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National League for Nursing Calls on the Nursing Community to Recognize Vital Contributions of the Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse


Reflection & Dialogue Jump Starts Dialogue on How to Create New Models of Academic Progression Inclusive of LPN/LVNs and Other Pre- and Postlicensure Graduates


New York, NY — September 7, 2011 — With an appreciation for the contributions of LPNs/LVNs to health care over the years, the NLN's new Reflection & Dialogue points out that licensed practical/vocational nurses are critical to patient care in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and community-based settings, as was emphasized by "The Future of Nursing" report (IOM 2011).

The League asks the nursing community to recognize the seamless career pathways that consider the LPN/LVN trajectory a key component of nurse workforce advancement. The diversity engendered by multiple points of entry into the nursing profession and the variety of progression options available provide an environment for enrichment and professional growth.

Said NLN president Dr. Cathleen Shultz, "We must remember that diversity, an NLN core value, encompasses acceptance and respect not only for the individual, but also for entire institutions and systems. It goes hand in hand with the inclusivity engendered by academic progression in nursing education. The Reflection & Dialogue suggests that 'to produce a more educated and diverse workforce, it is imperative that nurse educators and clinical practice partners work together to create new models of academic progression that are inclusive of the LPN/LVN, as well as other prelicensure and postlicensure graduates.' "

Relevant statistics cited, demonstrating the importance of licensed practical/vocational nurses, especially for our vulnerable populations, underscore the need for health care providers specifically those dedicated to care of older adults in community-based settings, including long-term care. The LPN is a key member of the workforce to answer this need.

Pointed out NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, "It is so important that we all — faculty, students, practice partners, and other stakeholders across the nursing education and health profession communities — embrace a culture that keeps the patient/family/community as the center of what we do. Our LPN/LVN colleagues provide significant care to the older adult community in particular. We are concerned about LPN/LVN educational development and preparation: first, because it affects the delivery of patient care and second, because we value collaboration with and mutual respect of all our health care colleagues."

"Recognizing the Vital Contributions of the Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse" concludes with a series of questions designed to encourage reflection about this issue and invites others to join in the dialogue via the NLN website here. The entire series is available at

For more information and interview opportunities please contact NLN chief communications officer Karen R. Klestzick at 212-812-0376,

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education, offering professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 35,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.