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REGINA - CUPE is marking Nursing Week by launching an ad campaign celebrating the role Licensed Practical Nurses play in providing quality, hands-on care in the province of Saskatchewan.

“Licensed Practical Nurses play a critical role in the delivery of health care,” said Gordon Campbell, President of the CUPE Saskatchewan Health Council. “They provide hands-on nursing care to patients at the hospital bedisde, to residents in special care homes, to our seniors in home care, and also provide key support for community health initiatives.”

LPNs are skilled nurses who have been trained and accredited to providing a wide range of medical assessments and procedures. They are valuable members of the health care team, but unfortunately, their role is often misunderstood.

According to surveys by the Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses, 50 per cent of LPNS in the province are not working to full scope. This means they are unable to perform all of the tasks they are trained to do.

LPNs have to fight to do the job they were trained to do and love doing,” said Deb Haftner, Chair of the CUPE LPN Commitee. “Our health care system needs to maximize the skills of all professional nursing staff.”

CUPE has been a long advocate for ensuring all LPNs are able to work to full scope. In order to raise awareness about the role of LPNs, CUPE has launched a province wide advertising campaign, featuring newspaper ads and community billboards.

CUPE strongly supports multidisciplinary teamwork and full utilization of all team members’ skills and training,” added Campbell. “We are proud of the tremendous work that CUPE LPNs do every day and do to deliver high quality patient care as part of the nursing team.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents 1,500 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in five health regions in Saskatchewan.