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NAPE survey of LPNs in N.L. reveals ever increasing roles and workloads

Jerry Earle, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, says the union’s sticker campaign allows businesses across the province to show support for NAPE’s members.
Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees president Jerry Earle. - Joe Gibbons

ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) is describing the results of a survey it conducted of licensed practical nurses (LPNs) it represents in the province as “startling.”

According to a news release from the union, 462 LPNs responded to the survey, which was done online through an emailed questionnaire. The survey results were collected from April 17 to May 1.

The findings include:

- Respondents indicated they perform over 50 distinct and separate healthcare duties in their scope of practice.

- 75 per cent said their workload has increased significantly in the past five years.

- 77 per cent reported their unit works with less staff than required with 12 percent of those saying they do so five or more times a week and 55 per cent indicating it happens between one and five times a week.

- 85 per cent of respondents said they had been subjected to physical or verbal threats or acts of violence (by patients/residents/family members/public) while performing their duties.

- 62 per cent of respondents reported being injured in the workplace with 51 per cent of those reporting missing time away from work as a result of their injuries.

- Nearly 18 per cent of respondents said they find their jobs extremely stressful with 57 per cent saying they find their jobs pretty to very stressful.

- 21 per cent of LPNs reported feeling unsafe at work.

NAPE represents over 1,500 LPNs across the province.

“We know that LPN’s roles are often downplayed or not fully recognized by patients and the general public, despite the fact that LPNs are fully trained, health care professionals that are, in fact, nurses under the provincial legislation,” said NAPE president Jerry Earle.

“We are working to break down those misconceptions for this group of healthcare professionals and many others in the healthcare system.”

NAPE completed the survey in recognition of National Nursing Week, which is May 7 to 13.

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