New union handbook addresses nursing shortage

News release

How to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in B.C.

In the midst of B.C.’s ongoing nursing shortage, the Hospital Employees’ Union has produced a new publication for health care workers and others who are thinking about a career in nursing or who want to upgrade their skills to play a new role on the health care team.

Produced in collaboration with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of B.C., the handbook contains information about different post-secondary training programs and skills upgrading options, tuition and course costs, financial aid, the licensing process, the College of LPNs, and English proficiency tests.

The handbook will also be useful to non-practicing Practical Nurses who want to re-enter the profession and foreign trained nurses in Canada who want to complete credentialing requirements.

Currently, B.C. has the fewest Registered Nurses per capita and the lowest ratio of LPNs to RNs in Canada.

HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt says the handbook is one of several initiatives undertaken by the union in recent years to increase the utilization of LPNs. HEU’s efforts have helped win a significant increase in the number of LPN training seats in conventional post-secondary nursing programs and in special access and skills upgrading courses.

In 1999, the union negotiated a special $10 million fund to increase the utilization of LPNs and to expand training opportunities for those who wanted to embark on a nursing career.

HEU has represented LPNs since the first PNs graduated from Vancouver Vocational Institute in 1948.

Click here to download the handbook.

-30- Contact: Patty Gibson, communications officer, 604-456-7007 (direct) or 604-328-7393 (cell)