The nursing workforce in Saskatchewan grew by 13.2 per cent in the last five years, but the number of licensed practical nurses increased by 17.8 per cent.
The new information on the nursing workforce is contained in a publication from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Check it out at: www.cihi.ca.
Funding educational training for LPNs
- In the 1999 round of bargaining, CUPE negotiated the creation of a Provincial Employment Strategy Committee. Pooling the employee and employer Employment Insurance rebates, the committee uses these funds to assist health care workers to upgrade their skills or train for specific jobs.
- Between 2004 and 2012, the Provincial Employment Strategy Committee of CUPE and SAHO funded over 2,196 applications from Licensed Practical Nurses to upgrade their training. Over $2.6 million in training funds were provided to CUPE LPNs through this committee in this time period.
- Funding from this committee was provided to CUPE LPNs for the administration of medications course so they could practice to full scope in the workplace and meet their licensing requirements. Funding was also provided for LPNs to train as ORTs and for other courses such as health assessment, IV therapy and wound care.
- Lobbying for full scope of practice
In 2008, CUPE tabled a proposed Letter of Understanding with SAHO that would commit employers to endorse and implement a process to maximize the utilization of LPNs' professional skills. We gained the support of other unions to table this same language with their respective employers. CUPE was successful at securing a commitment from SAHO and health employers to endorse and support the full optimization of LPNs' professional skills.