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