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BC’s 2004/2005 nursing strategy is providing $3.5 million to support recruitment, retention and education for the province’s nurses and that’s good news for licensed practical nurses interested in upgrading their skills and continuing their careers.
One of the specific initiatives for LPNs — Upgrades for Licensed Practical Nurses — makes $100,000 available to support completion of pharmacology and physical assessment modules and enable successful participants to practice at full scope.
Another education initiative — Long-Term Care Nursing Initiatives — devotes $30,000 per health authority to support the development and delivery of continuing and specialty education initiatives for LPNs and other nurses working in long-term care.
There are several other initiatives of particular interest to LPNs including:
- $400,000 for a Return to Nursing Fund;
- $100,000 for Aboriginal Nursing Strategies;
- $60,000 for Specialty Geriatric Workshops;
- $15,000 for each of the six health authorities in the Nursing Practice Council Fund;
- $45,000 in the Nursing Knowledge Enhancement Fund to be used to develop proposals and support research projects on staff ratios and care delivery models; and
- Mentorship/Preceptorship Programs, for example: preparing new nurse mentors, mental health, community and long-term care, with funding for each health authority.
Chris Allnutt, secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees’ Union, says that the union and its LPN activists have pushed for more education opportunities for licensed practical nurses and the number of initiatives offered is a product of that advocacy.
“LPNs have succeeded in making health employers and government aware that more funding for education and other career initiatives is key to the recruitment and retention of licensed practical nurses,” says Allnutt.
“Now it’s important for LPNs to lobby their nurse manager or health authority’s chief nursing officer to ensure that they get their fair share of these funds.”
for BC’s Nursing Strategy for 2004/2005 and more information about its various components.
Or call Enquiry BC toll-free at 1-800-663-7867, in the Lower Mainland at 604-660-2421 or in Victoria at 250-387-6121, and ask for the Nursing Directorate.