The Case for Bringing the Licensed Practical Nurse Back to the Hospital

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Abstract

The expansion of the aging population, residential care facilities, and projected registered nurse shortages pose significant challenges to nurse staffing ratios. The licensed practical/vocational nursing role is now being reexamined, as acute care and long-term care facilities look at staffing models and patient safety. There is now a demand for an increase in the numbers of practical nurse education programs, which have been overlooked as a pipeline for professional nursing. Recruiting and educating practical nurses open a pathway for greater diversity in the nursing profession as well as improving patient health outcomes.

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