New TV ads profile LPNs’ expanded role in health care

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HEU launched a series of television ads today, profiling the union's Licensed Practical Nurse members and their expanded roles in patient care.

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"With health care funding stretched to the limit, it's more important than ever that HEU members, like LPNs, be able to use all their skills in the delivery of services to patients,” says HEU’s secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

“We know that LPNs are not always used to their full scope of practice,” explains Darcy.

“This needs to change, so patients and the health care team can benefit from LPNs’ range of skills and knowledge.”

The latest ads are part of the union’s ongoing advocacy for LPNs as nursing professionals.

In the 2006 round of bargaining, HEU negotiated to establish a Joint Policy Committee that has enabled LPNs to meet directly with government and employers to develop policies and strategies that expand and advance their profession.

In 2008, the Joint Policy Committee issued a groundbreaking report Effectively Utilizing B.C.’s Licensed Practical Nurses and Care Aides, which addresses compensation issues, identifies opportunities for utilizing LPNs’ skills in the health care team, and describes change management strategies as LPNs are brought into new roles.

This advocacy has succeeded in creating improvements for LPNs, such as a $3.5 million designated professional development fund, a specialized leadership course, an increased role in hospitals’ inter-professional practice councils, and collaborative practice tool kits to translate acute care communication tools into residential care settings.

“We’ve made important gains, but there is still more work to do to recognize and compensate LPNs for their critical role in patient care,” says Darcy, “and HEU will continue to work with our member LPNs to speak out and move their profession forward.”

For more information, check out these fact sheets distributed during Nursing Team Week 2009: