Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Nursing
Public Participation Guidelines [18 VAC 90 ‑ 11]


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10/14/23  12:00 am


As a nurse that is regulated by this board of nursing, I would like to bring attention to the possibility of eliminating RN and LPN, and having RN only nursing licensures. Purpose is, plenty of LPNs saturate the work force, however are continuously told how they are not "real nurses" based on the verbage used even by CMS proposing mandates on RN staffing, however makes no mention of LPN. They take the same anatomy and physiology, dosage calculations, ob/gyn courses, essentially every class is the same, however the RN has more focus on Healthcare supervision ( i.e. preparing to be in supervisor roles) - LPNs cannot in Virginia hang blood, yet they can run blood and maintain the infusion, access ports, however - not too long ago, they could, if trained. Point being, there is a separation in nursing that isn't necessary. LPNs delegate daily. In long term care facilities, LPNs work side by side with RNs doing the same work ( medication administration,documentation, IVs, etc) medical surgical fields where some LPNs are deemed "desirable" they work side by side doing " RN" work all the while being told by the regulations, their license has less value. Point being, LPN licensure costs less than RN, even. 

One might argue that an LPN could continue their education, while this means repeating most classes, going $20,000 dollars in debt or more, all whilst working full time or part time for most and managing the new world after COVID and coming out of class simply making $3 (if lucky) more on the hour while work load never changed from LPN to RN.

Most LPNs find this demeaning of current experience, time and money. So simply saying "go back to school" isn't the magical fix.

Perhaps an option would be like CEUs in place showing competency, or whatever this great board seems appropriate to help bridge the nursing profession together and remove RN/LPN verbiage and licensure separation. All while "saturating" the market with more Registered Nurses and helping alleviate the stress of "needing a RN on staff". LPNs and RNs continuing education is even the same - 

"Practical Nursing" is the core of all nursing. Meaningful practice, care, doing no harm, keeping the patients and welfare of public health in mind with all tasks, knowing when to question "unsafe" practices.

I do apologize for the long comment , but seeing how many nurses left this great profession in droves during the pandemic, further adding stress onto an already fragile system, and such systems in place tell "LPNs" that they just aren't "Real Nurses". 


Thank you 


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