One of the things we strive for, given our mission, is to be inclusive within the Nursing Section. That makes sense, as we are working to ensure that our health systems are inclusive of and responsive to all across the gender and sexual spectra. Since we’re a group of humans, though, it is definitely a work in progress.
At this past Summit in Philadelphia, I was ecstatic to meet a couple of LPNs in attendance. Having spent the first part of my clinical career in sub-acute and long-term care, I have a healthy respect for the knowledge and expertise of LPNs and the role they play in those settings. In New England, it seems this is the primary area, along with home care, that LPNs remain a strong presence, as many hospitals have adopted RN-only policies, but I gathered from those I met at the Summit that this is not the case in other regions of the country. LPNs and LVNs are part of our front-line of patient care, and we need them as much as any other nurse to help in this work.
We definitely want to make sure we’re inclusive of all our nurses, from LPN/LVN through APRN. But I also heard from those nurses that they weren’t sure how they would be received, as their perception was that the Nursing Section is primarily for RNs, and particularly RNs in academia. That’s not a perception that I think any of us want or intend to be projecting!
One item I identified as an obvious (and easy-to-fix) cue was our Twitter handle. Originally, it was the Twitter handle of the research work group, so GLMA_RNs was intended to capture both the fact we were “research nurses” and that the group at the time was composed entirely of “registered nurses.” Since that has evolved, and now that Twitter handle is for the whole section, however, that wordplay is obsolete and the handle definitely signals “we’re all RNs here.” So it has been changed, and you can now find us on Twitter at @GLMA_Nsg .
If you are an LPN or LVN or just have thoughts on how we can be more inclusive of all nurses, please share those thoughts in the comments.