By Linda Stanger, CLPNA Executive Director.
I am a Registered Nurse. I graduated from the University of Calgary, and have practiced as an RN in a variety of clinical settings and leadership roles. Being a Registered Nurse does not diminish my belief in the high quality of LPN nursing care.
I am honoured to be the Executive Director of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta. I believe passionately in the work of LPNs, who deliver excellent care to patients in Alberta and I attribute much of my successful transition as a novice nurse to the support I received from experienced LPNs.
As an RN, I am deeply disheartened by the recent “Expert Caring” public campaign launched by my own profession’s college. The campaign suggests that the only safe nursing care Albertans could expect to receive would come from only an RN. Yet, in an era of collaborative practice the scientific evidence indicates that quality care requires a team of providers! The literature is clear that when a profession holds itself sovereign, the situation is RIPE for patient safety to be compromised.
People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou
There is room and need for all types of nurses and other providers in our complex health system to promote quality care and patient safety. A campaign that minimizes other professions serves to evoke fear and distrust within patients and their families. It also serves to undermine the collaboration that currently exists within the system. Albertans can be assured that they receive safe, competent and ethical care from LPNs, and I expect every regulated health profession would say the same of their members.
One type of nurse does not trump another. In fact, the system needs to optimize the scope of practice for all health professionals to ensure patient safety and quality care in a sustainable system. Every person who works in health care is vital to the patient experience – food service workers, environmental services staff, receptionists and allied health professionals. We must treat each of our colleagues with respect and dignity, no matter their education, job title or status.
The theme of the Summer 2014 issue of CARE magazine is Interprofessional Practice (coming June 30). The feature story “Learn by Heart” showcases a collaborative best practice in clinical education with a team of LPNs and RNs. “From Strangers to Colleagues” outlines our involvement with the University of Alberta’s Interprofessional Pathway Launch. Cheryl Mahaffy’s story shows how collaborative practice leads to patient-centred care.
Here at CLPNA, our recent Strategic Plan identifies Collaborative Practice as a strategic focus area. We will continue our dedication to partnering with all our colleagues to model collaboration at the regulatory level. We will partner with government and employers to create a system where all nurses work to their full capacity in an environment of trust and respect.
To my LPN colleagues, I encourage you to continue to build your own collaboration skills. Embrace personal leadership opportunities. Demonstrate respect to all of your co-workers, and strive to build trusting relationships with them. Above all, keep making a positive difference for your patients through your own expert nursing care.
Comments on this website are monitored before publishing. Please share your thoughts in a professional manner.