Ms. Bartholomew believes the baccalaureate should be the "minimum entry point into nursing practice." One nurse she doesn't consider is the LPN, who performs quality patient care in various settings. LPNs have the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their work and competently use nursing judgment to make clinical decisions. In some settings, the scope of practice for an LPN is not much different from that of an RN. Although many LPNs go on to become RNs, some are content to remain as they are.
One reason nurses lack a "single voice" is the all-too-obvious divide between RNs and LPNs. I've witnessed many instances of horizontal violence between RNs and LPNs, including name calling and belittling comments by RNs in front of patients. This is deplorable, shameful, and unprofessional behavior. It makes all nurses look bad.
To say that nursing should begin at the baccalaureate level is an insult to all LPNs who've worked hard to prove themselves and who enjoy the satisfaction that nursing has brought them.
Laine N. Schofield, LPN, CCHP