National report shows growth, untapped potential for Alberta nurses

EDMONTON, Jan. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) employed in nursing grew 29% in Alberta in a five year period, yet the province has the second lowest number of LPNs per population of any Canadian jurisdiction and fewer than half work full time. These statistics are according to the annual report on nursing workforce trends from 2007-2011 by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released January 10.

"Alberta's LPNs are highly educated, and have one of the most advanced scopes of practice in Canada, so we're pleased to see the number employed has increased nearly 30% in five years, though this report shows they are under-employed compared to other provinces," states Linda Stanger, Executive Director of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA).

There were 204 LPNs per 100,000 population in Alberta in 2011, 17% lower than the Canadian average of 245. 44% of Alberta LPNs worked full-time, while the national average for all nursing professionals is 57%. LPNs working full-time have consistently fallen short of national averages since at least 2007. Alberta LPNs remain some of the youngest nursing professionals with the average age of 42 years compared to 44.8 years nationally.

"Since most LPNs are working part time, we see an untapped capacity for increasing the hours of already employed nurses to ease current pressures on Alberta's health care system," Stanger emphasizes.

CIHI reports that direct patient care is the responsibility of 97% of Alberta's licensed practical nurses.

"Patients deserve excellence in bedside nursing, and that's the forte of the LPN profession. Increased growth supports increased quality of care for Albertans," shares Jo-Anne Mcdonald-Watson, President of the CLPNA.

Licensed practical nurses in Alberta graduate from a two-year diploma in practical nursing offered at the college level and are one of three regulated nursing professions in Alberta.

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) is the regulatory (licensing) organization for Alberta's 10,000 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). CLPNA regulates the profession by setting entry-to-practice requirements, establishing, promoting and enforcing standards for registration, practice, and professional conduct.


SOURCE: College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta

For further information:

Linda Stanger, Executive Director/Registrar
College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta
13163 146 Street
Edmonton AB  T5L 4S8
780-484-8886
www.clpna.com