Where there any surprises with the results; both yours and the research results, please share one finding that you were surprised about and why?
Why does the education have to be completed in the USA.I find that when they use LPN tile I make sure that reread to be sure that they are talking about RPNs as well. I find that with COVID-19 the RPN scope has expanded in many ways. I think that the RPN should be made clear on the education side of things. However in saying that when you go to your employer they might have RPN skill set that may require you to learn more skills. I always take a course when I can to keep learning and updated my skills whenever possible. I think with RNs and MDs should be updated on the new outline of the RPN course. When I was reading about the focus group I was a little upset to see that only 20% was long term care. That is where the RPNs, PSWs and RNs are needed the most. When I went into nursing the thing I liked about it was the team work, however there is a thing where nurses eat their young. Why is that? I believe that if you have leadership skills use them.
RPNs scope of practice has expanded quite a bit in the last 15 years. In my experience, some HCPs don’t quite understand that an RPN can do so much more today, compared to 15yrs ago.
When I first started working in primary care, one of the NPs and an MD asked if there was a list of nursing skills available for me to give them. The NP even asked me “so what can you do? can you give needles?”. I was a little stunned by this, and almost felt offended. But with the expanding role of the RPN over the years, I realized this is where some of the confusion may have stemmed from. Another example was when a MD asked me if I knew how to assess a ear using an otoscope.
So just to had to the discuss, I will let you know that there once was a list (the blue book) prior to the legislation change in 1993 that seen the title change from RNA to RPN and move to have our category of nurse and a autonomous and accountable for our own practice, no longer working under the delegation of an RN. Also Ontario is the only province that calls us RPN every where else in the Canada the title is LPN. this is because our regulatory body “registers” us. In BC RPNs are actually Registered Psychiatric Nurses. As for the comparison of education from Ontario nurses to the US it is not the same and as a matter of fact the Ontario RPN gets about 1.5 years more education in their programs being more comparable to the Associate degree RN in the US. You will find that how we arrived to being RPNs has certainly added to the confusion among other healthcare providers and to this day role clarity is a large part of the work that we have been doing at the association. We are often asked by hospitals and many other healthcare organization to help them better understand the role to support the integration of RPNs into the over healthcare system. I would agree that COVID certainly seen the RPN role shine and be valued for the knowledge and skill that have when caring for their patients. In this current time we will need to optimize all health human resources to meet the demands of our population and RPNs are part of the solutions.
I was really surprised to see that nursing faculty of all areas were not aware of the roles of an RPN compared to an RN. They are the ones teaching our “superiors” they need to be coaching them on our skills and knowledge so we can be used to our full skill set in all areas. I know when I worked in homecare I was always worked to the highest level of skill set an RPN could use. It was so nice to be able to use the knowledge skills and judgement that I had and constantly be able to educate myself to learn more and be a stronger team member. Now I work in long term care and am 1 of 7 RPNs. Only 2 of us are Diploma nurses. The certificate nurses are constantly stressed and overwhelmed with any talk of increased work level. Only this year did they start to administer their own narcotics and complete capillary blood sugars. When I started I advocated for education, to spearhead change and to learn new roles. I now work as acting charge nurse of my shifts as we are under 60 beds. I wish there was clearer roles outlines and other RPNs knew what they were really capable of and could practice.
I agree with the other posters here, mentioning it seems to hurt out skills and what we are actually allowed to do in the workplace when others do not fully understand what we can do. Some even just using us as care providers and not nurses and not understanding that our role is so close to thtof the RNs we work alongside.
Roxanne, I agree with you about the surprise in not knowing the roles and that are superiors should know the difference to make us reading for the workforce. It does hurt are skills and creditability in many ways as an RPN. How do we make it better for RPNs know and in the future so that we can work more as a team but use are skills to the max.
I have to agree, it is most surprising to know that nursing faculty is unaware of the differences in scope of practice; how can we expect administration in facilities and organizations to comprehend this concept if nurses are not being taught from their own educational leaders? This should be widely shared in both level of programs. Employers should know how to navigate the CNO website also; our organization relies heavily on the CNO to both inform our policies, medical directives, and practice questions.
I have never personally worked in a setting where I was alongside certificate RPNs struggling with adapting to changes in skills/scope, but early in my career I did work alongside some RNs/NPs that didn’t understand the scope of the RPN; it was felt that my time would be best spent obtaining BPs and weight measurements, as well as collecting urine samples. For them. Management felt differently, and over time we built up skills and competency in a couple RPNs, and today we have 11 FT RPN positions in our organization.