I am an LPN who has worked for nine years at a childrens hospital at an ambulatory offsite physicians’ office. I recently was told that I no longer was allowed to perform certain nursing duties, such as telephone triage and answering questions from parents if they come to the office for particular questions. I am allowed to do all other nursing duties in the office.
I believe the facility is trying to do away with the LPNs and have an all-RN staff. Is there anything I can do to stop them so that I can keep my job? I believe that my employer is trying to make me miserable so that I will quit, but I am determined to stay since I have nine years invested in the job. The physicians I work with do not have a say in what the hospital is doing to the LPNs. Can they really phase us out of practice? I was looking forward to retirement in the next five to six years and really dont want to go back to school.
Dear Donna replies:
There is strength in numbers, and many voices are louder than one. For that reason, I suggest you contact the National Federation of License Practical Nurses (www.nflpn.org) for some advice, help and support. Hopefully, you already are a member, but if not, consider joining and getting active. It is important to be part of the larger community of nursing.
The other thing you can do is sit down and have a heart-to-heart conversation with your immediate supervisor. Keep it professional and even-toned not accusatory or emotional. You can mention that you are concerned about your responsibilities being reduced and wonder whether there are other ways that you can continue to support the department (other responsibilities/projects you could take on). In other words, look for ways to add value. Underscore how much you love working there and that you
enjoy the people, etc. Otherwise, you can just continue to do your job each day to the best of your ability and try to ride out the next couple of years until your retirement.
However, its always good to be prepared with Plan B if things dont go your way. Consider exploring other options in settings that might interest you, such as other office/ambulatory settings, pediatric rehabilitation facilities, schools for children with developmental disabilities, etc. The truth is that there is no job security for any of us, so its always good to have a few irons in the fire just in case.