In response to Laine Schofield's comments (Letters, February): I respect the wonderful LPNs I've worked with, and I've received some of the best bedside care from LPNs when I was a patient.
They have "knowledge and skills," as Schofield states, but I disagree that they can "competently use nursing judgment to make clinical decisions." LPNs have the technical skill—no one will disagree—but they don't have the necessary critical thinking skills. They are good technical nurses, but they are not professional nurses like RNs, who are in school for additional years (of course, this is not to say LPNs don't act professionally). I've long heard LPNs gripe that they are paid less than RNs but do the same work. Well, they don't. This would be true only if "work" was defined as skill alone.
LPNs are great nurses. They have to stop this comparison and respect themselves as the good nurses they are.
Chris Addington, BS, RN, CNOR
Stillwater, MN© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.