Report on LPN Long Term Care Survey

February, 2019, the CLPNM surveyed LPNs who have declared to the CLPNM that they work in long term care. The purpose of the survey was to gather information about the education, practice, experiences and perceptions of LPNs working in long term care environments.

The survey was developed, recognizing that practice in long term care is evolving.  The CLPNM recognizes that LPNs have an important role to play in a wide variety of settings, not only in long term care, and future surveys will help us understand more about LPN practice in other environments.

The CLPNM was pleased to receive over 370 responses. Here is a summary of what we heard.

  • The vast majority of respondents have worked their entire careers in long term care. The median number of years worked in long term care was eight, but respondents’ years of work experience in long term care ranged from less that one to 50 years. Combined, survey respondents had 4221 years of long term care nursing experience!
  • 81% of respondents received their nursing education in Manitoba, 5% in other parts of Canada, and 14% of respondents received their entry level nursing education internationally.
  • Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the needs of long term care clients have become more complex and that practical nursing roles within long term care have evolved over the past ten year.

Entry-level Education

  • The majority of respondents agreed that their own entry-level nursing education, and the education being provided to student practical nurses in Manitoba today, adequately prepares LPNs to practise in long term care.

Continuing Education

  • When asked about continuing education, the majority of respondents agreed that, at present, the education and training available to them, both at work and outside of work, was allowing them to expand their competence to meet the needs of their clients.
  • The inability to take time off, and a lack of learning opportunities in rural areas were noted as barriers to participating in continuing education.
  • Respondents recommended continuing education in the following areas to augment their current knowledge and help them better-serve clients in long term care:
    • Dementia care
    • Geriatric health assessment
    • Mental health care
    • Palliative / end-of-life care
    • Wound care

Leadership

  • Over 90% of respondents agreed that LPNs have the competence necessary to play leadership roles in Manitoba’s long term care facilities.
  • 69% agreed that LPNs have opportunities to play leadership roles in Manitoba’s long term care facilities.
  • When asked what education would prepare LPNs to take on more leadership roles in long term care, respondents suggested education in the following areas:
    • General leadership and management
    • Conflict resolution
    • Planning, organizing and directing care
    • Communicating effectively
    • Family-centered nursing
    • Building and managing teams
    • Geriatric health assessment
    • Palliative/end of life care

Barriers and Opportunities

  • Respondents cited the following as barriers that impede LPNs from working to their full scope of practice in long term care settings:
    • Not being permitted to perform charge/resource nurse roles.
    • Not being permitted to practise to full LPN scope of practice in their current practice environment
    • Facility policies that do not permit LPNs to pronounce death
    • Restrictions on administering IV therapy
    • The need for a greater understanding of LPN scope of practice among those who manage and work alongside LPNs
  • Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the Chief Medical Examiner’s recent decision to authorize LPNs to view the body would improve opportunities for LPNs to work to their full scope in long term care settings.

The CLPNM appreciates the level of engagement that LPNs have demonstrated in providing thoughtful responses to the long term care survey.  The information gathered will be used to inform the CLPNM’s ongoing planning, and discussions with practical nursing educators and health system leaders.