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CUPE’s report, Full Utilization of LPNs: A practical solution to the nursing shortage was sent to the health region board last month. The follow-up discussion will take place tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Land of the Loon Resort in Anglin Lake where the health board is holding its regular meeting.

Although licensed practical nurses have the knowledge and skills to perform an array of nursing duties, CUPE 4777 President Carol McKnight says many still are not allowed to work to their full scope of training.

Karen Disiewich, a CUPE licensed practical nurse at the Victoria Hospital, is one of them. Although Karen has all the required training and education to work in the hospital’s renal dialysis unit, she is not allowed to perform all of a nurse’s job duties. In contrast, CUPE LPNs working in the dialysis units in Regina and Yorkton are working to full-scope.

CUPE 4777 President Carol McKnight described the situation as a “terrible waste of nursing skills and talent.”  The union’s recommendations to resolve the problem include:

  • The development of a clear policyto enable LPNs to work to their full scope of practice across the health region.  The policy should include a complaint/resolution process so that LPNs or supervisors can challenge an assignment of duties that violates the policy
  • The Health Region foster a culture of respect and team work among all nursing groups
  • The Health Region establish benchmarks in each facility to measure progress towards the goal of full utilization of LPNs

CUPE believesall health professionals should be working to their full-scope of practice. It not only will increase job satisfaction for Karen and other health professionals, it will improve patient care,” McKnight said. 

Contact Carol McKnight at 961-1994

Download the report here: Full Utilization of LPNs