It’s my understanding then an LPN knows how to do a particular skill but doesn’t know why she does it that way and when you do not have the background mistakes are made and most mistakes in nursing are signed in blood. I’ve worked with plenty of LPNs that I thought were good nurses most of what they Knew they learned on the job. An LPN nearly made a fatal mistake on my son in an emergency room setting one time Wayback when. My son was prescribed a shot of Thorazine for constant diarrhea and the LPN (at that time you drew up your own meds) drew up a syringe of 3.5 mL rather than .35 ml of course I questioned it and she got very nervous and I asked her to call the pharmacy to confirm but the scary part for me was that she didn’t question giving 3.5 mL to a eight month old baby no matter what the drug. Sorry I feel if they wanna be an RN go back to school. As an RN I do not want to be responsible for the mistakes that an LPN working under me that particular day may make.
I keep hearing about how it is difficult for an LVN to get a job because they are only hiring RNs. I live in Southern California and began working as an LVN before I even graduated LVN school. I have worked as a Camp Nurse, in Drug Rehabilitation, in Outpatient Surgery, in Long Term Care and now in a School setting. I have been an LVN for 12 years and have never had a down time where I couldn't find a job. I have settled in the School Nurse setting because it is pretty low stress, and the retirement pension is what I am looking for now. I am off on the weekends and evenings and the Summer, if I choose. I have lots of time off to travel or just do home projects and still make a pretty nice income. When I want more income I do Flu Shot Clinics during the season and did a lot of Covid Clinics over the past 2 years. There is a lot of work out there if you are willing to look for it and keep your skills on cue.
Hospitals do not see it that way. Each state has its own rules when it comes to what the LPN/LVN can do. One state may allow it but another one might not. Health systems seek higher-educated nurses who can provide a wider scope of duties, especially the ones that are considered "magnet hospitals." It is ashamed really because I have worked with some excellent LPN/LVN. These are the nurses that the hospital needs to send back to school to become RNs.
Eric, in this case it is not about the glib answer of money.
There are different skill levels and cognitive levels that are involved. the driving factor is that little thing called STATE NURSE ACT. Then there is Joint Commission (or whatever accrediting bodies are involved). There is a push on to increase the education levels of bedside RN's.
Research done in the early 2000's indicated regardless of setting and regardless of the acuity of the paints all patients did better when the unit was staffed with all RN's or with a very high percentage of RN's. I can't give you the citation or date of publications unfortunately.
Before you call me a LPN basher ... I stared as a hospital orderly before and while I was getting my RN - and frankly looked at one RN particularly and said if the dumb ( person ) can be an RN so can I. So I went to a diploma program (followed by BSN completing, and MSN FNP programs) - I am that chronologically experienced! I have worked in hospital, addiction centers, and corrections facilities with many brilliant and talented LPN's I liked them and they did a great job .... in fact in a family with 1 NP, 3 RN's hospital business office people we count 2 LPNS in the mix. I have no trouble with LPN's
Laws and official skill sets and policies drive the who, what, where, when, and why of health care operations.
Because a large influential health care system came up with a study which showed better patient outcomes were associated with level of nurse education and everyone drank the kool-aid.... .
I've met LPNs who can run circles around BSNs. I have my DNP, but its only because I've written more papers. Academia requirements to be a nurse are different than real life needs. Don't confuse a degree with knowledge, compassion or common sense
We have had an RN shortage since the late 1990s/early 2000s. I have worked with a lot of good LPNs and LVNs. However, your statement is grossly incorrect based on Board of Nursing scope of practice, nursing practice acts, and formal education. Research studies show that nursing care improves greatly if you have more BSN RNs to ADN RNs. Reducing the education levels of the front line nurse to LPN/LVN would set up a hospital for so much risk for bad outcomes and law suits they would lose funding from insurance companies and Medicare. The Joint Commission would close the hospitals for Immediate Jeopardy to life and limb of patients.
I would recommend the LPNs that are out of work find an ADN program, complete it and sit for the RN NCLEX and bring what they have newly learned and LPN experience and get back into the game.
As more and more hospitals pursue Magnet status, the LPN does not fall within the practice model required for Magnet designation. The ANCC offers an alternative to Magnet which is Pathway to Excellence Framework, which includes LPN's in the structure. Pathway to Excellence is built on a foundation of sustained excellence, nurse engagement, retention, health work environment and inter-professional collaboration.
It’s all about the money…
Our healthcare settings have become more advanced and our patients are coming in with many disease processes (Comorbidities). Adding aging to the many disease processes increases the risk factor of complications so Registered Nurses are getting more education plus more clinical hours of training so they can perform high skilled treatments that used to be done by doctors. So LPN’s now have a disadvantage because most hospitals are actually looking for RN’s. Before Covid hit in 2019, there was talk about phasing LPN’s out. I do know that Nursing homes and inpatient psychiatric hospitals continue to need the services of LPN/LVN’s.