Statement in response to a recent news article speaking to the scope of practice of the LPNs in comparison to RNs.
Now, more than ever, we need all health professionals, and we recognize there is a vital role to play for everyone. However, nursing is a profession that is focused on collaborative relationships that promote the best possible outcomes for patients. Due to the increasing demands in health care, it is imperative that collaboration and role optimization occur for both Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). This allows all nursing professionals to practice to their full scope to better meet the healthcare needs of patients, while matching the right care provider to the right client, at the right time.
As the regulatory body for RNs and nurse practitioners (NPs), we are legislated by the Nurses Act, which mandates the responsibility of what is expected of the nursing profession. The Nurses Association of New Brunswick (NANB) recognizes the Nurses Act is outdated and overdue to be modernized to adapt for today’s health care realities. Conversations are ongoing with the government of New Brunswick to commence this work which would include addressing the protected nurse title.
NANB members are accountable to the public to ensure safe, competent, and ethical care, and NANB supports optimization of their role and the ability to practice to the full extent of the scope of practice, which is determined by the individual’s level of competency based on education and experience. Evidence strongly shows that this approach results in high-quality patient-centred care and positive patient health outcomes.
Although both professions’ scope of practice may often overlap, we recognize and value where responsibilities vary. By working together, RNs and LPNs will continue to provide quality health care to best serve our patients and the public.