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An enormous balloon bouquet containing messages of support for Bill 73 was sent “air mail” to the Saskatchewan legislature today from 200 CUPE health care workers attending a conference in Yorkton.

The balloon bouquet was released into the sky over Yorkton at 10:30 a.m., to coincide with the introduction of the Licensed Practical Nurses Act 2000 (Bill 73) in the Saskatchewan legislature. The legislation, promised in the Throne Speech last December, allows licensed practical nurses to perform their full scope of practice.

“Licensed Practical Nurses have waited a long time for legislation that recognizes our role in the health care system. The introduction of Bill 73 in the legislature this morning means the wait is almost over,” says union spokesperson Janet Christopherson, who works as a licensed practical nurse in the Assinboine Valley Health District.

Licensed practical nurses, one of three types of nurses in the health care system, are trained and licensed to perform a range services, including changing dressings, collecting specimens, removing sutures, providing tube feeding and administering injections such as insulin.

However, many health facilities in Saskatchewan wont allow LPNs to perform all of these duties. “Its very frustrating. Theres so much more we could be doing to care for patients and residents,” explains Ms. Christopherson.

CUPE, the largest health care union in Saskatchewan, says Bill 73 will affirm the role of the LPNs and improve the capacity of health care teams to provide quality health services.

The balloon bouquet includes messages in each of the 30 balloons wishing Bill 73 “safe and speedy” passage in the legislature.

Janet Christopherson at the Travelodge in Yorkton at

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