanksgiving sale at Walmart between our nurses rushing to the Overhouse Supervisor's office to try to get outta this hospital!!!!

So, remember, just when you think you have it bad, there is ALWAYS somebody who has it worse!!!!

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