Is my ‘nurse’ an RN, LVN or CNA? |

Is my ‘nurse’ an RN, LVN or CNA?

I’m pleased to see that something is finally being done about  nurse staffing; however, I think some clarification is needed for the public, as the term “nurse” is rather generic. Are they speaking about RNs (registered nurses) and/or LVNs (licensed vocational nurses), and do the new ratios include CNAs (certified nursing assistants)?

Having been a “nurse” for 37 years, an RN, and having seen a lot of staffing changes as well as having seen a lot of other job classes added into the generic “nurse” category, I would be interested in knowing just what level of “nurse” will be taking care of me in the cardiac ward if I have a heart attack. I wouldn’t really care to be one of five patients if there is only one RN; nor would I want my 2-year-old grandson to be one of four children being cared for by one RN in the pediatric unit.

Our staffing ratios were better 20 years ago then they are now. Perhaps the local hospital will publish its staff-to-patient ratios, which will show the complete staffing pattern – i.e., all levels of “nursing” care. I would certainly be interested.

Joy Harris

Nevada City

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