The buttons are part of a campaign by their union, NAPE, to bring recognition and attention to the enhanced role of LPNs in the province’s healthcare system. According to NAPE President Carol Furlong, the general public is not aware that LPNs are identified as nurses under provincial legislation – An Act Respecting the Licensure of Practical Nurses. LPNs report that their role is often downplayed or not fully recognized by patients and the general public. Patients often ask LPNs if they are nurses. The button, with the slogan, I’m a Nurse: Licensed Practical Nurse, will bring attention to the fact that LPNs are indeed nurses and are qualified and trained to carry out and perform a multitude of nursing procedures in the course of their duties.

LPNs are licensed by the College for Licensed Practical Nurses and the standards for licensure this year will be significantly increased on April 1. All LPNs will be required to meet the standards to work the full scope of practice, and will be qualified to take on increased responsibilities and duties, many of which are often performed by registered nurses.

This is the second stage in a campaign by NAPE to bring attention to the increased role of LPNs. The button campaign was earmarked for today, Wednesday March 21, as the new licensing requirements come into effect at the end of the current fiscal year. The first stage included a poster with the slogan: Vital to your Health – LPNs.

“The campaign to promote LPNs is important not just for LPNs but for the people of our province when relying on our health care system. We want the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to be aware that LPNs are a highly qualified and vital part of the nursing team and our health care system,” said Furlong. Furlong also stated that in light of the new requirements and duties for LPNs it is important that they be recognized in a tangible way for their increased scope of practice and that NAPE is currently lobbying government for an occupational review for LPNs in an effort to achieve this goal.

For further information please contact:
Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator
(phone) 709.570.2501 (e-mail)