Over the past four decades, the Licensed Practical Nurse has become a significant provider of health care in the United States, An answer to a chronic nursing shortage, the licensed practical nurse came into being during World War II and now provides much of the basic, hands-on care for the sick and elderly. Additionally, these nurses can expect better-than-average job prospects. An estimated 814,0C0 will be employed in 1995, a 37% increase over 1982 statistics. Concurrently, there is a movement to eliminate the LPN level of nursing. Whether this entry into practice issue is advisable or not was not the intent of this research. Rather, perceptions of employers were sought regarding their staffing needs. The survey of employers indicated there exists a need for Status of LPNs in the future, that they are adequately performing on the job, and that health care costs would increase dramatically if the programs were eliminated.



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