"We want the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to be aware that LPNs are a highly qualified and vital part of the nursing team and our health care system,” said Furlong.
St. John's (02 April 2012) - Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) with three of the province’s health authorities began a campaign to identify themselves as nurses. The buttons are part of a campaign by their the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE), to bring recognition and attention to the enhanced role of LPNs in the province’s healthcare system.
According to NAPE President Carol Furlong, the general public is not aware that LPNs are identified as nurses under provincial legislation - An Act Respecting the Licensure of Practical Nurses. LPNs report that their role is often downplayed or not fully recognized by patients and the general public. Patients often ask LPNs if they are nurses. Members will be wearing buttons, with the slogan, I’m a Nurse: Licensed Practical Nurse, to bring attention to the fact that LPNs are indeed nurses and are qualified and trained to carry out and perform a multitude of nursing procedures in the course of their duties.
LPNs are licensed by the College for Licensed Practical Nurses and the standards for licensure this year will be significantly increased on April 1. All LPNs will be required to meet the standards to work the full scope of practice, and will be qualified to take on increased responsibilities and duties, many of which are often performed by registered nurses.
This is the second stage in a campaign by NAPE/NUPGE to bring attention to the increased role of LPNs. The first stage included a poster with the slogan: Vital to your Health – LPNs.
“The campaign to promote LPNs is important not just for LPNs but for the people of our province when relying on our health care system. We want the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to be aware that LPNs are a highly qualified and vital part of the nursing team and our health care system,” said Furlong.
Furlong also stated that in light of the new requirements and duties for LPNs it is important that they be recognized in a tangible way for their increased scope of practice and that NAPE/NUPGE is currently lobbying government for an occupational review for LPNs in an effort to achieve this goal.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE